9 Keys to Growing a Healthcare Business
Healthcare is big business. While ensuring that human life’s safety and well-being must remain a priority, the rewards could entice the private healthcare entrepreneur. In recent times, the US healthcare market has been consolidated, with a healthcare industry that appears to be in its maturity phase.
For a US-based healthcare provider, the options are to expand or settle into a plateau. For those who wish to expand, strategy and business acumen has never been more critical. With extensive regulatory and legislative changes occurring within the past decade, private healthcare providers have had to adapt to the times and to changing business models.
The Healthcare Business Opportunity
According to Deloitte’s research, the global healthcare market is currently worth 7.7 trillion (2019) and is projected to rise to 8.5 trillion by the end of 2020. Simultaneously, there is some shrinkage in the US market, with year on year declines in the number of hospital beds. For ambitious healthcare businesses, the opportunity lies outward. Consider these facts:
- Over 145 million Americans are members of the top 5 insurance schemes
- Healthcare spending is expected to grow at a rate of 4% within the US – the figure for non-US global healthcare growth is over double this at 8.7%
- In 2018, there was a record 196 cross-border healthcare deals with a value of $26.1 billion.
There is an immense global healthcare opportunity for healthcare businesses that seek to grow. However, growth must be done right—with the right approach to strategy and management, your healthcare organization will grow efficiently, with optimal profit levels. With the wrong approach to growth and management, you will not succeed.
That said, here are the essential steps to take to build a solid healthcare business:
1. Strong Relationships are the Foundation
In healthcare, when people come to you, much more so than in other industries, they are putting their lives—or part of them, in your hands. Trust is an essential factor in running a healthcare business, and this can only be built, over time, through consistent relationships. Once there is trust, as a foundation, not only will you acquire loyal clients, but you can be sure of referrals. With more and more people becoming distrustful of medical advertising, the value of a referral that may turn into a loyal client is almost immeasurable.
2. Secure Staff Buy-In
Like any other service-oriented business, your healthcare enterprise’s success largely rises and falls on the performance of your staff. From the cleaners to nurses and doctors, each person who may contact your clients will pass on a message about your practice’s values, so you need to ensure that you have a strong team who are passionate about the work that they do.
3. Develop a Flexible framework
For a medical service provider, the framework within which service is provided is an interplay between regulations, policies, and good practice. Understanding the differences and affording them their place in day to day operations is key to effective operations.
While regulations are non-negotiable, the policy is a matter of internal control and may sometimes be bent or ignored for the sake of good practice.
4. Learn Practical Lessons
One challenge every private healthcare business will have to confront sooner or later in dealing with bad debts. While it can be tempting to pursue these, it doesn’t always make sense to do so. For example, here is what Robert Smith, founder, and senior partner of MySuccess, has to say about this:
“Write the future you want the business to have versus focusing on fixing past problems. Why it’s important: Today, I talked with a physician about $3 million in old receivables. He wanted to chase them and didn’t know that after three months; you get diminishing returns. Instead, we agreed to look at how receivables occur and reset if and how they are accepted. We refined the process to increase the certainty of receipt in less time in the future. This loss won’t happen at this level again.”
5. Build Effective Leadership
If you plan on expansion, you can be sure that effective leadership will be a critical success factor. The fastest-growing healthcare businesses understand this, and it explains why specialized healthcare administrators are in high demand. When looking out for talented individuals to add to your team, be sure to look for those who have completed respected healthcare management programs such as an MBA with a health sector management concentration, and you can click here to find out more.
6. Study Other Businesses
As Joseph A. Welfeld of The Welfeld Group, LLC puts it, “Understand that there are few new strategies in healthcare management. Instead, there are recycled and revisited strategies that were not implemented well for the first time.”
There is no need to risk the health of your business by reinventing the wheel. Simply study, with the help of your healthcare management professionals, the businesses who have succeeded and what they did, to replicate this with any necessary modifications.
7. Ensure a Strong Flow of Digital Support
Electronic record-keeping is the standard practice for healthcare providers today. As such, you must ensure that you make the optimal level of investment into a robust health care system that will support your daily operations and be relied on around the clock.
While many healthcare businesses are shy to engage in self-promotion, to grow your healthcare business, you must be willing and able to advertise effectively. If your healthcare practice is large enough and can afford it, then you might consider an in-house marketing team. Alternatively, you may consider hiring a marketing consultant to help guide your marketing efforts.
9. Stay on top of Industry Analysis
Keeping an eye on your competitors and what they are doing may open your eyes to trends you had not noticed before. Industry analysis also helps you keep track of the various strategies your competitors might employ, which, in turn, will help you respond effectively with strategies of your own.
If you are looking for your grow or start a healthcare business, these tips will come in handy, helping you to build a strong reputation, maintain it, and eventually export it across borders. If you follow them, you will be off to a great start!