Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.
This is part two of a three-part series which provides business tips for new NP entrepreneurs.
If you’re a new NP entrepreneur, chances are you will encounter a few bumps while starting your business. This isn’t something to be fearful of, as challenges in business are all part of the journey. However, each setback does provide room for growth, and oftentimes you can turn something you perceive as a negative into a positive experience.
Having started several businesses myself, I’ve created this three-part series which provides tips for new NP entrepreneurs. If you haven’t read my first article, you can access it here. In this second article, I’ll be sharing an additional three tips for those of you who are new to the business world.
Study business subjects
For the past few years I’ve self-educated myself extensively on a variety of subjects related to business. I’ve purchased courses and books in multiple areas including tax and legal, finance, marketing, and so much more. I also consume as much free content on these subjects as I can. If someone has a YouTube video or a free online course, you better believe that I’ll watch it! By putting in the time and effort to educate myself on these subjects that I had no formal training in, I’ve really set myself up to be in a good place to manage my business.
Don’t pay 100% up front for any service
A few years ago I had the not-so-great idea of starting a telemedicine business. I started the endeavor without any real business or telemedicine experience, and dove into it full force. I had a little bit of money saved, and I used it all in creating the business. I hired someone to do the credentialing for me to be able to accept multiple insurances. This was my first mistake, as looking back it would have been much easier to only accept private pay.
The person that I hired to get me credentialed reached out to me after I posted a Craigslist ad. Her fee was $1000 up front to get me on multiple insurance plans. I thought this was a great deal and quickly sent her the money. However, as you can probably guess, the credentialing didn’t get done and she ended up avoiding my calls and emails. If you have to give a down payment up front, do not put down any more than 50%. A contractor asking for 100% up front should be a red flag. The rest of the money that will be paid once the job is completed will keep your contractor motivated to finish the job successfully. Also, make sure to put any agreement in writing, and this should be signed by both parties.
As a new business owner you probably won’t have much of a budget to outsource work. Since you’ll be building a majority of the business yourself, you’ll wear many hats and learn an incredible amount along the way. However, once you have some money to put into the business, and you’ve realized you need help, it’s good to delegate some of the work to others.
Some areas where you may need assistance include web design, marketing, and perhaps an administrative assistant to help you with your numerous tasks. However, what you need and who you will hire depends on your specific business. Make sure to find people who are easy to work with and bring new ideas for growth to the business. A website such as Fivver can be a good place to start to look for people to hire virtually.
I hope that you’ve taken away some valuable information from these tips for new NP business owners. Hopefully you can avoid several of the mistakes that I’ve made to better set yourself up for success within your business. In my next article, I’ll be sharing three more tips for NPs who are interested in starting a business.
Nadia Santana, DNP, FNP-BC is a nurse practitioner, author, and business owner. She founded The Nurse Practitioner Mentorship Project which is an online non-clinical mentoring business for future and current NPs. She is also a published author of “The Ultimate Nurse Practitioner Guidebook.” Visit her online at www.nadiasantana.com and on Instagram @soulofsantana.