Starting your consulting business is based on following a few simple rules.

Speaking from experience, many physicians want their own consultancy. My clients range from practice management consulting, interim executives services, recruiting and retention consulting, healthcare policy work, writing, and other types of consulting based on their experience, their interests and their sense of demand within the market, and, of course, the economic opportunity.

So how do your get started? First, think big... where do you want to be in three or five years. What types of clients do you want, how do you want to be working, what do you want to be making and billing?

Next, think small. That is, you need a client. Thinking big helps you see where you can be and helps you see the types of clients you want and the services you want to provide. Thinking small helps you see your first client, but you want them to fit the mold of your thinking big clients. Let me explain. If you want to provide executive services to other physicians, you may not want to take a first job analyzing a practice's coding. That's a bit too nuts and bolts.

However, analyzing their staffing levels, or evaluating their employees, or reviewing managed care contracts.... those could be good, immediate results jobs that you can up-sell to the type of consulting you want to be providing.

But... I've jumped a bit too quickly. let's return to getting your first client. It begins with conversation. Talk with other physicians. Whether in the staff lounges, at medical meetings.... any place you can. However, your "talk" is really listening. That is, ask questions and then listen. What you'll hear is the basis for what services you'll sell and how you'll sell them. Their problems are your opportunities.  

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