Is a Healthcare Business a Viable Proposition?

Running a business is a dream for many people. Being in charge of your own destiny and working hard for yourself rather than for the benefit of an employer is very attractive, which is why many wish to use their skills and experience to strike out on their own and build their own company.

A caring nurse holding a cardboard heart

The budding entrepreneur has a vast array of opportunities, both online and offline, and it can be hard to find and focus on a particular niche, which is why looking for business opportunities within your own industry or experience often leads to the most success. It is also important that the market is big enough to support a new entrant and has a big enough revenue potential to make the investment in time, resources, and money worthwhile.

The Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is a great example of growing demand with a ready supply of customers. Most countries are experiencing a sustained growth in the numbers of ageing citizens as medical advances and improvements in social care allow people to live to an older age. These ageing populations do still experience various age-related conditions such as dementia and chronic health issues which forces many older people to look for sheltered accommodation, a nursing home, or homecare nursing which delivers nursing and medical care to a person’s own home rather than a medical facility.

As many elderly people have purchased health care plans, the high costs of their residential care or healthcare packages are paid for by insurance companies or income from pensions. Those who unfortunately have not saved for their twilight years are still likely to have their healthcare needs paid for by social security or social care schemes run by the government. These provisions do vary in different countries, however.

The healthcare industry does present many opportunities for the entrepreneur as there are a variety of ways in which health care can be financed and ageing populations mean that the market is forever growing and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

What healthcare opportunities are there?

So, if the opportunities within the healthcare sector sound attractive, it is important to find a niche that meets your business ambitions and allows room for growth and profitability.

Business profits growth chart

Your experience and ability to raise sufficient capital will play a large part in determining the right sector in which to invest. For example, buying a nursing home will require huge capital investments and will demand a high level of management expertise as staffing, finance management and regulatory controls will require constant attention. This is unlikely to be a viable business for a budding entrepreneur.

Care Agencies

The provision of healthcare to the elderly is very labour intensive as it can be time consuming to attend to the personal needs of this age group. Suitably qualified staff are required in many sectors of the healthcare industry such as providing care in a nursing home, domiciliary care in the patient’s own home, or providing specialist care and supported living services to those with reduced levels of mobility.

Many of these staff are supplied via care agencies who recruit suitable staff and then deploy them into the various care settings for a set fee. This means that the agency employs the staff and not the care provider, so it can be a cost-effective way to ensure that there are sufficient staff to meet the needs of the providers and their clients. The use of agency nursing staff in hospitals is common as it allows them to adjust their nursing levels according to demand without having to recruit and fire employees.

A nurse wearing a surgical mask

A care agency business may well be the ideal business for an entrepreneur as it is not very capital intensive to start up, but it does require sound business skills and acumen to succeed, as with any business enterprise. Qualified and effective staff are always in demand from the care providers, so a well-run care agency with a good reputation will always be in demand, and the prospects are excellent in this market.

Marketing for business success

With the excellent opportunities that the healthcare industry offers, many entrepreneurs are attracted to these types of business so there can be considerable competition that makes it difficult for new entrants. This is where marketing and sales skills come to the fore.

Most recruitment is achieved online so building a strong online presence with a website and social media activities is vital in building a reputable brand and attracting the right recruits. Your website will also need to be found on search engines which is why learning search engine marketing skills such as at Rex Originals can really help build your online presence.

Shaking hands in a business meeting

Building relationships with the care providers will also form a vital part of your marketing strategy. You will need to contact the decision makers who manage staff in the various nursing homes to introduce your company, and sell the benefits of them using your staff rather than resources from your competitors. Building long term relationships with your clients will ensure that your business thrives, but this does demand excellent sales skills.

Conclusion

The healthcare industry is huge, has many sectors and is growing. Ageing populations mean that this industry will continue to grow in the future. Healthcare is expensive, but as most costs are met by insurance companies, state social care plans, or paid for by wealthy individuals, there are excellent revenue prospects.

A care agency is a great way of entering this market as it is not capital intensive and meets the continous demand from a wide variety of care providers for qualified staff. No business is easy to build from scratch and to run profitability, so an entrepreeneur attracted to the excellent prospects in the healthcare industry must have excellent business acumen and marketing skills in order to succeed.

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