With demand for health care growing at a rate twice that of the national economy, recent research suggests that the health sector will potentially create 5.6 million new jobs by 2020. While many industry analysts as well as the media have been busy dissecting how this will affect the job market, a lot less attention has been placed on entrepreneurial activity. All of that demand means there are plenty of opportunities for enterprising entrepreneurs to come in and make some money.
Who Should Consider Starting a Health Care Business?
Demand aside, not everyone is suited to starting a health care business. Realize that many business ideas in this sector will require specific knowledge and certification as well as a graduate and even a post graduate degree. Thus, if you already have a background in health care, or you are looking to start a business on the side while furthering your medical education, entrepreneurship may be something to consider. These days, there are even online medical learning programs, such as those at Sanford Brown, that offer flexible schedules, allowing you work while you are learning.
That said, if you fit the profile, the following are 7 health care and medical business ideas that you may be able start today:
1. Nutritional Contracting or Consultancy. Are you a certified dietitian or nutritionist? Your options for operating some kind of health business or health consulting service with this expertise are almost unlimited. Here are a few ideas to ponder:
- Try subcontracting your services to nursing homes, weight loss clinics, fitness centers, or health-conscious companies
- Start up an online dietitian service, informational website, or membership community.
- Develop your own exclusive diet programs, books, guides, videos and/or software
- Become a personal diet coach
- Become a consultant to restaurants and food manufacturers
2. Medical Equipment Sales. The medical equipment industry represents millions of dollars in sales, and as technology continues to advance and the aging population continues to grow, this industry will only get stronger. There are a couple different ways to enter the medical equipment business. You could set up either a physical or virtual store that sells medical equipment to consumers, or you become an independent sales consultant who represents various manufacturers of medical equipment for sale to hospitals and health centers.
3. Online/ Off-line Vitamin Sales. Like medical equipment mentioned above, the sale of vitamins and food supplements, both online and off, represent a multi-billion dollar industry. Starting a business in this area is relatively easy (especially if you operate exclusively online) and requires minimal cash investment. There are thousands of vitamin manufacturers and wholesalers worldwide as well as those that offer online affiliate programs. But you need to do your research on your target market to find out what products they are interested in and how best to advertise to them. You also have to make sure that the products you sell have passed governmental quality standards.
4. Child Birth Business Ideas. If you have a background in nursing, childcare, or early child education, and you are drawn to the birthing process, then there are several avenues you can take. You could offer natural childbirth classes, seminars, products and/or services. You could also become a certified midwife or labor coach. Just make sure to do your homework so that your new business will comply with all the rules and regulations of your particular region.
5. Personal Wellness Coach. Wellness is about more than simply going to the gym and eating right. Sometimes, the correct choices are known, but many obstacles stand in the way to this healthy lifestyle. Wellness coaching is represents the dynamic relationship between a client and his or her coach, which explores the client’s greatest health concerns and goals, the obstacles to achieving those goals, and strategies to overcome the obstacles. Coaches use a variety of assessment, psychological, and behavior change tools to empower clients to take charge, connect with their deepest motivators, and learn how to grow and change. Organizations like the International Coach Federation can provide certifications to professional wellness coaches. Additionally, other credentials available from the International Coach Federation are Associate Certified Coach, Professional Certified Coach and Master Certified Coach.
6. Personal Training Business. If you have a college degree in physical therapy, physical education, exercise physiology, sports medicine or a related field, you like to work out, and you are good at motivating others to get fit, then you may want to consider getting certified as a personal trainer. As a personal trainer, you’ll instruct clients on proper exercise techniques, design regimes based on their goals, and analyze progress in body weight, muscle development and weight training. You can also help people with specific problems like arthritis to build other muscles to compensate or those who want to rebuild or retrain their bodies after accidents or illness.
7. Medical-Related App Business. If you have a background in computer programing or you can team up with someone who does, then you could create a medical app- whether for a mass market or a very targeted niche, like, say diabetics. Apps for smartphones and tablet computers are extremely popular these days, and if you can stumble upon a good idea, it could easily sell like hotcakes.
In short, if you have a medical background, there are many opportunities to get your entrepreneurial energy flowing. Just make sure you do your research and pick a venture that suits your particular skills and experience.