Life as an entrepreneur is filled with opportunities and challenges. From the flexibility of setting your own working hours to the tension that comes with forging your career path from scratch, it can be both an exciting and a stressful road. One thing that can set you up for success is choosing a field that is popular while nailing down a niche that aligns with your passions. One such sector is the broad field of healthcare, which is currently full of opportunities. If you’re considering becoming a healthcare entrepreneur, here are a few things you should know.
There’s a Space For Everyone
There’s something for nearly everyone in this increasingly trendy sphere, with techy needs such as engineers designing new technology, to interpersonal roles such as wellness coaches helping people along on their health journey, and more. You might not be sure if there’s really a way for you to connect with the field, but with a little creativity, it is possible.
For example, Mark Stevens, a figure in the financial industry, found a space in the healthcare sector by founding the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute. Though not a healthcare professional himself, he found a way to fill a niche and achieve success while also supporting world-changing progress and technology. The ability to connect with the healthcare industry is limited only by your imagination.
Know Your Consumers
Depending on the nature of your business, your consumers might be your customers — or not. It all depends. Many customers will only seek healthcare options if they’re covered by their employer’s insurance, so in some cases, it doesn’t make sense to market directly to the customer.
In other cases, such as in herbal medicine or fitness programs (which are seldom covered by insurance anyway), connecting with the customer is a much more beneficial practice. Other healthcare-related fields that may want to consider a customer-direct mindset are those offering alternative therapies (such as acupuncture, massage, or Chinese medicine), holistic birth-related services (for example, midwifery/doula work or postpartum care), or healthcare-related coaching (including relationship coaching, nutritional advising, and general wellness coaching).
Pay Attention to Priorities
In the past, healthcare entrepreneurs made money simply by serving the most customers they could. More sick people meant more customers. However, the trends are changing, and people are looking for products and services which are more prevention-oriented and will keep them healthier while minimizing the amount of professional attention they need.
Customers are more likely to seek out things that will support their general health. To play off of this trend, consider developing a wellness-focused product or service which will meet customers right where they’re at.
In addition to prioritizing wellness, people are more interested than ever in taking a more active role in their healthcare journey by connecting with wellness providers and clinics. This is particularly important knowledge for healthcare entrepreneurs who may be developing patient-oriented technology.
Consider some successful patient-supporting technology solutions, such as online messaging software that allows patients to connect directly with healthcare providers, automated appointment-scheduling systems, and smart calendars that remind patients when to refill medications. Focusing on technology that provides consumers with more of a handle on their healthcare experience might be a great niche to fill.
The Business Side Is Critical
While you might be an expert in your healthcare role, one of the most important factors determining your success in the field is your business know-how. Business and marketing experience will give you the edge you need to connect with clients or secure investors. Even if you have fresh ideas, unique wellness approaches, or high-quality technologies to offer, you will have a much better chance of making it in the field if you also pursue best business practices and stay abreast of the market trends.
Understand Your Market Size
Many entrepreneurs’ mouths water at the fact that the United States’ healthcare GDP is around $3.5 trillion. It can be tricky to dial down exactly how much of that is accessible to your particular business enterprise, and thus how big your business vision should be.
To keep your business plans both realistic and visionary, it can help to calculate your potential slice of the healthcare pie by multiplying the price of your product or service by the total number of potential clients in your target region or country. This will give you a good picture of your possible market size, thus aiding your planning decisions and ensuring you invest your time and resources accordingly.
The field of healthcare continues to grow in popularity throughout the United States and beyond. People are eager to get healthy and stay healthy for a lifetime. While it may seem challenging to get in on the trends and rise to the top of a competitive market, there are still a whole host of needs are waiting to be filled throughout the sector, with opportunities for nearly any kind of entrepreneur.
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