IT'S ALL FREE! 4 Mistakes Independent LNCs Make

We've all seen the ads in nursing journals.  "Be your own boss!"  "Work in your pajamas!"  "Make $125 an hour!"  Can RNs really make it as independent legal nurse consultants?  Of course they can!  But not all RNs successfully make that transition.  Don't let that happen to you!  Here are four mistakes that independent LNCs make as they start their businesses, and ways you can prevent those mistakes.

1) They have unrealistic expectations and no business plan.  Many LNCs start their businesses with no goals other than to make a lot of money or to get out of bedside nursing.  They have no idea how to ACHIEVE their goals.  Business plans provide a road map from point A (where you are now) to point B (where you want your business to be in the future).  Don't worry if you don't know how to write a business plan.  SCORE has a free template for a business plan that will help you ask yourself in-depth questions about your new business.

2) They make assumptions about the reasons no one is hiring them.  New legal nurse consultants have told me they haven't been hired because they're too old, too thin, too fat, or disabled.  When I ask them how they know that's the reason, the answer has always been, "I just know."  In reality, potential clients don't hire LNCs for a myriad of reasons.  Those reasons may have nothing to do with your assumptions.  Potential clients may not need your services at that moment, or you may not have convinced them that need LNC services at all.  At the end of a meeting or phone call with a potential client, you can always ask, "How do these services look to you?" or, "Can you see yourself using a legal nurse consultant for your medical malpractice cases?"  The answers to these questions may provide answers to your hiring dilemma.

3) They don't filter their communication.  What do I mean by that?  Some new LNCs don't know when to shut up.  They launch into the reasons the firm should hire them without knowing the clients' needs and wants.  Or the LNCs solve the client's problem before the client hires them.  For example, after listening to the client's description of a case, the LNC might tell potential clients that the case described by them has merit.  Thus, the potential clients have no reason to hire the LNC.  The solution to this mistake is simple.  Listen more than you talk.  Don't make determinations about the merit of a case without looking at the medical records.

4) They don't know when to market.  Many LNCs focus on the HOW of marketing.  Different ways to market are important, of course.  However, it's just as important to know WHEN to market.  Experienced salespeople know that it may take 100 or more "No's" to get a "Yes."  I'm always amazed when I speak to new LNCs who give up their marketing efforts after an initial blitz because of lack of response.  Then they get discouraged, which further limits their marketing efforts.  Marketing needs to be constant, week in and week out.  You need to market whether you have no business or have more business than you can handle.  If you're successful enough to have overflow business, you can always hire subcontractors to help you.  

By avoiding these mistakes, you'll be on your way to an independent legal nurse consulting career.  You can do this!

...Katy Jones