The healthcare field is a highly exciting place to open a new business. A cursory glance at some potential medical advancements shows a dizzying array of possible developments. Whether you want to get a piece of some exciting new technology, or try to sell your own, there can be many potential hazards to joining into this field. One thing to remember: no entrepreneur has succeeded while working from fear. The potential for failure is always there, and that’s something you’ll learn to live with. Keeping that in mind, here’s some advice for joining in the healthcare tech market.

Know the Rules

Healthcare is an extremely heavily regulated sector. For good reason, of course, but this is a substantial hurdle for your young business to overcome, no matter what area of the industry you plan on entering. It can be a confidence killer to get into a great idea, only to realize that it’s not plausible because it goes against laws or guidelines. Humility is a great asset in this regard. You know that your idea has great potential, but your drive along with a humble approach is a great combination for a new startup. So, unless your young business can afford lobbyists, stick to realistic advancements.

Anticipate Potential Snags

You’re going to ideally be shopping your idea around to some established healthcare industry veterans-people who have seen great, innovative ideas come and go plenty of times. In developing your product or service, it’s vital to keep this in mind and be prepared for their skeptical questions. After all, they likely know the process better than you and might know more about problems you’ll face than you will. Every meeting is an opportunity to develop and grow. It’s a given that there will be some mistakes along the way, but if they can’t be avoided, remember that learning is a continuous process.

Think Small, At First

The world of healthcare is very regimented, by state and locality. Your innovation may be something completely world-changing in time, but at first, focus on getting it adopted on a small-scale basis where it’s effectiveness can be proven. If it’s got the goods, other places will follow suit. There’s no iPhone of healthcare that changes the market overnight. Revolutions in this area are always incremental.

Shop Small, Too

On that same point, you’ll probably want to shop your product to smaller, local hospitals when you’re getting it out there. This is because large hospitals, while they may be open to new ideas, are enormous entities that have a great deal of moving parts. Its likely that the status quo is working for them just fine. Once your company’s new method or product takes hold in smaller locales and makes a difference, the big buyers will take notice.

Your Decisions Matter - A Lot

One vital thing that should absolutely never be forgotten is the fact that in this industry, your work is directly affecting people’s lives. Be sure to apply a great deal of rigor to every aspect of developing your business. Things that fall through the cracks can affect a large number of people and it’s not just a matter of bad press or losing money (although that’s not to be discounted), it’s the moral impact of making people’s existence better or worse.

Don’t Be Picky With Funding

You’re not doing all you can for your potential business if you’re not looking at every possible source of funding. Governments and private foundations alike have a genuine interest in moving the healthcare sector forward in a meaningful way. There are many types of grants and scholarship programs for such innovations, and they’re all worth considering if your company fits into their criteria. As a bonus, the application process will help you streamline your business plan.

Get Out There

There’s no substitute for experience, and you’re going to want to have as much as possible. You might have a lengthy healthcare background already, but it’s important to get into the mindset of your potential customers, and that means healthcare professionals and patients alike. Spending as much time as possible in the exact environment your product will be used in will give you an idea of the nuances and potential issues that will come with its use.

About the Author(s)

Joel Landau Headshot

Joel Landau is the founder and chairman of The Allure Group, a rapidly expanding provider of skilled nursing and rehabilitation services throughout the New York downstate area.

Founder and Chairman, The Allure Group
7 Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Healthcare Entrepreneurs