Now is a great time to delve into the health-care industry: According to the U.S. government, national health spending reached $3.6 trillion in 2018.
That number will rise as innovative health-care businesses continue to flood the U.S. consumer landscape. New companies are popping up on street corners and online every day.
Looking for an innovative health-care business idea?
With the right team on board, you’ll find that getting on the ground floor of a new health-care opportunity is smart business. Due diligence is crucial because you may have insurance, legal and licensing hurdles to clear. You also may need to secure funds from a variety of sources for medical equipment, startup costs and more.
Start With a Health-Care Business Plan
“In the end, every startup is different. But in the beginning every startup is the same,” says Richie Norton, a self-help author, speaker and adviser.
Launching a business requires a considerable investment of time and money. Put a business plan in place for your health-care company. Financing is possible, but you’ll need to be sure your financials are in order to secure funds.
Keep in mind a business plan isn’t a static document. It will change and evolve with your business. Here’s a rundown of the most essential components of your business plan:
- Executive summary
- Company overview
- Market analysis
- Business organization
- Products and services
- Marketing and sales plan
- Financial plan and projections
- Owner and key employee information
Health-Care Business Ideas for You
What kind of health-care business should you start?
We’ve scoured the web to provide the nitty-gritty on 5 potential money-making ventures as well as real-world examples.
1. Online Pharmacy (PillPack)
You can run an online pharmacy with very few employees and some robots. You’ll need a board-certified pharmacist on staff and well-trained pharmacy technicians.
Factors to keep in mind:
- Someone needs to check the prescriptions before shipping. Because the actual packaging usually is done by manufacturing robots, it’s imperative that everything is reviewed (according to regulations) by a pharmacist or pharmacy tech.
- Patients demand timely service, so plan for efficient logistics.
- You customers (or their insurance) will pay for prescriptions, vitamins and supplements every month or so.
PillPack got in on the ground floor of this online opportunity, investing heavily in automation, branding and customer experience. PillPack did such a great job that Amazon.com recently acquired the company for $753 million.
2. Medical Transportation Business (Uber Health)
Now that Uber Technologies is a publicly traded company, the ride-hailing business is delving into a potentially lucrative health care-related venture: rides to the doctor’s office.
Uber’s latest offering, Uber Health, works with health-care providers to provide nonemergency medical transportation for elderly and low-income riders.
According to The Wall Street Journal, both Uber and Lyft are investing in this type of transportation by partnering with insurance companies and medical providers.
It’s too soon to know how profitable this will be for the ride-share giants, but entrepreneurs may be able to enter this niche quickly with less overhead.
3. Midwife or Doula (Birth Freely Childbirth Services)
Midwives and doulas are service-based entrepreneurs who specialize in a particular method of pre- and post-natal care. They follow expectant mothers from pregnancy through the childbirth process and many times stay on to help afterward.
Cat LaPlante is a doula based in New Jersey. Through her company, Birth Freely Childbirth Services, Cat provides services beginning in the second trimester of pregnancy. Because she works exclusively with local expectant mothers, Cat provides a highly personalized experience.
If you’re a female entrepreneur looking to make a difference, this may be a rewarding path. You’ll need additional schooling.
4. Nursing Staffing Agency (LiquidAgents Healthcare)
Well-qualified health professionals are in high demand throughout the nation.
According to the American Staffing Association, health-care staffing agencies make up 9% of America’s temporary workforce. Also, 9 out of 10 temp employees say they are happy with their agencies.
Travel nursing is increasingly popular among in-demand health-care professionals. These highly sought-after nurses work with hospitals throughout the U.S. on a temporary basis. Companies such as LiquidAgents Healthcare cater to large hospital systems seeking the best and brightest for their teams.
You’ll need top-notch recruiters who are nurses or former nurses to choose your employees with care. You also will likely need to secure financing for such an operation. It’s critical you complete your due diligence and choose the proper North American Industry Classification System codes for your company.
5. Wellness Coach (Primal Blueprint)
Health-focused folks who specialize in nutrition, weight loss or exercise may find a promising career as a wellness coach.
Your business model can be as varied as the clients you serve and may include:
- One-on-one coaching via email, phone or video chat
- Group coaching
- Courses and books
- Products such as supplements or vitamins
One example of breakout success in the fitness and wellness field is Mark Sisson, author of the book “The Primal Blueprint.” Through his Primal Blueprint website, Mark sells books, courses, supplements, protein powders and condiments. Combining his passion for health with his entrepreneurial spirit, Mark is building an army of Primal Blueprint health coaches.
Other Health-Care Business Ideas
Here are 14 other health-care business ideas:
- Medical records management
- Medical marijuana dispensary
- Health-related application development
- Drug treatment center
- Health-care app development
- Diabetes clinics
- In-home services for elderly patients
- Other childbirth services (mobile sonography, etc.)
- Medical billing and account management
- Massage therapy
- Medical supplies sales and service
- Hearing centers and hearing aid sales
- Respite service for caregivers of elderly patients, disabled children, etc.
Opening Your Health-Care Business
Factors to keep in mind when forming your health-care business:
- Check with your local, state and federal governments to ensure you can meet all licensing and registration requirements.
- Securing funds for certain business ventures, such as medical marijuana, may not be feasible at the moment, depending on your location.
- Investing in technology such as robotics, online commerce and warehouse automation will help keep costs down.
- While most business ideas can run with very low overhead and little staff, some ideas might require financing.
- If you want a business to run itself, stay away from wellness coaching and staffing agencies, which can require lots of staff and day-to-day involvement with customers.