a sonographer's guide to entrepreneurship

Talking tech

Episode 18: Scaling your Ultrasound Business

On this episode, I’m chatting about scaling your business – from startup and beyond. I get so many questions on how to know when its the right time to go full time with your own business and this episode chats about how to calculate out how much you want to be making from your business, adding in expenses, and determining how to then figure out how many days you need to be servicing accounts to make that happen.


Grab a seat and a cup of coffee because you just enrolled in Ultrasound Business School. We are obsessed with all things ultrasound and are here to take you on a journey through the messy and the magical side of business ownership. Think marketing, contracts, vendors, admin, growth mindset, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is the Talking Tech Podcast, a sonographer’s guide to entrepreneurship. Here’s your host, Jennifer Lindsey.

Jen (00:32):
Hey everybody. Welcome to episode 18. My goodness, I cannot believe we’ve been hanging out this long together on the podcast, 18 episodes. I’m actually a week late getting this post up because I took a couple of days off and spent some time with a bunch of my family in Michigan. My aunt lives close to the lake, so we went to the beach and the pool. It was just so much fun and so needed. And I mention that because those of you who own your own business that are listening can attest as entrepreneurs. Our business is our baby. We have so many responsibilities it’s hard to remember that we need to step away even for a couple of days. But it’s so good; it’s so important to rest and recharge. So I say this as advice to all of you who are considering starting your own business. Please remember that scheduling self-care and time off regularly is super important, and it is one of the many perks of being a business owner and being the boss of yourself.

So that said, let’s get to down to brass tacks here today because I want to chat about scaling your ultrasound business. I get questions so often on how to start in kind of the sense of how many days do I need to be working, how will I know when I’m ready to kind of go out totally on my own, quit my job, be 100% invested in my own business, and that be where my income comes from. So I want to address those because it’s such an important question when you’re looking at your own business as a whole, setting goals, those types of things. So I think this podcast information is going to be great for people who are considering starting their own business and want to calculate this out or for people who’ve already started and haven’t yet made that switch from employee to business owner.

Now, I have an episode way back when, episode number three, where I chat about ways to get things going while still keeping your current employment because so many people ask; some people assume they have to quit their day job when they first start their business, and that just is not the case. I go into this really specifically in that episode three, where I talk about how to start this business as a side hustle. And I think it’s a great one to listen to because it really goes over, for those of you who are working currently five days a week, Monday through Friday. If you are looking at the types of physicians you want to market to, if their practices are open Monday through Friday usually and not on the weekends, obviously, you are going to need at least one day during the week to go out there and start marketing to your physicians.

I give a lot of details and some suggestions in that episode three. So check that out. You’ll want to alter your employment in some way. I’ve got a couple of examples in that episode, so go listen to that because I think it’ll be really helpful for you. You may find, though, that you will be marketing to groups where they are open on the weekends or available on the weekends for meetings and appointments to discuss your service. I have a new one-on-one coaching client planning to market to nursing and home health facilities to provide services in his area. Now they are open on the weekends and available on the weekends, so he keeps his current job Monday through Friday while he ramps things up. At the same time, he markets, while he does all of those types of things before he looks at going part-time or obviously, you know, in the future, quitting completely and being able to provide services full-time as his full-time income.

And so, it is going to be individually based on what type of practice facility you plan on marketing to. So those are a few things to think about, but when you’re looking at doing this, you want to figure out what you need to cover as far as salary for you to cover what you’re currently making. And then, of course, add in the expenses that you are going to incur as a business to be able to come up with the amount of money you need to be bringing into your business’ gross revenue every single month for it to make sense for you to either go part-time or go full-time in your own business. So we’re going to do a little bit of math here. Of course, the numbers will not be super exact because I am not on video right now.

I don’t have a whiteboard to write all these out, and if I go too detailed, everybody’s going to be confused. The numbers aren’t going to be exact because every business will be a little different in what they choose to spend their money on. For example, for those of you whose spouse carries your health insurance for your family, health insurance is not going to be an expense you would need if you went full-time in your own business. So that’s not going to be something that you would even add in. Now, if you are the one who carries the insurance for the family, that is something you would need to figure out the expense number for and add that into your monthly expenses or yearly expenses when you are, are calculating all of this out as the total number of monies needing to come into the business to be able to pay out the expenses and payroll for yourself.

So that is something you guys need to figure out individually. What business expenses will I incur to provide these types of services to physician offices? Now, if you need a little bit of help with that, we have our Ultrasound Business Foundations course; it’s over on the website, aic-ultrasound.com; click on courses; it’s a self-study course. It is not very expensive at all. It’s a wonderful way so that you don’t spend a ton of time trying to figure out how to do a business plan and what expenses are going to be incurred. We have so much cool information in there, and I’ll talk about that a little bit later in the episode because I’ve had so many people lately asking me exactly what do you guys provide. How can you help me? Here’s what I’m doing, and here are the problems that I’m having.

