Below you will learn the key steps to starting a nurse consulting firm.
10 Steps to Starting a Legal Nurse Consulting Firm
1. Conduct Market Research To Determine Demand
An important step to starting a legal nurse consulting practice is conducting market research. To begin, you must learn what services your clients want and how much they are willing to pay for them. There are two ways you can go about conducting this research:
- Survey your target market. This can be done by sending out a survey to nurses in your area or by posting it on social media.
- Look for industry trends. Keep an eye on what’s happening in the nursing industry and look for opportunities to offer services that aren’t being offered by other legal nurse consultants.
Once you have analyzed the survey data, determine which types of businesses are likely to hire you and how much they are willing to pay. Use this information to set your consulting prices.
2. Name Your Nurse Consulting Firm
Once you have analyzed your market and determined what services clients want, it’s time to name your nurse consulting firm. While naming a business can be difficult, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Keep it Short: Your business name needs to be short enough for clients to remember and say.
- Keep it Relevant: Your business name should be relevant to the nurse services you offer and your target market’s needs.
- Keep it Memorable: Using clever ideas and words, help your audience connect with your business.
- Focus on Your Target Market: Make sure that whoever sees or hears your company name understands who you are targeting as clients.
Read our article about choosing the right business name.
3. Choose Your Business Structure and Set-Up Your Company’s Legal Entity
As with any business, the type of legal entity you set up is critical. After all, you want your company to be treated as a separate entity, not just an extension of yourself. There are several types of structures in which you can start your nurse consulting company. Three popular options are sole proprietorship, S-corporation and LLC (limited liability company).
- Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is one in which the business and the owner are considered to be one entity. Therefore, you are personally responsible for all debts and liabilities your nurse consulting firm may incur. One benefit of this type of structure is that it’s easy to set up and there are no formal filings required.
- S-Corporation: An S corporation is a type of C Corporation that was designed by the IRS to help small corporations minimize their paperwork while still gaining many of the tax benefits of incorporating. It also offers protection for business owners in case of lawsuits and other liabilities.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a structure in which the company is considered a separate legal entity from its owners. This means that the company is responsible for its own debts and liabilities. This type of structure offers protection for business owners in case of lawsuits.
Read our article comparing the most common consulting business structures.
4. Write a Nurse Consulting Business Plan
A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and how you plan to achieve them. For a nurse consulting company, your business plan should include the following:
- Business Description: Describe what your company does, who your target market is, and how you will differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Industry & Market Analysis: Detail your research on the industry and what services clients are most likely to want.
- Financial Plan: Outline your estimated income and expenses for the next three to five years.
Other sections of your plan will answer other key questions such as the following:
- What are your areas of expertise?
- What services can you offer your clients?
- Who is your target audience?
- How will you differentiate yourself from the competition?
Your business plan should also include several sections that detail your company’s history, current financial situation, and future goals. These sections will allow an investor to learn more about your company before they commit to investing in it.
Read our article about how to write a consulting business plan.
5. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
You must register your nurse consulting business as a legal entity with the state in which you plan to do business.
To file your business with the state, obtain the necessary forms from the Secretary of State’s website or local County Clerk’s office. You will be required to pay a small fee for filing your business with the state.
Registering with the federal government may or may not be required. You can register your business on the federal level by obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
Read our article about obtaining the proper consulting business licenses.
6. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
As with any business, you will need to use your own capital to finance the initial stages of your nurse consulting company. Your budget may also include several other costs including marketing expenses and the salary you wish to pay yourself.
After determining how much money you will invest in starting your business, review some options for financing your business. Here are several financing options that may be available to you:
- SBA Loans: The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that provides financial assistance to small businesses in the U.S.
- Bank Loans: Many small business owners are able to secure loans from their local banks. Often, you can borrow money for any purpose that relates to the growth of your company.
- Friends and Family: You can consider getting loans and/or equity investments from friends and family members..
- Angel investors: Angel investors may provide debt or equity funding to you.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a consulting business to help you determine if funding is needed.
7. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Nurse Consulting Company Efficiently
As a nurse consulting firm, you will need different types of technology to complete projects and keep track of your company’s operations. To simplify the process of starting a consulting business, we’ve provided a list below detailing some items that you’ll need:
Computers: Even if most of your work is done remotely with clients on the other side of the country or world, you will need at least one computer that is dedicated to your nurse consulting company.
Software: Software is an essential component of any consulting business. The right software can help you manage projects, track expenses, and communicate with clients more effectively.
Here are some popular software platforms that may be beneficial to your business:
- Microsoft Office: This software suite includes a variety of applications that can help you manage your company, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- QuickBooks: This software is designed for small businesses and can help you track income and expenses, create invoices, and manage payroll.
