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How to Become a Home-Based Healthcare Consultant

How to Become a Home-Based Healthcare ConsultantConsultancy is one of the most adequate lines of business if you want to work independently from home. You need little equipment, your main assets being your skills and experience in your niche. Today we will show you how to start a home-based healthcare consultancy business.

What Does a Healthcare Consultant Do?
Healthcare consultants are hired by hospital and other healthcare companies to analyze and improve their operations and the way they run their business. The ultimate goal in a healthcare consultant’s job is to advise healthcare providers in a way which enables them to provide better services to patients and improve their bottom line.

This used to be a full-time position in the organizational scheme of most healthcare providers. However, the economic crisis and the need to cut back operational costs has determined most hospitals and other healthcare organizations to replace employees with freelance consultants. For you, as a potential home-based business healthcare consultant, this means that there is a thriving market where you can find customers and that it is not a short-term bubble, but it has the potential to provide you with a sufficient income for your family for years to come.

So, what does it take to become a home-based healthcare consultant?

Education and Skills Required for Healthcare Consultants
The minimum educational level required is a Bachelor’s degree, although many healthcare providers require a Master’s degree in one of these specializations:
⦁ Business Administration
⦁ Healthcare Administration
⦁ Human Resources

Management experience in the healthcare field is a plus, but not always required, especially if you offer your services to smaller clinics and other organizations. As for the core skills you must have strong communication and analytical skills, be good with math and be savvy in coming up with effective solutions. You must also be a good decision maker, with a high level of accountability for the outcomes of your proposed solutions.

If you recognize yourself in this description, you could be a successful healthcare consultant. If you want to work as an independent consultant, these are a few tips to set up your home-based business:

1. Obtain All Necessary Certifications
Each state has different certification requirements for home-based businesses when they are connected to the healthcare field. Even though your activities are not connected to providing actual medical services to customers, you will have access to various sensitive data. Thus, apart for the usual licenses for running a home-based business, you also need to hold specific data processing certifications.

2. Secure Your IT Equipment and Filing System
Apart from the legal certifications above, potential customers will also require you to sign non-disclosure agreements. They will also want you to offer proofs that you can keep their confidential data secure. Thus, you need to invest in effective antivirus solutions for your computer and all data storage devices.

While it is always recommended to have a separate computer for your home-based business and not allow your family to work on it, if you want to open a healthcare consultancy business it is mandatory. You will potentially receive financial and patient records from your customers and other confidential materials. No one but you must have access to them, not even read them.

3. Capitalize on Your Professional Background and Reputation
As we have stated above, being a home-based healthcare consultant is not a line a business you can take up overnight, but after years of experience in the field with a proven track record. This means that you must definitely have great networking skills and persuade your business acquaintances and, where possible, former employers to provide you with credentials and testimonials.

This is a line of business where reputation is everything, so take care to keep yours spotless. Be ethical and fair in dealing with all your customers and maintain good relationships with former co-workers or clients. A positive endorsement from any of them is the best marketing strategy for attracting new clients for your home-based business


Best Cities to Start a Home-Based Business

Best Cities to Start a Home-Based BusinessThe economic environment of a large federal country such as the United States means that each separate state has its own regulations and laws concerning various aspects from housing to running a business. This means that some states and cities are more favorable to small companies which do not have a large starting capital to count on.

When it comes to home-based businesses, there are two key issues to consider when deeming a city business friendly or not: the ease for registering a business and the average cost of living (including home insurance). A beginner entrepreneur’s chances of succeeding in their business idea depend greatly on these issues.

Most potential home-based business owners are also interested in growing their business beyond this initial status. Thus, another aspect that makes various cities business friendly is the tax incentives or development opportunities they offer to small business owners.

Taking into consideration all these aspects, these are the best cities in the USA to start a home-based business and hope for its sustainable growth:

1. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
This city has three key claims as one of the most business-friendly cities in the US:
⦁ In 2013 NerdWallet named it as the best city to start a business
⦁ In 2015 Forbes included it in the list of the most affordable cities to live in
⦁ Various publications name it as the best place to live for young graduates and for starting a business

These three credentials recommend Oklahoma City as a great development hub for small and home-based businesses, with an affordable cost of living and lots of business growth and networking opportunities among your peers.

Another feature making Oklahoma City a great place to start a home-based business is the fact that the paperwork for registering a business is very simple and can be filed in just one day.

2. Boulder, Colorado
Colorado is already preparing to steal the name of “Silicon Valley” and make it their own. The American Electronics Association reported recently that Boulder features the highest concentration of software engineers per capita in all of the United States.