How does Advanced Imaging help? And so I never want this podcast to be a pitch for our services; I don’t care if anyone listening here ever works with us. I want this to be a place where you can come and learn more about providing these types of services in the industry because there’s just not anything out there like this. And I think it helps so much for those of you who haven’t started a business yet to determine if that’s even a good idea for you. It’s a good idea, being able to get all of this backend information so that when you do say, yes, I’m ready to start my own business, you have a lot of confidence in the fact that you know a lot of the basics and you’re ready to get started. And so, because I’ve had so many questions, I just wanted to go over how we can help, especially in the initial stages, because it can take so much time trying to figure out where to find all of this stuff.

And so, I’ll go over just a few of our courses and some of the things we do later in the podcast just to give you an idea; I think what’ll be nice is letting you know what’s included in these will let you decide if you can do it on your own as well. So that will be something I’ll chat about here in just a few minutes. But I love the fact that we have all of that together so that you have it in one place and can just go grab it, put all that stuff together, and find out what your expenses are going to be on average in that course. We, of course, have the average expenses you’ll incur, and then you would look at your personal situation and say, okay, I need to add in, you know, this amount, this amount, and this amount for these specific things.

I know I want my business to pay for health insurance, for example. So that is the best way to set this up. And so if you look at what you’re currently bringing in from your employer, look at your monthly take home from your paycheck, okay? Add that up, figure out what you are bringing home monthly, then add on the expenses. Once you figure those out, those monthly expenses, add those monthly expenses to your take-home pay. And then that total will be the amount you need to bring in your business to cover all those expenses. Does that make sense? So if you say, as an example, the take-home pay that I receive as my checks from my employer is $5,000 a month. Just as an example to make the math easy for me here, okay? After calculating everything out, I have decided that my business expenses are $1,500 a month. So I’ve taken the $5,000 and the $1500, and I add those together. Now I know my business needs to make $6,500 a month, right as its total income, gross revenue that it’s bringing into the business to cover all of my expenses.

So if we say, okay, I need $6,500 a month coming into my business. Now the way to calculate how much business you need to be doing to create that amount of money you need to know that the average that you are going to be charging your physicians for bringing the service into the office is a thousand dollars a day. I have a podcast on this, and you know what? I didn’t look it up before I started this, so I don’t have the episode number. But at the time I’m recording this, I only have 18 episodes. Hopefully, it should be easy to scroll through. I also have that How to Make a Thousand Dollars a Day Startup Guide, which is awesome, and that is a free startup guide. You guys can grab that on the website too. That explains exactly how we calculate that number.

So go check that out if you haven’t had a chance to do that yet. But the average amount you’ll bring in gross revenue for an eight-hour, you know, time session in your physician practice for providing the services is a thousand dollars. So if your business needs $6,500 a month to cover all of your costs and expenses, you would need to be working six and a half days a month, right? To bring in gross revenue of $6,500 for that particular month. If you calculated everything out and decided that $10,000 a month is what your company needs to bring in, you would need to be servicing physicians ten days during the month. So if there are 20 working in a month, the total amount of money we can bring in with one tech and one machine working eight hours a day, five days a week, is $20,000.

So that is, if you look at like top capacity providing these services that are bringing in $20,000 a month gross revenue into your business, the nice thing is a lot of the expenses that you’ll see if you do hop into that Ultrasound Business Foundations course that we have listed there, they are our fixed costs, your ultrasound machine, your web hosting, your business insurance, you know, those types of things are fixed costs. So whether you are working one day a month or 20 days a month, many of those costs will be fixed. You know, variable costs come in when you start adding in things where those costs go up when you provide more services. There will be some of those like that, like supplies; thank goodness the supplies you will provide in your doctor’s offices aren’t very expensive. You know, gloves and gel and those types of things.

Those are going to be a variable cost because the more ultrasounds you do, the more gel you use, and the more gloves you use. But a lot of the costs that you’ll see are fixed costs when you start looking at; we have some students and some one-on-one clients that really want to grow their business beyond just one tech, a lot of times, they want to add on an additional tech. Their goal is to have multiple techs, multiple pieces of equipment that would then, of course, be something that they need to look at and say, okay, I’m going to add on another piece of equipment that’s going to add on these particular additional costs for me, salaries, those types of things for my new techs. They would then calculate again, okay, now how many days do I need to be out working?

And how many days does my new staff member need to be out working and providing these services with gross revenue of an average of a thousand dollars a day to bring back the amount of money I need to be covering these new expenses that I have? So this works whether you’re one tech or whether your goal is to multiply out and have many systems, many techs working for you. And so, I think it’s a great way to put all of this information together to scale your business and figure out how to scale it. And then B, how to actually, I should switch those around. A, how to figure out how to cover your current salary so that you can completely quit your job and focus on being a 100% full-time business owner, and then B, how to scale your business beyond that to increase your potential revenue for providing the services.

