As we enter a new year I think we all have to think about where we as an industry have been and where we are headed. With introspection we look at where we have been and what we have accomplished over the past year and then we find ourselves at a crossroad. We see the road lying ahead of us but diverging into two distinct paths in different directions which one do we take?
This is where many industry participants currently are finding themselves in the medical tourism industry. They are wondering what strategies we should implement and what areas do we focus on in the years to come. Since more hospitals and countries have entered the medical tourism space there has been more competition than ever. Competition is fierce.
A perfect example of how fierce the competition can be found through a case study of a facilitator and hospital which found a niche procedure affording them over 100 patients per month within a 10 to 12 month period. The goal was set for two hundred patients per month for this specific procedure in 2011. Competitors caught on and immediately the game changes from only a handful of competitors to fifty to one hundred competitors.
The facilitator and hospital see the effects as their patient volume dips.I can imagine the anxiety of having absolute total success stripped away and diluted as competitors copy and take business away from innovators in the industry. But we have to face it as the saying goes unfortunately its a dog eat dog world. As you choose which path you will progress down this year I would highly suggest everyone in the industry focus on locating where is your economic moat?
This means what in your business strategy do you have that protects you from competitors taking away all your business or a good portion of it. Very few people have heard of this or even focus on it. You need to make it a priority if you want to survive and stay in the game. There are too many hospitals facilitators and governments getting involved and promoting medical tourism. You need to set yourself apart.Where is your economic moat?
A facilitator and hospital who found a niche procedure and are having amazing success almost reaching 100 patients a month today may find 100 competitors jumping in. Immediately they will see every individual way the successful company is attracting patients and copy it from internet advertising to advertising on social networks to the content on the innovating companys website.
In todays online world anyone can copy anyone and try to duplicate what they are doing. Think about what they can duplicate and incorporate that into your 2011 business plan. Are there any unique services or benefits that you can provide that no one else can? Try to think about how you can develop a brand name and reputation that will supersede your competition and land you more patients.
This year when you are looking at which path to take what strategies to implement focus on taking the path that will set you apart from your competition and create a sustainable long term business approach for your organization.