This city is a place for tech-inclined entrepreneurs. Both the University of Colorado at Boulder and various other research labs are powerful hubs for attracting talent and significant funds. There are plenty of opportunities to supply your services as an independent contractor and grow a successful home-based business.

3. Boise, Idaho
Voted the best city to live in after applying a complex scorecard including cost of living, weather, income and amenities, Boise is the place for small business owners who want to enjoy a perfect balance between their work and personal life. Featuring one of the lowest home insurance rates in the US (around $516 in 2014), Boise also offers a supplementary incentive to entrepreneurs: members of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce enjoy various discounts for local sports and entertainment events.

4. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is more than the heart and soul of country music. It is also a fast-growing business hub powered by low home prices and low taxes. These two aspects combined mean that businesses have a potential market of customers with sufficient spare money to satisfy their needs and indulge in hobbies.

As an added bonus, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce members benefit from lower processing fees for credit cards.

5. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis features the fourth largest concentration of small businesses in the United States. This says a lot for would-be entrepreneurs, and is justified by the fact that the state of Minnesota has the 15th lowest business tax rate in the US. Also, Minneapolis attracts potential business owners by offering them various financing programs.

Thus, Minneapolis is the right place for you if you want to start and grow a small business in the middle of a powerful business hub with lots of potential partners and customers.


Why You Should Build a Lifestyle Business Instead of a Startup

Why You Should Build a Lifestyle Business Instead of a StartupIf you look back on our articles, we have used the word “startup” quite frequently. We have discussed various ways in which you can grow your startup, find investors, plan your finances, and build a solid and successful company.

But not everyone who has a business idea is excited about being a busy entrepreneur. For many potential small business owners, the excitement of being their own boss is having more spare time to enjoy life, do things together with their family and pursue their hobbies. These people do not fancy themselves the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. They simply want to make enough money to support their current lifestyle, without the hassle of a 9 to 5 job.

This exactly what a lifestyle business is. It is the kind of private enterprise in which you are not bound by agreements with partners, investors or shareholders. Instead, you decide how much you work, what projects you embark on and which ones you refuse, and you are able to do that in a flexible manner, both in terms of time and location.

A lot of home-based businesses are actually lifestyle businesses. Their owners do not dream of having them listed at the stock exchange or moving into a large and shiny office building in the financial heart of the city. They simply wish to enjoy life and an influx of money to satisfy their needs. Still not sure that this is the right option for you? Here are a few reasons to support it:

1. Most Startups Fail before They Make It Big
Yes, there are startups like Facebook, Apple and Google. But for each shiny star there are thousands of other startups which do not make it past their first year. If your business idea does not catch on and attract the attention and interest of investors or business incubators, you will keep pumping money into a company which will never take off and repay your efforts and finances.

By comparison, a lifestyle business requires minimum investments and is focused more on your own skills and talents. Thus, your main capital is your time and talent in providing services or crafting products for your clients.

2. Unlike a Startup, You Can Change Your Scope of Business Anytime You Want
Startups need to focus on the core business idea, whatever it is. If it does not work out, you will have to rebrand your whole company if you want to try something new. Running a lifestyle business is simpler. You can do web design today, Christmas cards design tomorrow and coloring books for children at a later date. Flexibility in choosing what to do and how you promote yourself to your customers is among the top benefits of running a lifestyle business.

3. You Really Are Your Own Boss as a Lifestyle Business Owner
A lucky startup which managed to secure investors is no joy for an entrepreneur who wants to enjoy life and do things their way. This is because your investors have a say in anything you do and will have a claim on your time and hold you accountable for your actions. As a lifestyle business owner, your successes and your failures are yours and yours alone. You have the freedom to experiment with various marketing tactics, or to take a break from your business when you want to focus on your family, and there will be no external force pressuring you one way or another.

4. You Can Work from Anywhere
As a startup owner, you will be required to have an office and hold meetings with your investors and potential customers or partners. You will certainly enjoy some freedom later, but not before your business grows so complex that you can afford to hire managers to run day-to-day operations instead of you.

A lifestyle business owner can move around the entire planet as they please. As long as they have their laptop with a reliable internet connection, they can continue to run their business without any impediment.

5. You Do Not Have to Wait Long Before You See Profits
Last, but not least, a lifestyle business is one with a fast return on investment. You do not have to keep investing for months and years until you see the first significant profits. You do not have to put your life on pause and keep making wish lists for the day when you afford to buy those things.

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