The healthcare industry is a trillion-dollar industry, with expenses climbing each year and no signs of stopping. According to the latest information from the National Health Expenditure Accounts, healthcare spending reached $3.6 trillion in 2018, which averages about $11,172 per person living in the U.S. Overall, health spending accounts for about 17.7% of the nation’s gross domestic product. While a huge moneymaker, the industry itself is heavily regulated and incredibly complex. As tech advancements continue to help with areas of research and development, a greater potential for disruption by way of entrepreneurial innovation is opening up.

A Demanding Clientele

The consumers of the healthcare industry are changing the way they shop, develop opinions, demand attention, communicate, and pay their pays. While these changes have long been experienced in retail sectors, consumer habits, behaviors, and demands are encroaching healthcare operations, administration, and benefit delivery. These consumer behaviors are demanding a response from the healthcare industry, and if practitioners, insurance providers, and other involved parties aren’t able to adapt to this demanding clientele, there will be a shake-up in the market. The current strategy, working to some degree of success, is to adapt and avoid losing patients. In order to continue doing this usefully, new ways of accommodating and treating patients will need to arrive on the scene.

Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

There is practically limitless potential for the advancement of the healthcare industry, which is excellent news if you have the intelligence, resources, and commitment to starting your own business. Current success stories, like that of healthcare entrepreneur Harry Stylli, show you how one small idea can turn into a global phenomenon. Being flexible in your thinking of what is needed to improve service delivery, patient self-help, or patient privacy and security is the initial step to following others in the quest for an innovative healthcare field. While you may accurately perceive challenges associated with resources, these roadblocks typically accompany those who are unimaginative and traditional in their search for an answer to industry problems. Successful healthcare entrepreneurs take risks and look at the industry from far outside the box, searching for a niche that hasn’t been explored. While Google is noted for its initial fame as a successful search engine and heavily linked to IT matters, the entity and parent company are investing billions in artificial intelligence and analytics support for multiple areas of the healthcare industry. Even though Google is well-funded, the company’s leadership knows the potential benefits of jumping on board the healthcare innovation train.

Embody an Entrepreneur

You probably won’t get too far in your quest for a new business venture in the healthcare area without first knowing what it takes and how long it takes. In most cases, success is something that doesn’t happen overnight, and you will need to develop the skills and abilities required for sustainability within the field. Thinking like an entrepreneur requires a creative approach to what seemed to be already-solved problems or those that still need a solution. Offering a solution to an age-old problem doesn’t mean success. Solving the problem in a highly efficient, sustainable, and consumer-appeasing way is the trick. If you haven’t started out on your own as of yet, taking inventory of the problems you encounter as an employee or the challenges of transition within your employer could be areas of exploration for your own business ventures. Look for moments of crisis that can be turned into entrepreneurial opportunities.

Pick the Right Problem

There are no right or wrong ideas when it comes to starting your own business, but long-term chances of success will attempt to address problems worth solving. Things change quickly within the healthcare industry, and you need to step back and evaluate how credible your would-be solution is compared to a changing landscape. Make sure you aren’t inflating the problem into something bigger than what actually exists, and try to pinpoint if your solution opens up a niche market or simply repackages something that is currently available from a competitor. The right financial plan can help startup solutions grow and flourish into major enterprises, but there needs to be a solid business model and product laying the foundation. Establishing your timeline for starting and releasing a product or service into the market can also guide you concerning the viability of your solution. If your products arrives on the scene too slowly, the problem may have already disappeared or found another solution.

Develop the Right Networks

If you are committed to moving forward with a new healthcare venture, you will need the right network and strong support. One of the best ways to improve your leadership and skills, as well as find good company for your journey, is through higher education or advanced degrees in your field. Adding professors or fellow professionals into your network can help guide you on your startup efforts. Your journey may hold more potential when you don’t venture out alone.

Matt Shealy is the President of Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

Healthcare stock photo by S_L/Shutterstock