Numerous aspiring Nurse Practitioner entrepreneurs’ message me asking what their side business should be, what type of services they should provide, who their target market should be, etc… Many who want to start a business are lost on that “ideal business.”
Listen, THE WORLD WILL TELL YOU WHAT THEY NEED. It is not the other way around. You do not tell the world what they need when it comes to starting a business.
You might think your idea is great and that it is going to change the world! But if the world thinks otherwise then do not get discouraged or try to force the world into believing your idea is great. Count your losses and move onto another project.
Here is an analogy: You are fishing. If you throw one line out with a certain bait and wait for fish to bite, you could potentially catch a keeper on the first cast or you could catch nothing at all. Instead, if you throw out multiple lines with different types of bait, your chances of catching that big keeper go up considerably. If the bait does not work, then stop using it and wasting your time. If it does work then exhaust it for as long as you can.
There is no difference in your professional and business life than there is with fishing like in the above example. Start multiple part time small businesses with various ideas you might have. Throw the lines out there in the world and see what bites. Some lines will result in just small fish or nothing at all. THAT IS OKAY! Expect it! But one or two of those lines could pay off big time and result in keeper after keeper. This is how fisherman perfect their art and you shouldn’t be any different when starting a side business.
The most important question you need to ask yourself before starting or expanding a business is “are my services needed?” This is what the world needs!
Look around your geographical area. Look at your proposed target market. Do these potential patients truly need your services? Here are a few points to determine if your idea is worthwhile to pursue or not:
- Does my service fix a problem in my patients’ life? If so, are people willing to spend cash or insurance on it? For most individuals, general primary care is not justifiable to pay cash for as most have insurance and expect it to pay for this. Same goes with urgent care. Figure out what is very problematic for people that is not covered by insurance yet is important enough for people to pay for it with cash. THIS IS KEY. Cash is king.
- What is my competition? Again, this is critical. If there are 6 med spas in your city, is it truly needed? Are there 10 other home visit services? If there is significant competition in your area, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY OR TIME. That line will only result in very few fish. The fish are used to that old bait.
- How big is the market? Are you fishing in a tiny pond or on a large lake? Multiple lines in a small pond will result in over saturation and the fish will get used to the baits. It might work at first but after time it will fizzle out. Only the occasional new fish will bite. It is very important for you to determine if your service can help many people in a large geographical area. This is why telemedicine is such a great side business! The larger the lake, the more fish can bite and the more lines you can cast.
- Can it be achieved relatively fast? By this I mean is it a skill that you already know or can learn relatively quickly and cheaply? I took no courses on testosterone replacement therapy. I read guidelines and what other people were doing and pursued it. It took a few weeks of dedicated study. Pretty easy and it was free. It was like digging in dirt and getting an earth worm. That line and bait resulted in many big keepers and it was essentially free.
Make sure these lines are cheap and can be cast and retrieved quickly. The best type of business to start is one that is cheap and can be closed just as fast as you started it. It will be difficult, stressful and very anxiety producing to start expensive businesses that fail. Trust me, I have been there.
Cast multiple lines with cheap bait out into the world. Keep the lines that bite and result in keepers and disregard the lines that result in no catches. Let the world tell you what they want!