I locked in a new healthcare consulting client and wanted to share the details with you guys. Healthcare consulting has been my main income source as a retired physician.
I still do some telemedicine with DialCare and might be signing on with a new telemedicine company. But the healthcare consulting work has allowed me a lot more flexibility. I can do the work from a cafe or a library, anywhere in the world.
My dreams of being a digital nomad physician has finally realized. The income is good and I get to set my own hours. So let me tell you guys how I got this new client and how we’ve been working together since.
This person found me through this website’s consulting link and reached out to me initially to discuss some medical board trouble he had. A few months later, after it all resolved, he reached out to me again because he wanted to take his telemedicine practice to the next level.
We did an informational session and he liked what he heard. I offered him a $1,000/month retainer for 7 hours of work per month. Plus, $150/hour for any additional work. He accepted and we’ve been working together since.
Starting a telemedicine practice isn’t too hard. The problem is that it requires a lot of juggling. Since this person has his own practice on the side, he has very little time to dedicate to the nuances of a virtual practice.
He needed help with all of the following:
- social media
- finding a good telemedicine platform
- figuring out certain laws around his niche practice
- hiring physicians to work under him
- scheduling patients
The Right Healthcare Consulting Client
It’s important that you and your client work well together. That’s why it’s best to offer a free informational session and then discuss the details of the contract later.
You don’t want to work with someone who will be a drain on your time. Or someone who is constantly creating chaos. It’s also best to avoid those who are indecisive.
If you prefer to work with those who are in the fledgeling stages then it’s also good for you to recognize when your client has graduated beyond your services. And once they have graduated, it’s good to have someone to whom you can refer them to for further growth.
Onboarding a New Healthcare Consulting Client
I use Paypal for my billing and payments. It’s Paypal business which is different from a personal Paypal account. All my billing and invoicing is done through PP. The new healthcare consulting client just gets a bill through Paypal and I don’t have to explain anything or have awkward conversations.
I like to discuss the retainer price with the client on the phone and then send them a detailed email as to what’s included.
The simpler you keep things, the less likely for you and your client to have a miscommunication. And I don’t hold my client to any financial commitment other than the monthly retainer. This allows both parties to exit at any time without any drama.
I send the initial retainer bill via Paypal and future billing is automated. This is free and a nice service to have. A new invoice is created each month for the client. If they pay, I know that we are still working together. If they don’t pay then our working relationship stops.
One of my ongoing clients has been paying me in this manner since 2016. I send the bill, they make the payment, and I know that we are still working together.
Tracking Your Work
I recommend creating a Google Documents folder and uploading all of your work there for every new healthcare consulting client. You can also create a document and track all the work that you did on it. This information is important because you’ll forget everything you’ve done at the end of the month.
You will also need a task time tracker – there are many you can download for free. They are either apps on your phone (preferred) or web browser extensions.
At the end of the month, before a new billing cycle takes place, create a quick bullet-point summary and send it to the client. This will show how much work you did, what things you worked on exactly, and how much time you spent.
Purpose of a Retainer
I’ve discussed this many times before. I’ve tried working with clients without a retainer and the only 2 clients which were difficult for me to manage were the ones without a retainer.
A retainer guarantees the client that you will work on their project and it guarantees you a certain amount of income every month.
The retainer also lets the client know that you’ll work on their project not at any specific date or time but over several hours each week. This has solved a few problems when one client wanted me to “urgently work on xyz because a deadline was coming up the next day”.
It took a while for me to get the hang of this but I’ve finally figure out how best to track my time fairly. It’s important that I’m fair to the client but that I don’t shortchange myself.
If I get an email or text from a client, I don’t touch it until I’m ready to work on their project. Before I even open the email or text, I start my timer and let it run as I’m thinking through their new projector or question.
A recent example was when one my clients Slacked me a massive spreadsheet and a new project they wanted me to work on. I saw the message and briefly glanced at it. The next day I opened it with the time tracker running and started working on it.
The majority of the work was reading the spreadsheet and the accompanying slideshow and thinking through the problem. I let the timer run until I replied to the client that I was ready to discuss it.
If you’re interested in starting your own healthcare consulting work on the side, I recommend purchasing this introductory course. It will help you find your first healthcare consulting client.