I’ve had Certified Legal Nurse Consultants say, “I love consulting with attorneys so much I’d do it for free, so I felt like I hit the lottery when I realized how handsomely I get paid for my nursing expertise.” If you think charging up to $150/hr for your legal nurse services is a prosperous venture, employ my 10 sure-fire strategies for managing the financial health of your CLNC® business and you won’t need to ever buy lottery tickets again:
- Separate your legal nurse consulting business revenue from your RN job salary. Track your CLNC business financials (both revenue and expenses) with QuickBooks or similar software or app to make your legal nurse business accountable to you. Keep business-related revenues and expenses separate and distinct from your personal finances. This data helps you to make smart business decisions.
- Project revenue and set a budget for expenses. Analyze your budget regularly to ensure you’re sticking to it. If you’ve deviated, analyze whether there was a compelling and profitable reason for the departure. For example, if you identified an exhibiting opportunity that cost $2,500 and gained two new attorney-clients (potential lifetime clients), replicating your success with more exhibiting is just plain smart.
- Treat your CLNC business as a business, not as a hobby. Most RNs starting out as Certified Legal Nurse Consultants already have an RN job, so they’re okay if they don’t create a full-time legal nurse consulting business immediately. However, to be successful you have to work your legal nurse business as though you and your family depend on it even if you don’t.
- Live beneath your income. When I started my legal nurse consulting business in 1982, I put a lot of my revenue from attorneys back into the business, not into a new car or a bigger house. What I didn’t roll into my business went to paying off my mortgage not buying more stuff. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a new computer, the most expensive printer, plush office furniture or establishing the perfect conditions from which to launch. Start where you are right now. My early investment in me and my business versus buying stuff paid off big for decades. These early years made it possible later to invest in fun experiences and quality stuff. You’ll be able to do the same.
- Put yourself on a salary as though you work for someone else. Financial security gives you the power to work and live without stress, freeing you to think BIG about your legal nurse consulting business. Paying yourself a salary also helps you stick to strategy #4 by making expenditures smart ones.
- Invoice your attorney-clients every two weeks to keep the cash flowing. I have been shocked at how many business owners don’t manage invoicing. Some CLNC subcontractors and vendors send invoices to the Institute months after they’re due. Either they don’t need the money or I’m overpaying them. LOL! Regular and timely billing is the sign of a professional legal nurse consultant and eliminates money stress.
- Pay bills timely. You don’t want to lose a strong CLNC subcontractor or vendor (e.g., graphics designer or accountant) for failure to manage your bills properly. People expect to get paid timely even if they don’t invoice you timely.
- Track all legal nurse marketing strategies for return on investment (ROI). Identify where you get the best bang for your buck. Repeat the top performing strategies and then repeat and repeat again. If exhibiting is your top returning strategy, plan more exhibiting. Systemize all your marketing efforts and scale up where possible.
- Incentivize your best attorney-clients to send you volume business. Everyone loves a discount and attorneys are no different. A simple 10% discount can work magic in increasing the number of cases a preferred attorney sends you. That small discount will pay itself back in no time. Managing cases becomes a lot easier and more efficient when you consult with three to five attorney-clients rather than 30. Consider how streamlined your invoicing will become and how little marketing you have to do.
- Keep the relationship fresh by expressing gratitude. Send your best attorney-clients a thank-you card, or a CLNC-branded gift from the CLNC Marketing Center. Legal nurse consulting is a relationship business and we all like to know we’re appreciated. This one tip, along with your quality work product, helps to keep those medical malpractice and personal injury cases flowing in.
Apply my 10 sure-fire strategies for managing the financial health of your legal nurse consulting business and you’ll make 2016 your most prosperous year yet.
Success Is Yours!
P.S. Comment and share your favorite strategies for managing the financial health of your legal nurse consulting business.