Building a thriving 6-figure Nursing business in 4 months might sound unbelievable, but it’s not only possible, it’s done all the time. If you have expertise in a subject area, you have a potential business on your hands!
If you want to sell products, start a clinic, do consulting, brand yourself as a speaker, author, expert, etc., you need to start at step 1 and build a solid foundation.
In previous posts on The NursePreneur Blog, I have talked about determining whether you are an expert in something, gauging whether you are ready to start a Nursing business and if you are in the right mindset to get started.
But for a quick review, some of the absolute minimum prerequisites to get started in building a Nursing business are:
- An unrelenting desire to start a business
- The belief that your business can be successful
- Time and effort to devote to the process
These may seem obvious, but you would be amazed at the number of people who spend time and a lot of money to start up businesses they don’t believe in and who don’t actually want to put all that much effort into the business.
If you want to get your business off the ground in the next 4 months, you must be willing to commit at least 10 hours a week working on the various parts that need to be set up.
The parts of your business are not going to magically come together just because you want them to. However, there is a systematic approach you can employ if you want to roll up your sleeves and get it done.
I see several major phases of the start-up business.
The first phase is what I call the “Business Building”. This is the MOST important and fragile time of a business. People can spend weeks, months and years in this phase.
I don’t want you to spend years in this phase. What you need to do is define your business concept in this phase. Prodding on to the other 3 phases is pointless until you are solid in this first phase. If you leave phase 1 prematurely you will start building upon a shaky foundation that could lead to disaster or failure of your business.
There are several parts to defining your business:
- Do a brain dump
- Arrange the concepts into groups
- Market research
A brain dump is essentially when you take all of your ideas of your head and dump them onto paper.
Some people use mindmaps or other computer software, but I suggest you get a large whiteboard and a bunch of sticky notes and lay out every business idea you have ever had, even if none of them are related.
Once you have completed the brain dump, arrange the individual concepts into groups that are similar or remove ideas that don’t fit or you don’t really want to pursue.
When you have 2-3 major piles of ideas, begin to explore how they fit together.
Take the 2-3 ideas and do market research to find out which idea has the hungriest audience.
The hungriest audience is the one who is underserved or not served at all. This will likely be a niche within your audience.
For instance, there are a crazy number of personal trainers out there, which does not have a hungry market. But how many personal trainers work with patients who have spinal disease or brain injury?
Part of your market research is to look up what people are searching for on the web. You can do this with a tool like Keyword Tool Domination (KTD). KTD lets you put in a word such as “brain injury” and it will show you what people are searching to find on google.
For example, when I use the term “brain injury” the top searches on google for this term are for “brain injury” and association, blog, books, effects and exercise. By using something like KTD, you know if you have an audience immediately. If you want to be a personal trainer with brain injured patients, according to Google you have a market!
Many people dabble in various elements of business without ever building the foundation, then give up claiming internet marketing doesn’t work, they were never meant to be a business owner or worse yet, their idea was no good.
One fundamental piece of business I teach that I really want to stress here is it’s not about your idea.
Never take business ideas back to your personal identity or self-worth. Business is about finding out what the market wants and then using your expertise to deliver it. Period.
If you come into a market place with only your ideas, you will struggle and likely fail. This isn’t a personal rejection of you. It’s bad business practices.
However, there is a systematic method of building an Nursing business that you need to employ.
Once you can describe your idea with clarity and you have tested it in the market, then the second phase of business is setting up the Sales Funnel.
What is a sales funnel? This is when you take your business idea and market it on the internet in exchange for email addresses or “leads”. You can have the most amazing business concept, but if no one knows about it, then it essentially is just your hobby and not your business.
Setting up a sales funnel is about giving an audience a taste of what you are offering. The sales funnel can be set up rather simply and then can become extremely complex.
To start, the sales funnel can be as simple as setting up an account with an email service provider such as Aweber or Mailchimp. You must have an email service provider to avoid infringing on anti-Spam laws. A
weber is about $19/month, but Mailchimp is free, so there is really no excuse not to have one.
The first thing you need to do after coming up with your business idea, even before you have a website or a product, is setting up your email service provider.
The essence of a sales funnel is to capture traffic that comes to your website, landing page, Facebook page, etc. The people who will buy from you are people who know, trust and like you.
You need to be able to engage with people who visit any site you put up and in order to engage them. But first you need to know who they are and the only way to know who they are is if they identify themselves by giving you their email address.
Setting up the sales funnel first ensures you don’t miss a single potential customer to your website. Why would someone give you their email address? It’s a good question you need to answer. What can you offer someone who is at your site in exchange for their email address? The answer is a lead magnet, which we will address in the next section.
The third phase of your business is about intense content writing. In order for people to know, trust and like you, they have to get to know you. Comfort level comes from reading about you, reading your blog, watching your videos and consuming free information that you provide. At this stage, you should start building your website.
I would recommend outlining at least 10 blog posts to put on your website that are all related to your product or service. This is not the time to be random. If you are interested in a topic that doesn’t relate to your product or service, come back to that later. You will also need to build a landing page and a sales page.
A landing page is where you can drive traffic from facebook or twitter, or anywhere really. A landing page is a one page HTML site that explains ONE thing. The landing page can be where you deliver your lead magnet or if you post something to facebook you can either link the person to a landing page.
The landing page is preferable, because it will focus on that ONE topic, as opposed to the reader getting sidetracked with other things on your website. Of course you will have a link to your website on the landing page, so after the person has read what you wanted them to, they can surf your blog.
