I am writing this for those pharmacists that may not be familiar with the process of setting up a business. I definitely do not claim to be an expert in the subject, but I am sharing my journey to save others from learning everything "the hard way".
When I began looking into starting an independent MTM consulting business, I imagined that to start a business correctly you really needed an MBA. I wasted a lot of time researching, going to seminars and browsing the Small Business Association website and googling "how to write a business plan?". Although one can argue that no time spent in learning is wasted, I cannot help, but feel that I could have been helping more patients had I not spent this time in what I call my "information-gathering phase".
My expertise is in pharmacy, so I wasted too much time trying to become an expert in business before I felt comfortable actually launching my business. I attended a business class at my local community college that was geared towards brick and mortar product-based businesses. I felt overwhelmed and even more confused as I left the classroom.
Did I really need a business plan if I did not plan to seek financing, was a one-woman show with no employees and "sold" a service-based product?
No. I just wasted a lot of time, because I didn't believe in myself. I thought that I had to be an expert in business, to run a business.
So to become an expert in business, I began listening to every business podcast that I could find, naturally. Most were geared towards online marketing and really opened my eyes all the information that can be made available on the internet. This is when I decided that I needed a website. Back to the community college I went and spent another evening learning how to build my own website, so BT Pharmacy Consulting (the website) was born.
Am I making your head spin yet?
Then I decided that since I had a name, I needed business cards and marketing flyers (of course!). So I had some professional head shots taken and had marketing materials made up. To date I believe that I have only given out 1 business card EVER and it was to my lawyer (I am getting to him). I do have some very beautiful business cards if anyone would ever like one, but in today's world, you really just need a great LinkedIn profile. So I went and created my LinkedIn profile, but I STILL was not a business owner.
Which brings me to the next phase of my round-about journey to becoming a business owner...the LLC. The only actual piece that is REQUIRED to become a business owner. An actual company!
Should I have thought of this much sooner?
Thankfully, I came to my senses and decided that I did not need to go back to law school in order to set up my LLC or become an accountant to file for an EIN (tax ID number). I finally made the step that I should have made before ever creating a website, business card, marketing flyer, etc....
My lawyer and I created an LLC! And it only took about a week and two 1 hour meetings!
The majority of my time was wasted on trying to become an expert in all these things that did not make any difference. It is a bit embarrassing when I think of all the time I have wasted researching: reading about business plans online, attending webinars and business seminars, and listening to podcasts. Although I will say that now that I have some business knowledge, I still kind of enjoy listening to the business podcasts.
Please don't expect me to apply for any MBA programs anytime soon, however!
My hope in sharing my story is to explain how the creation of my local independent consulting business grew into this website.
Now our mission is to inspire and guide other pharmacists in their careers and businesses.
And save others from the same mistakes!
If you are interested in starting your own consulting services please contact me for a free 30 minute coaching consultation call and join our NEWSLETTER for all of our updated blog posts and news about upcoming courses.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent MTM consultant pharmacist. She is the founder of BT Pharmacy Consulting, LLC. and works with pharmacists to create and build clinical services programs. More information about Dr. Thielemier and BT Pharmacy Consulting can be found on their website at http://btpharmacyconsulting.com