I often get asked how to get to the point of having a successful LNC business. Your definition of a successful LNC business may be different than mine. When I sold my LNC business, I was billing more than a million dollars a year for the last 5 years I owned the company.
Here’s what I learned that you may find useful.
1. If at all possible, create your business launch so that you are not under pressure to make a profit right away. It takes more time than you would expect to market and start attracting clients. When I started Med League, my husband was bringing in enough money that I could take my time and be self-employed through teaching nurses, consulting with hospitals, and expert witness work. Gradually I centered on working with attorneys as my primary source of business activity.
2. Learn the nuances of marketing and writing appealing copy for brochures and websites. Your prospect is bombarded with information. You have to capture that person’s attention quickly and in a compelling way. I have studied this aspect of running a business and invested thousands of dollars in courses, mentors, and books to learn more about marketing. The more you understand about marketing, the more comfortable and confident you feel.
3. Pick the right service that fits your strengths.
Know what you are good at and recognize that it cannot be at all aspects of running a business. Find others to help you.
4. Never stop marketing and don’t rely on only one client for work.
5. Pay attention to relationships. Your clients want to work with people they know, like and trust. Look for ways to build strong relationships with your clients so that they would not dream of working with another person.
6. Use honest and ethical business practices. You have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and be proud of your ethics. Your clients will respect you for being ethical.
7. Avoid borrowing money if you can.
Use your revenues, not loans, to invest in your business such as upgrading your computer equipment.
8. Charge reasonable fees that the market will bear. Do not join the rush to the bottom to undercut your competitors. You will destroy your business by performing work at the lowest rate on the market, find it impossible to raise fees, and run out of money.
9. “Hire slowly, fire quickly.” There is a great deal of wisdom in that expression. Carefully screen employees. A typo on a resume is enough for me to set it aside. I have fired employees for absenteeism, incompetence, and poor attitude. Be grateful when a marginal employee quits. Although it causes short term disruption, it is far better for a person to self-select out of your system. Don’t tolerate marginal work performance. There are far better people looking for work.
10. Use financial and security controls in your business. Avoid providing embezzlement and theft opportunities. Allow only extremely trustworthy employees to access bank accounts. Be very careful about allowing employees to remotely access your server.
Someone could secure a laptop or desktop computer in an employee’s home and gain access to the company’s data. And if that employee quits or gets fired, how will you keep your data safe?
11. Your employees are not your friends. Do not be overly generous. Be fair, be aware of the labor laws, and be careful with benefits and bonuses.
12. Starting and running a successful LNC business is hard and not for everyone. Be prepared to sacrifice, to work long hours and to continuously learn. Entrepreneurship gets into your blood as you begin to experience the joys of being your own boss.
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Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC is the president of the Pat Iyer Group, and founder of a successful LNC business she sold in 2015.