Wound Consulting Business: How to Get Started

It’s time to make your wound consulting business a reality. Here’s what you need to know.

Wound Consulting - Getting Started

 

So, you’ve been thinking about starting that wound care business you’ve always dreamed about. What’s next?

First of all, start by taking a look at Wound Consulting Business: Do You Have What It Takes?, to see what factors you should consider before taking the plunge. It’ll help you decide if you’re cut out to be your own boss. Then, if you still think being a wound consultant is for you, let’s talk about getting started.

Wound Care Business Basics

To get your wound consulting business up and running, you’ll need to make lots of decisions. These include determining if you want a partner, identifying the type of business you’ll form, and figuring out what to include in your business plan.

Will you have a business partner?

There are good and not-so good reasons for wanting a business partner. Don’t start your business with someone else if you are:

  • looking for company (because you’re afraid to go into business alone)
  • in need of capital
  • hoping to make new business contacts

On the other hand, if you want to have a teammate to share the day-to-day stresses and decisions with, then you’re on the right track. Other good reasons to explore a business partnership include wanting to:

  • share the financial risks involved in the business.
  • work with someone who has abilities and skills you don’t have. This will expand what you can do as a team.
  • work toward shared business goals and ethics.

If you do choose to have a business partner, create a full description of each partner’s role in running the business. You’ll want to discuss responsibilities such as hiring and firing, tax issues, and purchasing. In addition, you’ll need to set clear expectations for how you will divide profits and losses, and what happens if a partner leaves the business.

Identify your business structure.

Next, you’ll need to choose the legal structure for your business. Although there are many options, the most basic categories are:

  • Sole proprietorship. This is the simplest type of business. As the owner, you assume 100% legal and financial liability.
  • Partnership. There are several different types of partnerships, which depend on the nature of the arrangement and partner responsibility for the business.
  • Corporation. This kind of business is more complex and generally suggested for larger companies with multiple employees. When you form a corporation, in the eyes of the law, you are a shareholder, not an owner. The company, not you, assumes the legal and financial risks. You risk your investment, but not your other personal assets.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC combines some of the benefits of both a corporation and a partnership.

For more details, visit the Small Business Administration’s Choose Your Business Structure section.

Develop a business plan.

Think of your business plan as a blueprint that will help you clarify your ideas and business direction. Elements of a small business plan include:

  • Executive Summary. Provide a mission statement and outline your company profile and goals.
  • Market Analysis. Discuss your target customers, your local wound care market, the industry, and your competitors.
  • Service or Product Line. Explain here what services you will provide and how your customers will benefit.
  • Financial Plan. Calculate your startup costs, set your rates, and figure out how much income you will need to keep your business going.
  • Marketing and Sales. Describe how you plan to gain new customers.

Not sure where to start? Take a look at this business plan template for a startup business.

Other considerations.

Since your wound consulting business is part of the health care industry, here are more things you’ll need to consider:

  • Licenses and Regulations – Many states require special business licenses. To find out the licenses or permits your business may need, contact your state business license office. If you’ll be crossing state lines, check with the state board for restrictions and regulations.
  • FEIN/EIN. An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is used by the government to identify your business. Find out if you need one here.
  • Seller’s Permit. If you choose to sell products in addition to your consulting business, you will need a seller’s permit. Sales tax laws vary depending on your location. Check with your city, county, and state offices to ensure you’re collecting the right amount of sales tax from your customers.
  • Insurance. Your needs may include General Liability, Product Liability, and Professional Liability.  In addition, if you plan to teach, you’ll need errors and omissions (E & O) insurance. Be sure that any policies you purchase include this, or purchase a policy separately. Discuss your specific business risks with your insurance agent or broker.
  • National Provider Number (NPI). This is a 10-digit identification number issued to health care providers in the United States by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). All HIPAA-covered health care providers (whether individuals or organizations) must have one. For more about NPI’s and the application process, visit the CMS website.
Consult the professionals.

Find out more detailed information about business structure, plans, financials and law by visiting the Starting & Managing A Business section of the SBA’s website. To locate a mentor, check out SCORE, a nonprofit association that helps small businesses get off the ground.

And before you make any major decisions about your wound care business, consult with an accountant or attorney. They will help you make legally sound decisions that fit your professional goals.

Setting Up Your Office

If you’re starting your business on a shoestring budget, you’ll probably want to begin by working from home. While there are lots of home office options out there, some of the basics that you’ll need include:

  • a computer or laptop
  • reliable Wi-Fi
  • printer
  • cell phone with a separate business line
  • professional messaging services, if possible
  • effective business management software (like MINDBODY or HouseCall Pro)

On the Road to Wound Consulting Success

As you begin to make your wound-consulting dreams come true, give yourself the best chance of success. Follow some of these tried and true business principles:

  • Treat others the way you would like to be treated
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Stay on top of current wound care standards – WCEI® offers a peer-reviewed journal (Wound Central), webinars, seminars, and certification courses to help you succeed
  • Be patient – it takes time to establish a business
  • Work hard
  • Be honest

Are You Ready to Get Started?

So, are you ready to be a wound consultant and start your own wound care business? What aspects make you the most excited – or the most nervous? If you already practice as a wound consultant, what advice can you share to help others?  Please leave your comments and stories below.

 

Wound Care Education Institute® provides online and onsite courses in Skin, WoundDiabetic and Ostomy Management. Eligible clinicians may sit for the prestigious WCC®, DWC® and OMS national board certification exams through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy®(NAWCO®). For details, see wcei.net.

 

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Wound Consulting Business: How to Get Started - It's time to make your wound consulting business a reality. Here's what you need to know.

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