By Kobus Engelbrecht, 25 July 2014
Venturing out on your own and starting a solo practice is not for the faint-hearted, but it is immensely rewarding and you could set yourself up for life, says Kobus Engelbrecht, marketing head, Sanlam Business Market
The advantages of starting your own practice are:
“A further advantage of going solo straight or shortly after you’ve qualified is that you won’t be used to a huge income and are likely to be single, so you’ll be able to bite the bullet and live on a shoe-string budget for some time till you become established. It’s much harder to do this later in life when you’ll probably have a family and numerous financial obligations,” says Engelbrecht.
He cites the example of a chartered accountant who, after completing his articles, cleaned out the front of the house he was renting with fellow students and set up his own office to receive clients. “This was 20 years ago, and he never looked back.”
So how should you get started? Engelbrecht offers the following tips for establishing your own practice:
“We know of a young medical practitioner who started her own practice and was soon running a busy consulting room. However, due to bad debt, she had to close her doors after only two years. She had sent out accounts without following up whether she was actually being paid. So she was very successful in attracting patients, but she forgot the most important thing – cash flow,” says Engelbrecht.
He recommends that all young professionals who decide to go it alone, obtain the services of a qualified financial adviser who can provide assistance on personal financial planning.
“Establishing your own practice is always exciting. Learning a few basic business skills is not rocket science – with the right attitude, some careful planning and good advice, you will be successful,” Engelbrecht concludes.