Either just doing it on your own as one tech and in your particular practice or by scaling it up even beyond that and adding in additional staff members. And so that is the best way to set that up. I also want to mention to everybody that this can all be done on your own. You can find out all these expenses on your own. It’ll take a little bit of time for you to do that, of course. So I always want to say, you know, as hiring a coach necessary as taking courses necessary. Of course, it’s not necessary. We did it all ourselves when we started our mobile ultrasound group, geez, years and years and years ago. I think this coming February will be 17 years in business, and I cannot believe the whole point of what we do as coaches in the ultrasound space is to help our students from having to reinvent the wheel.

So if we have all this information laid out, it’s much easier. And I do this with our business, with our coaching business. I have purchased multiple courses that help me kind of figure out how to define the things I want to portray to you guys as courses, how I want to put things together, and the best way for me to get my information across so that I can do a better job continually, but so that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel if someone else has already figured it out and I can learn from them. And so that’s the whole point of us as coaches as providing courses. It’s to help our students from having to reinvent that wheel. And because of that, they save a ton of time trying to figure things out and about 70% of the normal startup costs, which is why I get so passionate about what we provide.

So I want to talk a bit with you guys about your next steps because I always get questions about this. You know, I want to start my business, or I think I want to start my business, or I have a business, but I need help, and I don’t know my next steps. How can you guys help me? And again, I want you to understand all of this can be done on your own. I want this podcast to be about giving out as much free information as possible to help you along. But I do get so many DMs and questions daily about how we can help. So I just want to give you guys an overview. If you are just now considering your own business, you are not sure whether you want to go forward before you find out some basics.

If you just barely dip your toe in the water to learn more about your market, creating a market analysis is super important. So if you need help with that, we have a super inexpensive self-study mini-course called Know Your Market. It helps you learn more about how to create a market analysis, where to find reimbursement information, and how to figure out how much to charge for the services. It’s super easy. It’s right on our website. You get immediate access to it. It’s a cool way to put all of that stuff together and figure out those few things because you may look at that and say, mm, I’m not sure this is a great idea in my area. You’ll likely look at it and say, wow, I didn’t realize there were this many doctors. This is something for me to look at further. So if you’re ready, then for a bit further information and you want to create a business plan, kind of learn the exact steps on starting and incorporating your business, learn the details of exactly how the business should be set up, the rules and regulations behind it, along with all those average business startup expenses and ongoing expenses that are kind of the basic ones that then you can look at yourself individually and add any of those additional things on that, you know, you’ll want to, have your business pay for that Ultrasound Business Foundation’s self-study course is a great pick.

So both of those self-study courses can be found on the website. Okay, you guys know I love my baby—the Ultrasound Business Academy. We have been teaching these principles for over a decade, okay? We have students across the country; we dive deep, deep, deep. So business startup operations, legal sales, and marketing contracts. These are the exact words to say to your physician prospects when you go in and chat about your service and about a thousand other things. So as a student, you pay less for the whole academy than you’d pay for just the contracts you need to run your business. So we are so excited about that. We’ve got our next iteration coming up next week. We usually enroll four times a year with a small number of students, so we have plenty of time to service them. All of our students have lifetime access to documents, contracts, online courses, and everything there.

If you have any interest, go fill out that questionnaire that’s on our website so we can get you the info that’s most pertinent to you. We also have one-on-one coaching and things like that as well. So it just depends on, you know, people that want help from us, how much personalized assistance people need. Okay? If you already have a business, we do strategy calls, too, with focus containers. So most of the time, people with businesses either need help with sales and marketing or they need help with legal. Those are really cool because you get access to those particular online courses. Plus, a strategy call with yours truly, which is always super fun. I love learning about everybody’s business and being able to help them, dive in deep into their specific business, and move things along with them, based either in that sales and marketing container or the legal container.

So all of this to say, this can be done on your own, but I want people to know how we help and how we put these things together. Because I think a lot of that information that I just gave you, too, if you do decide to do all of this on your own, we’ll give you kind of a few of the points you need to be thinking about when you start putting all of this, together. So figure out what your goals are monetarily, and do some math as we chatted. You know, figure out what you want to bring home as far as pay, what your business expenses are going to be. Add those together. That is what your business needs to be bringing in. And then calculate how many service days you need to be providing to bring that amount of money, gross revenue into your business. Message me if you guys have questions about this or how we might be able to be of assistance to you. And until next time you know it, I’ll be over here cheering you on.

Ready to see what it takes to start your own mobile ultrasound business? Grab our completely free startup guide and learn how you can make a thousand dollars a day with your own business. Head to our website, www.aicultrasound.com, to check it out.

your strategy-obsessed ultrasound business coach.

I'm Jennifer -

Welcome to the Talking Tech podcast, where we answer your questions about legal, marketing, admin, sales, and so much more. After nearly 20 years in the industry running our own mobile ultrasound business and helping techs across the country do the same, I'm so excited to bring you industry insight, mindset, productivity, business tips, and inspiration to help you design the business of your dreams.

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