Mistakes to Avoid in Start Ups as a Nurse Entrepreneur Business Owner
Over the past 2 decades in business as a serial entrepreneur, and as the President of the National Nurses in Business Association, there are several mistakes I have observed and seen repeated. I have firsthand experience in making some of these same mistakes, so here’s how nurses can be better prepared to in starting their business.
1. Putting the cart before the horse – is an idiom for doing things in the wrong order, as in spending money before knowing that money will be available. Complete your product first. Examples are going all in on social media events, investing in Facebook, LinkedIn or TikTok before your product is ready. Stop purchasing cameras, and microphones, being consumed into websites, (guilty here), social platforms, and every distraction possible before you have a finished product. To create an effective marketing strategy and plan, put first things first, by completing the product, offering or program. Many times the completed offering reveals what platforms are best suited, and you won’t waste time, energy and money on ineffective marketing efforts.
2. Not conducting market analysis and product feasibility – are there competitors that have the same target audience that are successful? What business model are they using? Is there a high enough number of potential customers that purchase your offering to allow you to secure the income to meet your goals and or lifestyle? Here’s an example: In in the mid-90s, our company provided decision support software for insurance companies, self-insured and third-party administrators that identified fraudulent medical billings. We both licensed and provided SaaS to these companies with deep pockets. I wanted to provide the same medical bill review and savings results for the average American. The mid-90s were well before most Americans could go online to identify medical billing errors, it was before people learned they needed health advocates and they still trusted their providers. Market analysis and product feasibility proved it wasn’t until 2010 when individuals were comfortable seeking assistance with medical billing review and audit. When it comes to marketing, it cannot be stressed enough to understand the customer so well that your service is the perfect fit and sells itself.
3. Business model isn’t proven – A business model is how you make money. Sometimes it is referred to as a revenue model. Common ones are Service, Subscription, Direct Sales, Franchise, Manufacture and Ecommerce. What model will serve you best with your business and with your customers? Just be sure that the business model you use is proven. Finances are not an area you want to experiment with.
4. Not factoring in client acquisition costs (CAC)– this refers to the resources and costs incurred to acquire an additional customer. Customer acquisition cost is a key business metric to measure value generated by a new customer. By using CAC, your business is able to determine the most cost-effective way to acquire customers. A business that does not understand CAC could adversely affect profitability by choosing ineffective marketing avenues.
5. Not providing client retention strategies – It costs six times more to get a new client than to sell something additional to a current client. Once you have a sale you are top of mind with the customer and you need to develop procedures, activities and additional services to stay top of mind. Providing excellent customer service develops the relationship and sets your business up to become more profitable.
6. Pricing and Profitability analysis – many nurses starting out don’t realize how important correct pricing is and how it affects overall profitability. It’s best to understand your costs before selecting a pricing strategy. It is helpful to know a *minimum* price so you’ll be able to get your target margin. In your business you may want to have value pricing instead of cost pricing plus. Regardless of your pricing methodology, be aware of your costs to insure you are able to have sustainable profit margins.
7. Making the process simple, getting out of the way of the yes – Many times, the customer knows they want the product, but the process is so cumbersome that halfway through the purchase they bail out. You must make it as easy as possible for the customer to give you money. Frankly, a lot of systems businesses put in place obstructs the sale versus facilitating it. Review your payment processes, make it simple, clear and fast. Get out of the way of the yes!
You can dive deeper into how nurses become entrepreneurs and how nurses succeed in business by joining the National Nurses in Business Association. We have the pathways, solutions, insights, and experts at www.NursesBusiness.com. Plan to join us in Las Vegas August 3-5th for the #1 Nurse Entrepreneur’s Conference.
© 2023 Michelle Podlesni, National Nurses in Business Association. All rights reserved.
The National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) is the premier nursing organization for nurse entrepreneurs, and a springboard for nurses transitioning from traditional nursing to business ownership, and self-employment. The NNBA provides valuable business information customized for nurses, insight into healthcare industry trends, mentoring, and continued education in your professional growth and career development.