From Nurse to Business Owner: Strategies to Succeed, Part 4

From Nurse to Business Owner: Strategies to Succeed, Part 4

We’ve covered a lot of information over the last few weeks, but there’s still more to cover when starting your own business. There are two major issues that need to be addressed before you can officially start your business endeavor.

Estimating Potential Start-up Costs

How much money do you think you need for your business? Will you need specific supplies? Will you work out of your home or in an office? Will you have to hire contractors or employees for certain aspects of your business? If you’re not sure what you need for your business, you will need to do research to get an idea of the money you need.

There are many businesses that require low start-up costs and some that require substantially more. It’s important to estimate your start-up costs as accurate as possible so you don’t experience any unpleasant surprises along the way.

There are many things you have to consider when estimating your start-up costs:

  • Office space (will you work from home or do you need to rent an office space?) and supplies
  • Employees: How many employees will you need to pay?
  • Your products and services you will offer- how much do they cost to make or acquire? What supplies do you need for this aspect of your business?
  • Marketing materials (website- (a must!), brochures, ads, business cards, etc.)
  • Living expenses (this is a big one!) Do you plan on taking time off of your current job to get your business up and running? Or do you plan on quitting your full time job and forging “full steam” ahead on your new business? Factor the aspect of (potential) time away from your current job into your start-up expenses.
  • Licensing, credentialing, and certification fees if applicable
  • Insurance (Health and liability)
  • Fees related to your business structure (more on this in the next section)
  • Miscellaneous, incidental costs- (save for this like your personal emergency fund.) I suggest adding at least 10% to your estimated business expense total for incidental costs.

Plan Your Business Structure

This is the final, but most important, step you will need to take care of in order to make your business official. After evaluating your business plan you will need to decide which legal structure is best for your business.

Are you going to be a one man show or do you need a team of employees in order to get the business up and running? You need to decide which business structure lends itself well to your needs and the needs of your business. There are pros and cons of each. Here’s a brief overview of business structures:

  • Sole proprietorship: This is the easiest business structure to form. If you are the business’ only employee, this may be the structure you want to set up. It is the least expensive of all structures to establish. As a sole proprietorship you have complete control of the business and don’t have to consult with anyone as you will with the other business structures. In addition, the tax burden is lower with a sole proprietorship.
  • Corporation: Businesses under corporations are independent legal entities owned by shareholders. The corporation, not the shareholders that own it, is held legally liable for the actions and debts the business incurs. Corporations can offer to sell shares of their business to the general public.
  • S Corporation: A S corporation is a special type of corporation that allows avoidance of double taxation (once to the corporation and again to the shareholders). It is intended to limit the financial liability the owner or shareholder is responsible for.
  • Partnership: A partnership is a business where two or more people share ownership and they each contribute to all aspects of the business. This includes money, property, labor and skill. In addition, each partner shares in the profits and losses of the business.
  • Cooperative: According to, a cooperative is managed by an elected board of directors and officers while regular members have voting powers to control the direction of the cooperative. Cooperative business structures are common in health care, retail, agriculture, art, and restaurant industries.
  • Limited liability company (LLC): According to, a limited liability company is a hybrid business structure bringing together the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership. A LLC business structure can consist of one or more members.

As you can see, this list isn’t detailed enough or you to make an informed decision about business structures. Visit for more information on choosing the right structure for your business.

This concludes the From Nurse to Business Owner: Strategies to Succeed series. By this point you should feel more confident about your journey moving from nurse to business owner. If you have always envisioned starting your own business, start planning for your business venture now. Remember-your current results are a direct reflection of your beliefs, mindset, knowledge, skills and actions.

In addition to working as a RN, Nachole Johnson is a freelance copywriter and an author with her first book, You’re a Nurse and Want to Start Your Own Business? The Complete Guide, to be released later this year. Visit her ReNursing blog at

From Nurse to Business Owner: Strategies to Succeed, Part 3

From Nurse to Business Owner: Strategies to Succeed, Part 3

You have a great business idea, now’s the time to focus on cultivating your special place in the business world. There are a few steps involved with this process.

Develop your Niche

What is a niche? There are actually two definitions of a niche and both apply to you as a future business owner. The first definition involves finding a suitable position for you as a business owner. This goes back to finding your passions in life, realizing what you’re good at, and figuring out what you are going to do with this information- or as I call it, deciding what you want to do “when you grow up.”

The second definition comes when you know what you want to do in business, but just want to set yourself apart from the competition. A niche is something specialized- which in turn, can be very profitable for a business owner.

Say for instance you want to open a home health agency. There’s nothing extraordinary about opening a home health agency, but what if your business specializes in pediatric pulmonary patients? If you were the parent of a child with pulmonary problems, wouldn’t you want to go with a specialized home health agency rather than a general agency?

Specializing sets you apart from other businesses.

Developing your niche will keep you going when times get rough and will also help your business stand out from the competition.

Educate Yourself

This is an important step not to be overlooked. Education is needed for any successful business owner. Education will also help you develop and execute the proper niche for your business. Take a look at your potential competition- what are they doing that works? How can you change or improve upon with your own business?

These answers lie within your own self-education. In whatever type of business you plan to pursue, you must educate yourself in order to provide your customers with high quality service. Read books on your specialty. Take classes for credentials. Go to conferences. Find a mentor already in the business and pick their brains. These are all ways to gain valuable information for your new business so it will be profitable and successful.

Develop Products and Services

All business offer specific products and services to their customers. Have you decided what products or services you will offer your customers?

Make a list of potential products and services you could offer to your customers. One major variable that will affect your list will be your target market. We haven’t spoke about a target market yet, but it’s basically the type of customer your business is intended for.

Will your business focus on patients? Family of the patient?  Physicians?  The general public? It’s important you determine your target market for your business. Once you decide your target market it will be easier to pinpoint the types of products and services you can offer.

After you make a list of products and services estimate how much you will price them. There are a few aspects you need to factor into the price. Determine how much value your product or service will bring to the customer. Also take into consideration how much it will cost for you to obtain the product or develop the service.  Subtract that from what you intend to sell it for and you get your profit margin. Remember- you want to make a profit too!

By this point you should know what type of business you want to start, how to develop your niche, why education is so important in business, and what products and services you will offer to your target consumers. You’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks!

Next week we’ll wrap up the From Nurse to Business Owner: Strategies to Succeed series with two very important steps: estimating potential start-up costs and selecting a legal structure for your business.

In addition to working as a RN, Nachole Johnson is a freelance copywriter and an author with her first book, You’re a Nurse and Want to Start Your Own Business? The Complete Guide, to be released later this year. Visit her ReNursing blog at