- Basecamp: This project management software can help you manage multiple projects simultaneously and keep track of deadlines and milestones.
- Gmail: Google’s email platform offers several features that can be helpful for businesses, including the ability to access the same email from multiple devices.
- CRM: Customer relationship management software can help you track customer communication, manage leads, and create reports that detail your sales activities.
Other nurse consulting software may include time tracking software, medical billing software, and EMR/EHR software.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run a consulting business.
8. Market Your Nurse Consulting Firm to Potential Clients
Once you’ve established your nurse consulting company, the next step is to market it to potential clients.
Here are some common marketing strategies used for nurse consulting firms:
- Networking: Meeting people in person and building relationships is an essential part of marketing your business. Attend local networking events, join relevant online groups, and connect with potential clients on social media.
- Website: A professional website is a must for any nurse consulting firm. It should include an overview of your company’s services, biographies of the team members, case studies, and client testimonials.
- Marketing Materials: Creating high-quality marketing materials (e.g., brochures, fact sheets, white papers) can help you generate leads and explain the benefits of your services to potential clients.
- Online marketing: Marketing your business online, such as through a business website and pay-per-click and/or social media marketing, can help you reach a larger audience looking for your services.
You should also consider ways to incentivize potential clients to choose you over another nurse consulting firm. Some incentives that work well include:
- Lower rates: Many consulting businesses offer lower rates on their services to attract new clients.
- Discounts on services: Offering discounts on certain projects may help you win bids against other companies.
- Free consultation: Providing potential clients with a free consultation can help them determine if your company is the best one for their needs.
Learn more about how to market your consulting business.
9. Establish a Price Structure and Billing System
There are a few factors to consider when establishing your price structure:
- Hourly rates: Charging by the hour is a common way to price consulting services. This allows clients to budget for your services and gives you the flexibility to charge more for complex projects.
- Project rates: Charging a flat fee for a project can be beneficial for both the client and the consultant. It ensures that the client knows what they are paying upfront, and it allows the consultant to charge more for more complex projects.
- Retainers: A retainer is a set amount of money that the client pays upfront for services. This can be a good option for clients who need regular consulting services.
No matter which pricing structure you choose, be sure to clearly communicate it to your clients. Additionally, have a detailed invoice template that includes all the nurse services you provided so the client knows exactly what they are paying for.
10. Manage Client Relationships and Deliver Projects
After finding new clients and marketing your nurse consulting business, you should begin delivering the projects and getting paid. This means managing client relationships and making sure that clients are happy with your work. Some of the ways to manage relationships with your nurse clients include:
- Regular communication: Keep in touch with your clients on a regular basis, whether it’s through email, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings. This will help you stay on top of their needs and ensure that they are satisfied with your services.
- Project updates: Send project updates to your clients regularly, letting them know how the project is going and what you have accomplished so far.
- Client feedback: Get feedback from your clients after every project to ensure that they are happy with the results. Use this feedback to improve your services and make sure that you are meeting their needs.
Delivering projects on time and within budget is essential to keeping your clients happy. Here are a few tips for doing so:
- Create a project plan: A project plan will help you stay on track and ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to complete the project on time and within budget.
- Set deadlines: Meet with your clients to set deadlines for each stage of the project. This will help you stay on schedule and meet their expectations.
- Track expenses: Keep track of all the expenses associated with the project, so you can stay within budget.
Delivering projects on time and within budget is essential for a nurse consulting firm. It can be beneficial to create a project management plan that outlines how each project will be completed. This will help ensure that all deadlines are met and that the client is happy with the final product.
Learn more about how to effectively manage client relationships.
Starting a Nurse Consulting Firm FAQs
Starting a nurse consulting firm is an excellent way to generate income while assisting patients and healthcare professionals in times of need. As a nurse consultant, you also have the freedom to set your own hours and build your company environment as you prefer.
In order to start a nurse consulting firm, you will need:
- A registered nurse license
- Expertise in a clinical area
- Business knowledge and experience
- Marketing skills
The following tips can help you to start a nurse consulting company:
- Choose a niche: When starting a business, it is important to choose a niche market to target. This will help you to focus your marketing efforts and provide specialized services to your clients.
- Establish yourself as an expert: In order to be successful as a nurse consultant, it is important to establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can do this by writing articles, giving presentations, and networking with other healthcare professionals.
- Develop a business plan: A business plan is essential for any business, and a nurse consulting firm is no exception. A business plan will help you to outline your goals and how you intend to achieve them.
- Market your business: Marketing is essential for any business, and a nurse consulting firm is no exception. You will need to create a marketing plan that outlines how you will reach your target market.
- Offer training and education services: One way to grow your nurse consulting firm is to offer training and education services to nurses and other healthcare professionals. This can help you to build a reputation as an expert in your field.