A sales page is a type of landing page where you sell your product or service. You can do this on your blog, but it’s much easier and cleaner to build a sales page.
Never Ever drive people you don’t know to a sales page. This is really poor marketing and not how business is being done on the Internet.
First you engage your audience, get to know them and then you can send them to a sales page. It’s kind of like dating. Most people would be turned off by someone who tried to kiss them at the introduction.
There is a process of getting to know someone, liking them and trusting them. And then you can see if you can take it farther! This may take 1 date or 5 dates or many, many dates. Maintain that same understanding in your relationships with potential customers.
To get people to trust you, it’s essential to over deliver value in the form of educational products, knowledge and advice on whatever your expertise is in.
One of the first ways to deliver trust is through a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a token gift you give someone in exchange for an email. See it is like dating!
Someone says something to you to get your attention, you interact briefly, the other person asks you for your phone number and you either like what’s being offered or don’t, or maybe you aren’t sure yet and you will come back later. The better the lead magnet, the more likely a person will opt-in and give you their email address.
A lead magnet can be as simple to as complex as you want, it just needs to be compelling:
1. Get notified of upcoming events
2. Join my Facebook page to get the latest updates
3. Download a checklist of how to get started
4. Download my free mindmap on starting a business
5. Read my new e-book on starting a business.
This can go on and on. Again, use Google to determine what your lead magnet should be.
Taking the brain injury and exercise example, you might consider writing a one-page checklist on “how to know when you are ready to exercise again after brain injury”.
Or you could say “download my video which shows you how to do these 3 valuable exercises after brain injury”. The lead magnet can be anything, but since it’s the first interaction with you, it should be high quality material, where you overdeliver and earn the potential customer’s trust.
This will brand your company with quality, which carries a high trust value. Trust is really important in buying psychology. So you need to build the trust from the outset.
Branding also comes in the visual design of your website, landing pages and lead magnets.
You will be judged on the quality of what you produce. If you have a website that is chaotic and confusing, people are more likely to bounce from it. If on the other hand you have a neat, simple design, people will think it’s more professionally done.
Look at some websites out there and start getting a feel for what appeals to you and what absolutely doesn’t. It matters!
The final piece of branding is having decent photography. If you are going to have a professional business, you can’t have pictures of you from 10 years ago, or pictures of you cropped out from a group of friends.
This isn’t acceptable on Twitter or Linked In and it’s certainly not acceptable for a professional website.
Spend the money to have a personal branding photographer take pictures of you so you have a head shot to use and some additional photos to place on your website. You can also use them in your media page. (Yes, you need a media page too.)
People love to get to know you and feel like they know you. Having pictures of yourself, telling stories in your blog, posting videos, all these things will speed launch the trust factor.
Which leads me the fourth phase of building your business – social media attention. Again, if you launch a beautiful website and everything is perfect and in place, but only you and you mother visit the site, then you have a hobby, plain and simple.
You do not officially have a business until you make your first sale.
This is a very important concept to understand! This process is an experimental hobby until you make your first sale!
The reason I’m saying this to you is because many people will spend the next year making their website perfect and will never feel ready to launch because something else still needs to be done.
If this is just a hobby, then that is fine, you can spend the next 5 years perfecting your craft.
But if you want to launch a business you need to move fast and get your product up quickly. This process costs time and money – the two most valuable things in life!
So don’t dilly-dally on perfection. You need to move beyond perfection. Your audience will not appreciate sloppiness but they will also not appreciate your perfection. You can tweak along the way. Your main goal is to get your product or service to market.
There are many ways to drive traffic to your website. I have read the top 100 ways to drive traffic, 501 ways, etc. I have also taken courses on Facebook marketing, instagram, pinterest, twitter, webinars, etc.
I’m going to tell you that you can spend a lifetime learning all this stuff but I’m guessing you don’t have a social media department in your business yet. Social Media manager is a full time job and can be exhausting.
Here is the good news, you only need to focus on 2 platforms in the beginning. If you want to create a social media department down the line, that is great, but when you are just getting started, there are only 2 places to spend your time.
First is Facebook. With over 1.6 billion users, if you can’t find a market on Facebook, you have bigger issues. There is an art to engaging people on Facebook and placing ads that is worth learning about.
Start by building out your fan page, post your blog articles to Facebook and design visually stimulating ads to drive traffic to your business. Remember Facebook is a social platform, so your ads should be social, not sales-y.
The second platform is Twitter. Ughhh, maybe you are saying. Don’t understand or get Twitter? Well if you want any exposure of your business in the media or with influencers, you have to learn this system.
You will need to build a list of influencers in your field of interest and make a list of journalists that cover your space. Then follow them on Twitter for several weeks.
Eventually you will want to reach out to the journalists or influencers, but much like dating, you must have a good opening, a purpose and be interesting. It’s important to know what the journalist is interested in and what area s/he covers.
Don’t waste your time and the journalists’ time for matches that don’t make sense.
This list of 4 phases is overwhelming for sure. It’s not a simple and easy process by any means. Even business owners who have done this for years will tell you how frustrating and confusing the process can be. But there is a systematic method every business should follow when getting started.
If you have the drive and ambition to start your own business, then hard work and dedication won’t be barriers for you. But becoming overwhelmed and lost can shut down even the best ideas very quickly. Working through a systematic method, step-by-step will keep you laser focused and on the road to success.