Always wanted to start your own healthcare business? Or does a healthcare franchise sound more your kind of thing? Here are six tips for building a business plan that will lead your healthcare business to success.
Healthcare industries contribute £70 billion a year to our economy (Health Europea). With the population ageing, demand for these services will only grow. It’s a fact of life that people need more support as they get older, and this can be anything from personal treatments like pedicures for those who can’t reach their toes to full-time at home or residential care.
That being said, the healthcare industry is not only catering to those in their twilight years. Younger people with conditions may need ongoing care, with many looking for high-quality support so they can live as independently as possible. There are also millions of people with a full bill of health looking to take control of their wellbeing with tailored nutrition plans, private dental treatments and psychological therapies just some of the sought-after services available. As pressure continues to weigh down on the NHS, more people will start to look elsewhere to access the treatment they need.
Although demand for healthcare services remains strong, success in the industry is not guaranteed. Every venture, franchise or otherwise, needs a robust business plan to remain profitable and viable for years to come.
How to write a business plan
A watertight business plan is vital for securing investment or a bank loan needed to get a start-up off the ground. But that’s not all. It also signposts you on how you’re going to run your business and make it a success. We know that’s easier said than done, so here are some tips for writing a great business plan geared towards setting up and running a healthcare business.
1. Executive Summary
This initial section needs to grab attention. Its job is to make your investors’ lives easier – to give them a quick snapshot of your business and the reasons to invest. Key information to include is an outline of our business model, the competition, your target market, your goals and how they will be achieved.
For healthcare businesses, this is an opportunity to inspire. If your investors are looking for a healthcare opportunity, they will want to know the difference you believe you can make to people’s lives. Remember, this section is meant to concise, so a little bit of aspiration goes a long way.
Because it’s an overview of your whole business plan, it makes sense to write the executive summary last.
2. Describe your business
This section will give more in-depth insight into your healthcare business, but the key is to show why your work is relevant and compelling. Start by talking about the industry and the market. Research how many people are suffering from the condition or lack of good quality care. Ask potential customers what would make their lives easier or more fulfilled, and show how you’re answering the demand with your services.
You can then go into describing the kind of services you offer, whether that’s homecare, emergency care, nutrition advice, complementary therapy, pharmaceutical or more. This is also the place to include details about how you provide the service, whether that’s face to face, via an app, over the phone or a combination of the few. Finding ways to make life as easy as possible for your customers helps to promote longevity for your business.
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3. Competitive analysis
When it comes to problems with our health, we often seek the services of companies we trust. Lots of customers tend to favour established brands or those that have a loyal customer base, but that doesn’t mean that new players can’t disrupt the market.
Your competitive analysis will need to show where loyalty lies in your sector and/or local area, and illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of these businesses. Having clarity over your competition enables you to find ways to offer better services, whether that’s through easier access to treatment, more tailored care or a new service all together.
Demonstrating your social responsibility is also important. The healthcare sector is known for its unaffordability for those on low incomes, and it can pay to find ways that you can make your services more accessible.
4. Summarise your management structure
Here, you address your management team and how it will be structured. It is a good idea to state what qualifications your management staff will have so the business looks more viable to potential lenders. For a home healthcare agency, for example, you need to have a registered manager who has completed a QCF Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care or one of the other accepted qualifications.
Also think about how you will determine whether a potential candidate is fit for a role. For instance, to become a care worker, you usually need to have First Aid skills and an NVQ in Health and Social Care, Levels 2 and 3.
However, to make this section really compelling, you need to include details about your company culture. Healthcare is an emotive sector and personal sector. The success of your business will largely depend on the experience your customers have with you and your employees.
In addition, your company culture should reflect your mission. So, if you’re offering nutrition advice, for example, you should promote a healthy balance within the workplace. This is particuarly important for healthcare businesses that should, broadly speaking, be in the business for the better of society.
Use this section to show how you’re supporting employees with benefits, wellbeing support and a work life balance.
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5. Detail your sales and marketing plan
Clarify how you will attract new customers to your business and marketing plans for launch day and beyond. This plan should be comprehensive, covering everything from your website to any advertising.
If you’re setting up a healthcare business for the elderly, think about going back to basics and advertising in your local paper, on the local radio or in a magazine – media they are more likely to interact with. Creating a social media presence is a good idea for services targeted towards younger customers, especially if they verge on lifestyle services, like opticians that offer stylish frames.
This section is also a good place to include your pricing structure, which could be a subscription fee, monthly retainer style payment or one-off charges. Include details about any offers for economies of scale, which would allow people to pay less if they have multiple treatments. Remember to link back to your competitive analysis here, to show you’re pricing yourself correctly.
6. Explain your financial projections and needs
You’ll need to include an up-to-date balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow statement in this section.
You should also describe your projected revenue for the next 12 months to five years. Consider aspects like tangible assets, cash flow, your brand, reputation and the market. Working out which method to use to value your business can be difficult, and you might want to speak to a busines adviser.
The final step is stating how much capital you need to run your healthcare business, which might include the amount of investment you need. Be as accurate as possible, outlining the cost of equipment, training and new premises etc.
Join a healthcare franchise
Interested in becoming a franchisee with a healthcare franchise? You’ll find plenty of opportunities right here, from home care franchises to beauty franchises that help customer look after their mental health. Or, browse our UK franchise directory to find even more exciting franchise ideas.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©