Using BHG Financing for Business Development—and Greater Freedom
Bankers Healthcare Group
It’s easy to get caught in the grind of working for other people. At the end of the day, you collect a paycheck and get to go home. Working for other people is safe.
I know, because I’ve done that for the past 19 years. But I’ve also always known that I’m different, that I want more. Why work as hard for someone else, when you can work for yourself, with the potential to earn more? I always thought one day I would start my own business. I’m not afraid to venture out on my own, but I just didn’t know how.
I like being a physician assistant, and I give my current employer my all—but it’s a stressful job. My current job is in workers’ comp for big-name clients; many of them oil and gas companies.
If they are at sea, hundreds of miles away from land, and they have some sort of emergency, and then they call in by satellite phone and we give them recommendations. Sometimes our clients are truckers doing over-the-road transport when a call comes in, and I have to give recommendations without seeing the patient in person. If they have chest pain, is it heartburn or is it a heart attack? Making that judgment call is a big weight on my shoulders.
Then there are the hours. It’s not mandatory to work the night shift, but the fact is that someone has to fill that shift because we offer 24/7 coverage due to the nature of our clients’ business. When oil companies retrofit a facility, it‘s called a turnaround. This means shutting down an entire section of that facility and bringing in 2,000 contractors like electricians, boilermakers, and whatever else they need to get that project done as fast as possible. The contractors work 12-hour shifts for either the morning or night schedule, which means we have to be ready for emergencies on a 24-hour schedule, too.
Recently, I worked 200 hours each pay period for over six weeks. That worked out to be a nice paycheck, sure, but do that for long enough and it becomes a quality of life issue. People tell me I looked tired. I like this line of work, but I’m tired of looking tired and being stressed out.
An Opportunity—and a Roadblock
As I started to feel the most burned out, I saw some light at the end of the tunnel. I came across an opportunity for a similar role where I could be my own boss, with less stress, fewer hours, and potential for much better pay. It would still involve some telemedicine, but it would be a concierge service for higher-end clients. These are people willing to pay top dollar for the best service. For me, that would mean a greater income with seeing fewer clients. And much less time working.
The business model is similar to a franchise in that the company provides the systems, processes, and infrastructure for the business, and I purchase a territory. The territory available is Orange County and it is a big opportunity. It includes Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Anaheim.
I’ve always wanted the freedom of owning my own company and this was my chance. But there was one major roadblock standing in my way: I needed the money to buy the territory and to ease the transition to becoming my own boss. While I’m not afraid of the unknown, I didn’t want to jump right into being self-employed. I needed some breathing room during that transition of going from employee to owner. I couldn’t do it without a loan.
Financing for People Who Want an Alternative to Banks
Can I be honest? I get anxious going into a traditional bank just to make a wire transfer, let alone ask for a loan. Banks are impersonal. It makes for an unpleasant experience. I’ve used a personal banker for buying property back East, and having that personal service is a night-and-day difference from dealing with a normal bank.
I’d been in touch with (BHG) years ago about a different loan, and while it hadn’t worked out in those circumstances, there were several things that impressed me about them. They were professional, courteous, and supportive. Even though that first time around it didn’t work out, I got a personal letter from one of their executives saying, “I hope you’ll try again with us sometime soon.” So when this new opportunity came up and I got a flyer from BHG in the mail, I thought, “You know what? I am going to try again with them.”
This time around I made sure I was in a better financial position to apply for the loan, and the process was pretty easy. Yes, there was paperwork, but BHG has a quick turnaround time. It was much closer to what I’d experienced having a personal banker. It made me comfortable, not anxious.
Taking the Leap: A Vision of Where I'll Be in Five Years
Two months ago, I got my loan. Taking advantage of this is a big step; I admit I feel a bit nervous—but it’s excitement, not fear. I’m thankful for BHG because I’m going about this how I want to do it. I’m buying the territory in installments, which means I have a bit of a cushion, as I’m still working and saving funds for when I finally take that full leap. I need that cushion because, inevitably, a lot of small costs will add up as I set up this business. If it takes six months, at least I’ll feel like I did it the right way. I don’t want to take on any more debt.
I know I’m giving up some security, but I feel optimistic about where this new venture will take me. I enjoy people and I love helping people in my work. I’m not struggling in life, but I’d like the opportunity to take some time off. Long weekends don’t usually exist for me. People might not think that’s a big deal, but it adds up. You want to be able to spend holidays with your family and loved ones. It would be nice to say, “Let me take a long weekend.” I have a vision of myself once I’ve established this business: Three words: warm-water surfing.
Thankfully, BHG is like pressing the easy button on starting this new adventure. There are a million and one excuses I could make not to do this, but it’s time to take that leap. Not just stick my foot in, but really jump into that pool. BHG believes I can do this, and I believe I can do it, too.