So you want to start a side business as a doctor or health care professional. Now comes the most important question. What should I actually be selling?
Answering this question isn’t easy. Last time, we discussed what you needed to do to better prepare yourself. If you are ready to get started, answering yourself these 5 questions will better target the best opportunities for you to start your business.
- What are ideas that you can bring value to the world? When I first started a business, like most, money was my main focus. However, as a serial entrepreneur, what I realized in retrospect was many of these opportunities were short-lived and short-sighted. When I learned to stop chasing the money but rather focus on areas where I felt I could really make a difference to people’s lives, these were businesses that not only grew but thrived. When you define goals beyond yourself, that really push the limits of what you thought was possible can be truly inspiring.
- What is currently working (or better yet, not working) in your industry? If you have had experience working in an industry, and have spotted ways to be more efficient or save money, this could be the foundation of a solid side business. As a health care professional, I am sure you’ve seen many opportunities in healthcare where there is money being misspent or time wasted. These are ripe for innovation.
- What is your superpower? What is that one skill that you just seem to be really, really good at? This is the skill that may be difficult for others, but for you it’s a piece of cake. This is the skill that can differentiate yourselves from others. In business it’s called your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). If your experience and qualifications make you stand out in a crowd, this might be something that you could pursue as a business.
For instance, I have considerable experience in online marketing and I enjoy sharing my expertise to an audience. So I enjoy speaking at medical and business conferences.
- Where are the players playing? Who are the competitors in the field in the industry of your small business? What are they currently doing now?
An important aspect to consider, is if there a barrier to entry to enter the market. For example, in medicine not everyone who applies becomes a doctor. Time, money, and education are impediments to becoming a physician. In your side business, are there significant barriers? If there are not enough barriers, whether that be financial, educational, relationships you may want to reconsider going into other areas where there are fewer competitors.
- Is this business scalable and repeatable? Is this a business that you can actually grow? An example of a non-scalable business, is unfortunately the solo practice doctor. Let’s say you’re a psychologist and you want to grow your psychologist business. Well, the one thing that’s going to be holding you back is if you’re the only psychologist seeing all of the patients.
On the other hand, maybe you want to start a telemedicine business, and you act as the business owner and hire other psychologists. Now you are no longer the limiting factor for growth.
In terms of repeatability, I like to have businesses that are “evergreen”, a business that can stand the test of time, and is not influenced greatly by trends. For example, let’s say your business was a business on how to prepare yourself for Y2K. (Remember that?) Obviously, those type of businesses don’t exist now in 2017. Juxtapose with something like losing weight. Is weight loss something that’s going to be cured over the next year? Probably not.
By asking these questions, you will be better prepared to succeed in your side business.