This month, we feature advisor Sara Conde, who shares how she helped a biotech expert set up an independent firm – and escape the constraints of her former full-time position.
“While she had a Ph.D in biotechnology, she wasn’t interested in earning a Ph.D. in procurement and running a solo business. That’s where I was able to help her succeed.”
“These days, I’m getting more and more exposure to high-level experts in the scientific field, who, after so many accomplishments in their years of working with large employers, are now ready to go out on their own to make their mark in the independent marketplace
These Ph.D’s, medical doctors, and other scientific experts are experts on the details of their work, but are either not interested or not inclined to learn the whole industry of independent consulting from the ground up. They just want to take their expertise, package it for new clients, and earn financial and lifestyle results. In fact, many of these “SME” consultants will call us up to a year in advance of going out on their own because they are such careful researchers and long-term planners. And they know their details – and respect those who have counsel to offers in areas of business management that are new to them.
Personally, it’s exciting to watch them learn, absorb the information our team can provide in the way of free consultative phone calls, webinars, and articles and downloadable guides, and then watch them take the leap and win a big contract.
Recently, I talked with a world-class expert in vaccines who was looking to move out of her W-2 role and begin setting up an independent consulting practice after identifying a target set of clients. She was surprised at the bureaucracy and the series of expensive liability insurances she would have to purchase to set up for business, and also was looking for guidance on setting up the right contractual arrangement and billing rate. She had heard about MBO from other consultants and colleagues who had already made the leap.
She was at a life stage where she had made a conscious decision that control over her career was her paramount goal. Additionally, she was in a field where she had seen that bureaucracy often gets in the way of medical breakthroughs. She felt she could deliver faster, more efficient results for herself and her clients as a solo expert.
Beyond insurances, she was also looking for a way to create the right proposal to win new business with top clients in the industry. We were able to give her great guidance as well as proposal templates and access to our Master Services Agreement (or MSA) list, so that she could plug into MBO’s existing relationship with her target clients. By saying she was working with an “approved vendor,” (MBO) she knew she had a competitive edge over another small businesses competing for the same projects within the complex procurement infrastructure of large corporations.
It surprised her that in addition to other standard insurances, many drug companies require $5 million of Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance alone, which is prohibitive for a practice that’s just staring out. As an MBO associate, she was happy to learn this fee and coverage would be bundled into her service agreement, making the relationship an instant ROI for her.
I admired how she approached her goal to become a solo expert consultant. She considered how to sell herself, what education she needed to acquire (and listened to multiple webinars from MBO to help), as well as researching a relevant client list. We have been talking for a little over a month. In that time, we’ve had two calls and some email exchanges where I have referred her to others that can help her succeed. I can’t wait to see her achieve big things for medicine, and herself, in this new life stage.
Sara, a part of MBO’s consulting services team, spends each day talking with those that are seeking a solution for managing their independent consulting business and lifestyle. Contact her at email@example.com or 703-793-6028 if you have a question about how to manage your independent career. If you’re new or just considering this life path, you also may also want to take the quiz to see if you’re ready for independent work.