From No Plan 5 years ago to Plans to Expand to Multiple Locations: Vanessa’s Story


Vanessa Anderson-Smith owns a private practice that has seen a lot of successes over the past few years in her business. You might recognize Vanessa’s because we featured her on the blog a few years back where we shared how she went from having zero plans to a 4-month waitlist for her services.

In this episode, I caught up with her to hear about how her business has grown since then. She shares her advice for opening a successful private practice in a rural area and advice for people with type B personalities who are thinking about private practice. She discusses the growth of her business including how she is opening a second location with room to expand it even further.

What we discuss: 

  • The transition from her first job as an SLP to a private practice owner
  • Her experience with word of mouth marketing
  • How she chose her specialty around feeding therapy
  • Her advice for opening a private practice in a rural area

From ‘No Plan’ to 4 Month Waitlist: Vanessa’s Private Practice Success Story
Anderson-Smith Speech Therapy
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Guest: Vanessa Anderson-Smith, MA-CCC SLP

Vanessa is a South Dakota native who attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD and received her masters degree from the University Of South Dakota in 2010. Vanessa began her career working in skilled nursing homes in South Dakota and then started her own private practice specializing in motor speech and feeding disorders in 2013. Her certified trainings include TalkTools Oral Placement Therapy (Level 4 Certification), PROMPT Bridging, Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty, and The SOS Approach to Feeding. Vanessa has also done specialized training in myofascial release, apraxia of speech, pediatric dysphagia and orofacial myofunctional disorders. In addition to these trainings Vanessa is a Certified Orofacial Myologist® through the International Association of Orofacial Myology. She is a TalkTools® instructor and serves on the board of directors for Wonderfully Made (a Down syndrome family support organization), the Huntington’s Disease Society of America South Dakota Chapter, and the South Dakota Speech-Language and Hearing Association. She lives in her hometown of Canton with her husband Ryan, their son Drake, 2 dogs, and one cat.


Host: Jena H. Castro-Casbon, MS, CCC-SLP

Jena is a private-practice consultant who has helped thousands of speech-language pathologists start and grow their own private practices through her company, The Independent Clinician. 

​She has written articles for The ASHA Leader and Presented at ASHA Connect (2017).

You’ll find her online in the SLP Private Practice Beginners Facebook Group and in her premium programs, The Start Your Private Practice System and the Grow Your Private Practice Coaching Program.

Jena lives in Boston, MA and is a wife and mama to two young boys.


This episode was brought to you by my premium program The Start Your Private Practice System.

​If you’ve been thinking starting a private practice full-time or “on the side” I encourage you to sign up for my FREE TRAINING. I’ll make sure you know everything more in a free 60 minute presentation than you ever learned in grad school!


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