CLNC Consultant Lynn Belcher Discusses How She Grows Her Legal Nurse Consulting Business with CLNC Subcontractors*
Video – Lynn Belcher, RN, BSN, MHA, CLNC
Vickie: This is Lynn Belcher, Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Lynn, I wanted to talk to you today because of one of the things I stress in the CLNC Certification Program is creating an alliance of other CLNC consultants and you’ve done that. You’ve got 10 other CLNC consultants that you subcontract with, and who are in alliance with you to help build your legal nurse consulting business. Tell us a little bit about how you created that alliance and what your focus is.
I was waiting when the attorney said ‘Okay, so what do you charge?’ I told him ‘$150/hour’ and he never blinked an eye and I went ‘Okay, it works!’
Lynn: Initially, I was thinking about myself, being a CLNC consultant and going into business. Some of my close nursing friends said “I’d love to do that!” I said, “If you commit the time and obtain your CLNC certification (which is a commitment of money), we can form that alliance and work as subcontractors with each other.” I started out with one subcontractor. And then it was two. Then I listened to your webinar on “24 Nursing Specialties Attorneys Need” and I thought “I don’t have all those specialties.” So I started going out and asking people if they were interested and just about everybody said “I’ve always thought about becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.”
Vickie: Isn’t that amazing! And what I love about what you’re doing is that you’re setting the business up to be bigger than you and your individual specialty. You said something earlier today, you didn’t want competitors to get these cases. You want to keep it within your realm and you’re able to do that by having CLNC consultants in a variety of specialties.
Lynn: That has worked well because I don’t have a specialty per se. I was in administration for a very long time, overseeing a lot of the people who are now CLNC subcontractors with me. If I’m working on case and I have a particular aspect of that case that I’m good at, but I know one of the other consultants is really good in the world of babies or ICU or whatever, then we can consult together on that case. We do it as “I need you to expend some hours looking at this case. I’ll look at the documentation piece, you look at the treatment piece.” It has worked out really well to never get stuck on a case.
Vickie: Absolutely, I was subcontracting on my third case. It’s going to happen whether you want to or not. The need is going to be there because attorneys see that you’re a nurse and they’re going to believe that you can help them with pretty much any type of case. But you’re smart not to try to handle it all by yourself. I also love that you said that you can see, in the future, when you’ve got a team that’s working on the cases, that you’ll be the one who is just going out and getting the business.
Lynn: Absolutely. I would have no problem with that. One of the biggest questions the subcontractors had is “How are you going to decide who gets the cases?” I answered “A lot of it will depend on specialty.” I think they were afraid that because I’m starting this, that I was going to just take the cream off the top and they’d just get little pieces of the business. In reality I said I’d be okay if I never did a case and you guys are working on the cases as my CLNC subcontractors. In any case, the business is making money whether I’m doing the cases or they are. I added it up one day that if I had 10 nurses and they were all working on cases then the business was making about $500/hour or more.
Vickie: Yes, because you charge about $150/hour, is that right?
Lynn: Absolutely. I will tell you I was scared to say that on my first interview with an attorney. I was waiting when the attorney said “Okay, so what do you charge?” I told him “$150/hour” and he never blinked an eye and I went “Okay, it works!”
Vickie: Maybe the next attorney is $175!
Lynn: Exactly! So a 10% increase every year?
Vickie: 3-5% depending upon the attorney.
Lynn: The other thing I wanted to say to you is that I took your word as my gospel and my guide. Everything you said about doing something every day, being quiet after they ask how much you charge and you tell them $150/hour. All those things are what have made me successful as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. I have not deviated from the plan and haven’t had to.
Vickie: Thank you. We do give you the plan, but the bottom-line is that you’re the one who’s taking that information, making it yours and really doing something with it. So congratulations and thank you so much Lynn.
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