Your Competitive Action Plan: Where are you headed?
By: Brad Smith, Vertess Consulting
Whether you are preparing for the end of the year or a more strategic positioning, these are changing times in the healthcare marketplace. There will always be market interruptions, but we are in the midst of a dramatic evolution in long-term care, pharmacy/infusion, and Medicare home care/hospice.
While you may not be able to predict with accuracy how your specific market will be changing, there are some time-tested strategies that you should consider:
- Look at what innovators are doing and consider how this market may impact you in the next 12–24 months. This is not necessarily about being an early adopter, but it may help you project necessary expenses and new revenue sources in the next year.
- Review your revenue projections for the next year and re-evaluate the assumptions on which they are based. They may be accurate, but most of us continue to use assumptions with an affection for the past, not the realism required for the future.
- Spend thoughtful time with your customers, and probe their true needs, including services or products that you don’t presently provide. Whether you offer them or simply help your customers connect with someone who does, you can strengthen the relationship by helping your clients access the services and products they need.
- Assess your organizational structure with a lean eye. Is there any part of your structure not aligned with your strategic direction? Are all your resources/divisions complementing your core competency?
- Consider the trade associations and alliances that you belong to as well as those you don’t. When there is a market transition, these are good information sources to help you evaluate your future options.
When times are changing, some business principals tend to retreat and rely on their internal realities. This is not a time for that kind of approach. Real action will be necessary to weather the storm of change that may be headed your way.