We all have entrepreneurial tendencies. But what attributes make a nurse or midwife successful in establishing their own private practice?
1 – Create and build your business on a real market opportunity.
This means finding an opening with as many clients and as few competitors as possible. In a crowded market-place, ensure that your services/products have enhanced characteristics which improve the value of your service and contrast with those of your competitors
2 – Is the market big enough?
Will it last for a reasonable time? Is there doubt about the viability of your proposed business? Can those doubts be overcome?
3 – Convert some distinctive competence into a sustainable competitive advantage.
This means being different, better, or unique in some way.
4 – Change must be welcomed, not rejected or ignored.
Forward planning and the search for new opportunities all help to keep your business nimble, competitive, and profitable.
5 – Continually work to improve your business image and reputation.
6 – Strive to be the best rather than the biggest.
Pushing for size and rapid growth may undermine your critical resources.
7 – Build on strengths.
Concentrate your effort and resources on doing one or several things well, rather then diluting effort and resources by offering too many services. Get rid of unprofitable services.
8 – Recognise the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.
Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. There is little point in doing the right things the wrong way. Selling the right services to the right clients at the right price is being effective. Producing a profit is evidence of being efficient.
9 – Synthesise the various types of risks.
- The risk of being in business.
- The risk you can afford to take.
- The risk you cannot afford to take.
- The risk you cannot afford not to take.
10 – Be neither too cautious nor too impetuous.
Doing nothing is often riskier than doing something new and different.
11 – Avoid being over-dependent on others.
Being heavily dependent on too few clients for a large proportion of your business can make your business vulnerable.
12 – Keep good records.
Whether you are documenting and filing client records or charting monthly cash flow charts, it is necessary to realise that for these to be useful business resources they must be:
- appropriate and understandable
- concise and accurate
- economically produced
- up to date.
Believe in yourself and your business.
If you are not totally committed to succeeding in what you are doing, you are probably better off out of it. The rewards for those who succeed are great but the penalties for failing are painful.
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This article is an extract from Minding Your Own Business – A Nurse’s Guide to Establishing a Private Practice.
Zoe Youl is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, Nurse Planner and Event Education Manager at Ausmed Education. In this role, she manages Ausmed's Event Education Team, which coordinates the content development for Ausmed's 300+ conferences and seminars run nationally around Australia for nurses and midwives. Before commencing at Ausmed Education, Zoe worked as a Critical Care Registered Nurse in Intensive Care at a large private hospital in Melbourne. She values the ability of education to enable personal and professional growth, is a passionate teacher and has experience as a Sessional Academic teaching undergraduate nursing students. Zoe is a member of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN), the Australian Nurse Teachers Society (ANTS) and the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD). She holds a postgraduate qualification in Clinical Nursing (Intensive Care) and is currently undertaking a Master of Nursing (Leadership and Management). Zoe is committed to improving the health and lives of all people through the development of effective and meaningful education whilst also promoting the impact of unique nursing roles.