It is absolutely critical that you find a niche for your side practice. A side practice is a small business that you can focus 10 hours a week or less on. Therefore, primary care is not going to work. You need to find a service that is in demand by a specific market of individuals that are willing to pay cash. This is the type of niched service you must find! A niched practice is the perfect side business for a nurse practitioner to start.
Opening a side business that is not niched will pose issues for the aspiring nurse practitioner entrepreneur. You cannot operate a direct primary care office or an urgent care very well part-time. These types of business models do not fit well within the Elite Nurse Practitioner Model.
Starting a business that requires your full-time attention is a recipe for stress, financial tension, and potential failure. The goal should be to create a life of more freedom and financial independence when you start a business. This is easier to achieve with multiple niched side businesses. Finding that niche is absolutely critical and is the first step when starting a business.
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming release of the new book The Elite Nurse Practitioner Model. It goes over finding a niche idea for your side practice:
What type of business should you create? How do you come up with multiple ideas for multiple businesses? It can be difficult. You must figure out your niche. A business niche is a specialized service or product that targets a specific market.
Primary care is not a niche. Primary care for the LGBTQ community? Sort of. Primary care for the Hispanic male LGBTQ community? That is a niche! This is the type of practice you want to start if you follow the Elite Nurse Practitioner Model. Niche practices make great part time practices and can generate a healthy side income.
TIP: The more niched your service line is, the more you will set yourself apart. The more niched you are, the less competition you will have. How many primary care offices are competing against each other? A very large amount. It is not a niched service. How many African American male anti-aging clinics that specialize in the treatment of male pattern baldness are there? NONE. You have no competition and you have a very specific population of patients that are easy to target market toward.
So how do you find that niche? Often the niche is stumbled upon during your normal day to day work. You need to be on the constant look out for services that solve a specific problem to a specific population. Right now, at this very moment, stop reading and think about this:
What is a problem that I have encountered often in my clinical practice that affects a specific group of patients and creates a significant distress in their life?
If you can answer that question, then you have found your practice niche. That is your first side practice to start. Common niche practices among nurse practitioner operated businesses include:
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Allergy and asthma clinics
- Stem cell injections
- Weight loss clinics
- Direct primary care practices
The problem with most of these is that they are not niched enough. I have a testosterone replacement clinic specifically tailored to upper-class men. That is a niche. A generic hormone replacement clinic is not a niche and could pose difficulty growing. Why? Because you are marketing it to everyone over the age of 35. Dial in that target market! Also, providers who just take a hormone pellet course and integrate it into their current practice are not starting another side business. They are simply just adding a service to an existing practice that likely offers multiple other services.
Tip: Do not be a one stop shop. I often consult with nurse practitioners asking for opinions about their medical practice website and the amount of services offered is downright confusing. I couldn’t imagine how confusing it is for the patient! It also looks unprofessional and creates a mediocre ‘jack of all trades but an expert of none’ vibe. When people go to a clinic’s website, they want to know what you do within thirty seconds. The more tabs or pages they must go through, the less likely they will be to actually convert into a patient.
When I opened my men’s health clinic there were other places in town doing testosterone replacement therapy. But they were also offering a dozen other services. I stole the market by specifically only treating men and being the expert in testosterone replacement therapy in the region. We receive regular calls from women wanting hormone replacement therapy. Could I accept these individuals as patients? Sure, it would be more money! But it takes away from my niche and would start me down a path of converting my men’s health clinic into just a run of the mill hormone replacement clinic. I would lose some of my male clientele. A man does not want to come into a clinic where he can freely talk about his sex life when the lobby is full of menopausal women. Therefore, before you decide to add a service line to your practice think long and hard about the potential consequences it could bring. Will it destroy the ambience and the niche of your practice? If so, it is not a good idea.
If you are considering one of the above practices, consider how you will set yourself apart from the competition. You need to target a specific patient population within your market. If you want to provide multiple services, you should do so to a specific population or open another practice offering that additional service to another market. You will set yourself apart and create an expert ambience to your practice when it is operated under separate business entities.
If you want to start a profitable part-time business, you must provide a niche service. I cannot stress this concept enough. You need to be creative and think outside the box. Do not do what everyone else is doing in your area, be the outlier. If you do this, the money will come. Remember, you should start this as a part-time endeavor and start it cheaply! I promise, you will make money if you provide a quality niched service, market it correctly, and give it at least 6 months.
The Elite Nurse Practitioner Model book goes over each principle of the model in detail as well as many other recommendations that will put you on the path to success as a nurse practitioner entrepreneur. I guarantee it.