6 Blind Spots That Slow a Practice’s Response to Competition

The healthcare community is growing at a rapid pace, and with growth comes change. In order to effectively market their practices, medical practices need to be able to evaluate and position themselves to compete with their colleagues in order to see continued success. Position your business above other practices you have identified as “competition”. You don’t need to overdo trying to beat them, you just need to be a little bit better. Identify areas where you can be just a little bit better.

Six common areas exist, where health care managers see a need to take an active role in positioning themselves to better compete with other related professionals. These “blind spots” can effectively ruin a health care organization if not dealt with, and handled effectively. Organized competitor intelligence that are put into play will ensure a company stays relevant in the marketplace and boosts their edge over other health care professionals.

If you are considering adding on an ancillary service, make sure you do your homework on your competition.

Managing Boundaries

Health care managers typically focus their attention and analysis in their local marketplace. Due to tremendous growth and growing competition, patients seeking medical care are now willing to travel further, go to different areas, and seek help in different varieties of services. If your practice focuses only on the local area, you are doing a disservice to your business. Patients are shopping around for better prices, variations on services, and care that is more specialized. They are seeking healthcare outside of their local “boundaries”, and to stay competitive you need to evaluate what they are doing to grow their businesses.

Competitor Identification

In order to compete, you must first identify who your competition is. In order to effectively compare one company to another, business models have to be taken into account. In today’s marketplace, healthcare revenues generated by hospital care are down, while more direct care organizations see an increased revenue stream. Misjudging the industry and service areas will lead to poor analysis. The focal point not only needs to be on the major competitors, but also on emerging and lesser known organizations that do not always fit in with traditional healthcare organizations.

Viable Competence

Only looking at one angle of the competition, commonly the visible activities and practices will create an ineffective strategy. When preforming an analysis of the competition, take into account all the various activities of that business. Look at and evaluate their organizational structure, human resources, service features, management acumen, culture, and be able to predict how they plan to position themselves in the market. Focus on what they can do in the future as well as what they are doing in the present. Underestimating their resources and business model can lead to a flawed analysis.

How To Better Compete In Certain Areas

Area competitor analysis requires understanding the market, identifying competitors, and the ability to evaluate them. General health care trends and issues need to be synthesized into the analysis as well. This needs to be explicit input into the formulation of the organizations stratagem for competing. Step one of this is to better understand specific services and categories that an organization provides to its customers. The service must then be specified for the various service and categories. The structure and competitive dynamics should then be assessed. Each competitor providing services in the same category should be evaluated and analyzed. Only then can the proper analysis be synthesized and implications drawn.

Faulty Assumptions Regarding the Competition

Evaluating the strength and weaknesses of each competitor is essential to positioning your business for growth. However, often many underestimate their competition. Quantative and qualitative information needs to be used for a thorough analysis.

Other Strategic Questions To Evaluate To Best Position Your Company

1.Is the strategy in line with the competitive environment?

2.Do you have an honest and accurate appraisal of the competition?

3.Have you underestimated the competition?

4.Has the rivalry in the service category or service area changed?

5.Have the barriers to entering the service area or category changed?

6.Does the strategy leave you vulnerable to the power of any major customers?

7.Have there been any changes in the number or availability of substitute products or services?

8.Is the strategy vulnerable to a successful counterattack by the competitors?

9.Does the strategy follow that of a strong competitor?

10.Will the strategy put your business up against a powerful competitor?

11.Is the market sufficient to be competitive and generate an acceptable profit?

Service area competition analysis is an important aspect to any healthcare related company. With advances in medicine, different medical approaches, and an ever-changing landscape over the past decade, anyone in the medical profession needs to be able to effectively evaluate and compete against other businesses. This is especially important when competing in the same category and profession. Analysts must be competent and have the ability to judge all aspects of the competitors business and business model. Evaluation of competitor strengths and weaknesses, competitor strategy, strategic groups, critical success factors, and likely competitor actions and responses need to be analysis to position your business to be fully competitive.

Finally, service area and competitor information should be synthesized and strategic conclusions drawn to allow recommendations to be made on either implementing or not certain ancillary services to grow your practice’s revenue.

If you would like to learn more about beating your competition, contact us, we have several suggestions.