Focusing on your “Real Business”

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For the past year I’ve been heading up the world’s largest most robust social network application for the healthcare supply chain industry.  The healthcare supply chain is a BILLION dollar a year business.  This business includes diagnostic imaging, cancer centers, home health, hospice, surgery centers, long-term care and hospitals (just to name a few).  Recently, as many of you may know, healthcare reform has become a major item on may political agendas.  How does this relate to your business?  Read on…

Healthcare reform has brought an end to “hospital systems”.  Or so it seems.  Long story short, the phrase “hospital system” is starting to become a phrase that connotes limitation and constraints.  

What is a Hospital System?

A hospital system is basically a partnership between surgery centers, physician groups, home health agencies, rehab facilities, and multiple hospitals.  They save on costs by grouping together and essentially become a one-stop shop for all of your healthcare needs.

Put into perspective, Casey Nolan, managing director of Navigant Health in Washington, D.C., states, ”The challenge for most organizations is they still think they’re in the hospital business.”

The Universal Lesson to be Learned

 ”That’s the reason railroads got into trouble years ago. They thought they were in the railroad business, not in the transportation business. Railroads experienced a golden age for about 40 years until cars, airplanes and other forms of transportation began to take over. The railroad industry didn’t redefine itself fervently enough, which led to hard times. “Hospitals need to realize they’re not in the hospital business, they’re in the care coordination business,” says Mr. Nolan.

Lesson: Define what business you are in.

Define the Purpose of Your Business

Take a long hard look at your business.  What business are you in?  Yes, you may have railroad tracks and use trains on them but what is your purpose?  You transport people and goods.

This is not an easy task to nail down.  It is easy to forget why your business exists however.

Here are a few tips for staying on track:

1.  Write down the ONE main purpose of your business
2.  Write down 3 other reasons why you are in business
3.  Look at your website - Does it reflect why you are in business or does it confuse the user?
4.  Before adding new services or features to your website ask the question, “Does this affirm our business purpose?”  If not, put it on the back burner list to come back to later.

I love how Mr. Nolan describes the railroad industry and relates it to the healthcare industry.  Take a moment and apply these same principals to your current venture.

Craig Kelley

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Craig is the author of How to Get Out of Debt and an avid blogger. He strives to help people maximize their time and succeed financially as well as personally. He has been a leader in several start-up companies including Mokumax Virtual Domains & Servers, Inc. and currently HealthcareSupplyChain. Read more...

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