When it comes to choosing and settling into a career, many individuals grow comfortable working for a company under several levels of leadership, or even in lower management positions where they still have to answer to business owners.
There’s nothing wrong with this scenario, especially if you value predictability and rather have someone else take on the risks of running the business operations of your job.
However, if you wish to spread your wings, take the risk, and grow your very own business, then maybe exploring the entrepreneurial world is the next step in your career path.
An entrepreneur général refers to an innovator, someone who bears the risks of setting up a new business that distributes services or goods based on creative ideas.
Although entrepreneurship comes with overwhelming risks, the rewards can be copiously satisfying.
An entrepreneur general even has its place in the healthcare world.
Healthcare workers including personal support workers, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, and so much more walk away from traditional positions and start their own business practices.
In this article, we will be providing tips on what it takes to become an entrepreneur in the healthcare world, as well as 12 traits that lead to success as an entrepreneur general.
Types of Entrepreneurs
In terms of general business practices, there are 4 types of entrepreneurs:
- Small business
Opening a small business at a single location without the intention of expanding it into a chain or franchise.
- Scalable Start-up
These companies start small with the intention of growing over-time, utilising investments to gain capital to grow and reach numerous markets
- Large Company
CEOs of an existing company foresee new ideas to expand based on a new and developing market.
- Social Entrepreneurship
The goal is to create products and services that would benefit society or humankind without the focus being on profit alone.
Healthcare workers who desire to forge their own business by becoming entrepreneurs can adopt general entrepreneurship business practices and integrate it into what they already know about the clinical aspects of healthcare.
Take the following the example:
Samantha has been working as a nurse practitioner in Ontario for a private geriatric company for the last 7 years. Recently, she has been researching how to start her own private geriatric nursing practice. She has already gained substantial clinical experience; however, she admits that her business experience is quite limited. So, she starts her own process: interviewing colleagues who’ve started their own practices, taking business and management courses, analysing current economic trends, and assessing the demographic needs of her region.
Healthcare workers can become entrepreneurs if they have the desire and the drive to do so.
Nurses and many other healthcare workers have opened up businesses in some of the following settings:
- Outpatient clinics
- Community clinics
- Home health
- Nursing homes
- Group homes
- Travel agencies
- Health promotion and wellness programs
- Non-profit healthcare programs
Sometimes, they just need a little direction on how to get started.
Tips on how to become an Entrepreneur
Here are several types on how to become an entrepreneur in the world of healthcare:
- Learn what it means to be an entrepreneur and decide if you’re still willing to pursue it.
Entrepreneurship can potentially take lifelong dedication before seeing any profitable success. It also takes a certain personality type that is willing to take risks and make sacrifices. Learn more about what an entrepreneur is, and if you think this fits your style, then pursue this route further.
- Find a profitable business idea.
Bring a creative idea to the table, something that the healthcare system hasn’t seen before that could strongly benefit from.
- Fill an underserved demand.
Come up with a business product or service that fills an underserved demand in healthcare, something that is bigger and better than what is already available to patients and/or clinicians.
- Build your network.
You can’t start up or operate a new business alone. Build relationships, or a “fan-base” now. Get people to back up your idea and feel ready to jump aboard when your product takes its first attempts to float.
- Develop your product or service.
Turn your business idea into a tangible product or service that can be provided, quantified, and documented.
- Validate your product.
Market your product and back up its innovative benefits with high-quality research, surveys, interviews, etc.
- Write up your business plan.
Make your business plan a reality by drafting it up and organising your company on paper. This means EVERYTHING! Funding sources, accounting, management, administrating, employees, clients, benefits packages, equipment needs, office and clinical spaces, etc.
- Secure funding.
Don’t let your company crash before it even gets off the ground. Funding is essential for entrepreneurship. Secure reliable funding, whether that’s through grants, private investors, etc.
- Test your business.
Plan a way to test your product or services. Offer free trials for a temporary duration, launch an open house for your company, etc.
- Launch your business.
Once you’ve successfully tested your business, open it for your selected clientele.
- Manage the business.
Continue managing the business, upgrading and scaling up/down as needed based on feedback from your funders, employees, and your clients.
12 traits that lead to success as an Entrepreneur General.
Do you remember earlier when we briefly mentioned that it takes a certain personality to be an entrepreneur? Some individuals are naturally born with the drive to become successful entrepreneurs. For others who have the desire, it may take some practice and understanding. Here are 12 traits that lead to success as an entrepreneur general:
- Creative: a visionary
A successful entrepreneur not only has an initial vision that gives him/her their business idea or product. They continue to have a vision for where they wish their business to go to better serve their clientele.
Entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily “devil may care” gamblers that are willing to risk everything for a few dollars. Rather, successful entrepreneurs are willing to take strategic risks to propel their business forward.
- A leader
Entrepreneurs possess leadership skills to give their employees direction, motivation, and goals. Good leaders foster a healthy work environment and provide high-quality services while keeping the business afloat.
Owning a private business is going to present with constant unpredictability. Successful entrepreneurs often have to go with the flow in the face of unpredictability and be adaptable to unexpected changes (new employees, new funding, scaling back the company, taking on new clients, changing business venues, etc.).
Running a private business practice is a complicated juggling act that takes an enormous amount of time dedicated to organisation. This includes organising time, HR services, accounting, administration, management, funding needs, company finances, business taxes, etc. Without excellent organisational skills, even the best companies run the risk of falling apart.
Entrepreneurs are motivated to push forward with their new ideas, even when others doubt them or when their services may not be well-received at first. They are motivated to keep up the work, even when it gets tedious and redundant. They also share that motivation with others, making it contagious throughout their company.
Being positive doesn’t necessarily mean sugar-coating everything or faking happiness during hard times. Entrepreneurs can see the positive aspects of a challenging situation, and make it work in their favour.
Many entrepreneurs are hyper-focused, hardworking, and dedicated to their business. Tenacity should be considered a cornerstone for your private business.
- Good communicator
Successful entrepreneurs are great listeners and communicators with their employees, fellow staff members, funders, and clientele.
They stay in frequent contact with the people around them and are constantly building their business network.
- Forever learner
Successful entrepreneurs never assume they know everything about the business world and are ready to learn something new.
This can include participating in formal continuing education, attending seminars, and communicating with other business colleagues to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
- Team player
Entrepreneurs running their own companies are not in stand-alone positions, especially if they’ve taken on a partner or a cofounder to better support their business. Entrepreneurs are team players and understand the needs of others that they work with.
Successful entrepreneurs who get along with their funders, clients, and employees have a certain element of integrity that can’t be denied. They are honest and trustworthy in their business practices. The people around them can trust them to do what is right.
An entrepreneur general is an individual who can visualise an innovative business idea that meets an underserved need in the community and, with time, can transform their idea into a tangible product or service.
In healthcare, many nurses and other healthcare workers dream about starting up their own business but may be nervous about how to start, especially if they lack business training.
If you wish to pursue a path in entrepreneurship, conduct some research to see what you’re getting into to see if it fits you and your personal goals. If you feel there is a need, attend some business and finance training.
Then, find your vision and get started!