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What are some things I should know in order to start my own professional business?

I am preparing for a career as a CPM/LM (out-of-hospital midwife), and I hope to eventually start my own birth and photography businesses. I would like to learn more about the aspects of building a business that are most important in the beginning, so that I can create a solid foundation in which my businesses will thrive. #business #midwifery

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Cecile’s Answer

Hi Charlee, as Donald mentioned above, it's a lot a think through regarding building a business

I would say to start with, why not doing projects in the related field to try and see via some hands-on experience? If you know someone who may need the services you will be providing, or someone who is doing similar things, ask them if they need a part-time or helping hand. Join them and see how things work in reality. It's the same concept of internship or stewardship.

You can also ask around or see if any friends would like to pay you for those services. If there is some, just start doing it as a project. This will remove burdens mentally and financially vs. getting everything ready for launching a whole business

Hope this helps
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Donald’s Answer

Dear Charlee,

In answering this, I would preface the whole thing by telling you I don't know a thing about the area of interest your thinking of going into. I do have a lot of experience in opening, operating and building a business, so I'll get right into the "starting a business" part

Hundreds of businesses are started each day around the globe. For the entrepreneur, starting out can be very challenging or if one has all the appropriate skills, backing and experience, a little less challenging. Some of the elements to consider are listed below, not all, but a sampling of questions you might want to begin with:

Do you have the self-discipline, drive and dedication to your venture? Your chosen field is definitely a 24/7 business with an infinite number of variables which will have to be reckoned with - from weather to unforeseen complications......"I can't make it over" is simply not acceptable. There are no second changes. When everyone is headed down to the shore, you're going to have to figure how to cover your responsibilities.......It's not easy to get dependable substitutes at prime times (weekends, Holidays etc).....Working on a 24/7 basis is rewarding if you truly love your work....if not, it's a big challenge.

In your case, there are also sure to be regulatory, liability (insurance/legal) and licensing requirements that will need to be fully explored. Start early in your process as these things tend to take a lot of time. "At home delivery" may introduce a whole series of elements that healthcare facilities are designed to handle, the average home may not. You will have to figure how will you cope with the home environment not designed for child birth. While success is particularly satisfying as an entrepreneur, the amount of time, effort and difficulty will not be minimal. You will also be working on a schedule that is totally dependent on the needs of the "business".

Do you have the personal communication skills, sales ability and technical knowledge necessary to market and sell your product or service? Will you partner with an existing practice, associate yourself with other individuals already in this area or go it alone. Having health, liability and business insurance is not inexpensive. A vehicle in great condition, suitable for all conditions you may encounter is going to be a necessity. Also a back-up....just in case. Do you have the financial backing to embark on your venture?

If you’re living at home and are receiving food, clothing and shelter, insurance, transportation and a space for your venture, that’s great. If you are missing any of these resources, it will be necessary to provide them while you are starting your business. That said, people have started businesses on a “shoestring” but it is VERY difficult to do and adds to the already high stress involved with a startup.

Do you have the core competencies to start the business? That is, the basic analytical skills, financial tools, marketing strategy etc. It helps to list the resources you need, the resources you have and the gap between the two. Filling in the gaps with resources will be an important part of your business planning.

You have defined what your business will be, but who are your likely customers and why are they likely to use your services? Have you explored other companies in the same field? How would you differentiate your business from theirs? In such a serious field, I would look for a very experienced will you address this question when you are starting out?

Once you have some of these questions answered, out, you’ll be ready to begin a formal business plan, developing all the details of your business delivery scheme.

Starting and operating a business is rewarding on so many levels in itself. I'm quite sure that your practice would only add to this satisfaction if you go in fully versed and skilled to provide services of the highest quality and safety.

Best wishes in your chosen field,

Don Knapik

Donald recommends the following next steps:

Talk with an insurance broker about what is typically required for your business and what are the associated costs.
Insure that your training is of the highest quality possible, that your reputation is stellar and that your practical and academic performance is at the highest level possible.
Start building a budget plan that would include all necessary elements of your business. Develop a funding plan for these requirements.
Explore what are the legal and practical requirements to open this type of business in your state.
Talk with persons who are in this business and ask what are the great things and not so great things about the business. Talk with your personal physician about this business.
Thank you comment icon Great advice and insight, Don. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question! Charlee
Thank you comment icon{$trackingTag} check out this might find it interesting Donald Knapik