Creating a business is fun. It’s also tedious.
It’s the tedious parts that are difficult. Because it takes patience to figure things out.
Building a product is fun. But when it doesn’t sell, do you add more features? Or, learn how to sell?
Like creating products, hiring is fun. When you are on the choosing end. But developing someone who’s not yet ready – that takes effort.
When new clients sign up, it’s fun. But when they complain about your support or when quality wobbles – that’s tedious.
It’s easy to gravitate towards the next shiny thing. And the next after that. But the magic lies in figuring the tedious things out.
To market and sell. To build stable operations. To develop people. To be responsive to clients. To manage cashflow. These take time and discipline.
How we found our focus in healthcare
There are more than 120 medical specialties and subspecialties in medicine. Each is an industry in its own right. But we found our center in the gut!
My company started by providing billing services. It so happened that one of our first clients was a gastroenterology practice.
We loved the David and Goliath fight with insurance reimbursements. In doing so, we learnt the business problems that GI doctors face.
When our clients struggled with old EHRs, we knew we could do something about it. With a lot of effort and of course money, we built our own cloud-based EHR called enki.
We didn’t stop there. We kept learning and digging the well of gastroenterology.
We noticed that clients had to deal with the complexity of compliance. We figured that out. Helped them win audits and incentive dollars.
We saw that our doctors lived with old endoscopy software. Expensive. Requiring frequent upgrades.
That prompted us to build endoscopy report writer software. We used our knowledge of building cloud-based products and compliance. Applied that to the endoscopy market.
Our clients continue to have many needs. Our company simply needs to make sure we meet those needs by being on top of the game.
That becomes our focus.
4 steps to find your healthcare footprint
If you are starting or growing your business in healthcare, find your footprint using these four steps. Here’s the Healthcare Footprint Finder.
Step 1: Find your market within the industry
Healthcare is too big. You need to find a market within the industry. Something with gaps and frustrations but also expanding. A specialty that’s branching into subspecialties.
Before you start developing anything, be clear (by testing) that someone is willing to pay you for it. How does it ultimately benefit a doctor or a patient?
(I’m not a fan of the user-volume game that certain startups play. It burns a lot of other people’s money. Doesn’t guarantee a method for profitability.)
Step 2: Find a footprint within your market
Once you know there’s a market need, find your footprint. If you can serve ONE client well enough for them to say, “We love what you do for us!” then you are in business. You can do this many times over.
If you can’t find even one to say so and pay you, then something is wrong.
Step 3: Learn how to sell your footprint
Several entrepreneurs abandon this step because it’s too difficult. Or they throw money on the problem by hiring more salespeople or paying for clicks.
Marketing forces you to deeply probe and ask yourself whom you wish to serve. Why? How? What differentiates you? How could you be better? What should you be doing to offer maximum value to your footprint?
Step 4: Look around your own footprint
Once you have a footprint and know how to sell, look around your footprint. What do your clients do before and after they use your product or service? How could you make their life better?
That becomes your next product or service. That’s how you grow.
Get healthcare insights more directly at redo/healthcare.
Image: Christopher Sardegna/Unsplash