If your goal is to have a part time-high profit practice, this article is for you. We will not be discussing how to create a large volume practice in some Taj Mahal office. That requires a ridiculous amount of capital, resources, employees and ultimately stress.
Creating a practice can be very costly. Before you know it, you can be out $20,000 and have nothing to show for it. It sucks. Trust me, I have been there.
The main goal with any type of business is to make money. Sure, helping people as a medical provider is a plus, but you must make money to keep the doors open and to provide yourself a nice lifestyle. If that is not your goal, then you need to stop reading and just continue with your normal day job. Why take the risk and nights of lost sleep starting a business if it does not benefit you?
So, for a practice to be successful and ultimately profitable, you must learn how to keep expenses low and revenue high. Especially if you follow the Elite Nurse Practitioner Model. This is a very hard practice to actually follow and stick with, but it can be done.
I have a side practice where I make a healthy 6-figure side income and it is a one man show. If I hired a receptionist or an assistant, that number would be cut down dramatically. You must pay them their salary as well as taxes, workmans comp insurance, etc… Not only that, but you must deal with the bullshit having an employee brings: drama, call ins, theft, and apathy towards your business for example.
TRY TO AVOID HAVING EMPLOYEES!
Before we begin talking about specifics. This all assumes you are starting a CASH practice. I do not advocate using insurance. Relying on a 3rd party to pay and dictate your practice is a recipe for unhappiness and unnecessary stress in your life.
So the first thing you need to figure out is this: what can be your practice niche that can be done 100% solo. A difficult task indeed and requires creativity. Concierge services are easy to set up. As are telemedicine practices. I know a guy who does nothing but prescribe erectile dysfunction medications from his house via telemedicine. He makes $100,000 a year working 6 hours a day!
The second item is keeping operating expenses low e.g. medical supplies, rent, utilities, insurance, etc… There are some practice expenses that are inevitable such as malpractice, but this can be attained fairly cheaply at $1-1.5k a year for an occurrence policy. You could forgo malpractice if your practice is low risk and you know how to protect your assets.
These are basically the big-ticket items of a practice: staffing and operating expenses. You must keep these two things low or non-existent to have a high profit practice. Therefore, what are the absolute essentials for operating a solo business?
- Cell phone. Everyone has one, so this is not an issue. But now you are using it for business purposes! Ah, the beauty about business expenses. Tax free savings!
- Website and Social Media Page. You must market your service through the internet. The best way to do so is to have a website and get your google ranking to the top. You also should have a substantial social media following.
- Marketing. You need to have a modest marketing budget. You would be amazed what $250-$500 a month could do for you.
- Computer. You cannot operate a business optimally on a tablet or a cell phone. Get yourself a computer or laptop. If your budget does not call for it, then get a keyboard for your tablet. I have seen people operate a business off their phone. They constantly have issues. A computer is far more productive.
That is it! Those are the essentials to starting a solo cash practice. You are probably scratching your head thinking “That’s all you need? Really?.” Yes! Of course, depending on what type of practice you open up could require additional expenses such as rent. But even that can be found cheaply. There are plenty of small offices you can find for less than $500 a month. You don’t need a big fancy building on a high traffic road.
I have 2 side businesses that operate on the above, nothing more… It is simple and brings in a health 6-figure income a year.
Thus, a low overhead and high revenue cash practice requires:
- Little to no employees. You as a nurse practitioner should be able to handle the vast majority of the work in the initial startup phase. Only hire someone if you can justify the cost and having this employee becomes a vital function of the business.
- Low expenses. Keep your expenses as low as humanly possible. Be a cheap ass. If you have a physical location, buy the furniture off Craigslist or at a garage sale. Seriously. To this day I have used the same office furniture I purchased off Craigslist 3 years ago when I started. My patients don’t care. They are there for the service, not to sit in luxury.
- Basic supplies. As listed above.
In addition, you must not be risk averse. The money you put into this business needs to be an amount that you are okay with loosing. If this is going to put a large financial strain on you, then keep saving and just hold off. DO NOT TAKE A BUSINESS LOAN OUT. It is beyond the scope of this article but stay debt free. Debt = Slavery.
Begin with step one. Figure out what service line you will provide. Think outside the box, let the world tell you what they want. You would be surprised how much cash people will drop on services that seem so elementary to a skilled nurse practitioner.