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Alumnae Share 5 Tips for Starting Your Own Clinical Practice

By Brittany Smith MOT'12 and Janki Patel MOT'12
Owners, Jump Ahead Pediatrics

Published on October 21, 2019

Offering quality care to their patients isn’t enough for Brittany Smith MOT’12 and Janki Patel MOT’12. As the founders of Jump Ahead Pediatrics, headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, the alumnae are on a quest to make occupational therapy and speech therapy treatments for children in need more affordable and achievable for families.  Learn more about their growing business

Smith and Patel share their advice for others looking to open their own clinical sites


1. No one cares about your business like you do

The old saying "if you want something done right, do it yourself" applies here. It is so important to be involved in every single aspect of your business initially. Once employees begin to take on more responsibilities, make sure you always have periodic check-ins to make sure things are to your standards. This is your blood, sweat, and tears!

2. Balance being a boss and a friend

In our personal experience, it has seemed that being young entrepreneurs sometimes makes it difficult for similar aged or older employees to treat you the same as they would an older business owner. It can be easy to get caught up in trying to be friendly and relatable but it is very important to keep boundaries and remain even more professional because of how young you may present.

3. You don't need to spend a ton of money when you are starting out. Be resourceful!

Prior to opening our first sensory clinic, we researched expensive, new equipment, but thinking about the equipment (or lack there of) at our past jobs, we realized that we did not need to be extra fancy to start off. We purchased used items, asked family and friends for office supplies, and got help from family who could build equipment.

4. Do your research: find out what makes you stand out

When we decided to open a clinic, we researched, made a business plan, and looked into multiple locations before moving forward with the legal paperwork. Take it seriously, speak with various mentors and consultants in order to have a good plan to move forward.

5. Just do it!

We've both tried all different settings, environments, and job types and just wanted the freedom to be able to use the tools and leadership skills that we saw become successful. We said "let's just do it" and later that week we began filing all of the legal paperwork. It was a chaotic time in both of our lives but we realized there was never going to be "the right time" to take this leap.

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