2021 HME Business Handbook: Strategy

To Chase or Not To Chase: The 'Shiny Object Conundrum'

New opportunities can be exciting and seem almost irresistible. How does a savvy HME owner and operator distinguish between the 'latest thing' and a legitimate chance to increase revenue?

StrategyOriginally featured in VGM Playbook: Growing Your Business in Today’s Environment, VGM’s Mike Isaacson provided his insights into ensuring businesses are on the right path when thinking about growing and developing:

As business owners and/or leaders, you are pulled in many different directions and wear multiple hats on a daily basis. It is always exciting to look at new opportunities, both in times of growth and prosperity as well as in times of challenge and decline. When things are going well, we have the convenience to look for that new product, business line, etc. Similarly, but for different reasons, when things are stagnant or even in decline, looking for new revenue streams and opportunities can bring enthusiasm and optimism into the company. In both cases, this may be the perfect time to look … or not.

Before you spend your personal, professional, or business capital on pursuing the “next big thing,” ask yourself five key questions to ensure you’re on the right path.

DOES THIS FIT INTO OUR STRATEGIC PLAN SHORT/LONG-TERM?

The Strategic Plan is the focused look at the business that sets the foundation for the future. This document, unfortunately, tends to start with a lot of promise and focus, and many times ends the year forgotten, collecting dust on a shelf. This is a great time to dust it off and see if this new endeavor fits the direction you intended to go.

DOES THIS OPPORTUNITY FALL WITHIN OUR SCOPE?

Straying too far from your core business or model can create confusion both within a company and with your consumer base. To combat this, you must have a strong handle on your strengths, your market differentiation, and your core competencies.

AM I BORED?

When you feel restless or if your day-to-day has become mundane, new ventures can be just the excitement you need to kick-start your creativity and passion. It very well may be a great opportunity and work to support your need for motivation, but be sure that it’s not just your boredom-colored glasses making it look like a better business opportunity than it actually is.

AM I INTERESTED OR PANICKING?

Let’s say things are going well with your business. Someone pitches you a new product or business idea and you have the time to review, evaluate, and conduct due diligence in a calm and unemotional way. Take it or leave it, you are all good. Or …

Your business is struggling, and you need to find that idea that will right the ship and clear the skies. Someone pitches you an idea, looks good on the surface, so you grasp at it like the life preserver you’ve been hoping for. There is no “leave it” in your mind, so you take it.

So, ask yourself, am I interested or am I panicking — do I have to make this decision?

WHAT IS THE MARKET POTENTIAL?

There are a few follow-up questions with this one:

  • Is this being done already?
  • Is there room for another player?
  • What is our differentiator?

Do your due diligence, look at market data, make sure your revenue potential supports growth, and research the competition.

POINTS TO REMEMBER

  • You should always be on the lookout for great opportunities—for growth and expansion. You must, however, do so with both eyes open and with a full understanding of company and personal motivation. Start first by asking yourself questions and conducting due diligence from a place of awareness:
    • Does this fit into our strategic plan short- and long-term?
    • Does this opportunity fall within our scope?
    • Am I bored?
    • Am I Interested or Panicking?
    • What Is the Market Potential?
  • By doing so, you can eliminate the number of “shiny objects” and truly home in on the real opportunities.
  • Now, go brush off that Strategic Plan, ask these questions, and get growing.

LEARN MORE

To read more articles and features about HME management and strategy, visit hme-business.com/management. To learn how services and education from VGM can help you grow your HME business, visit vgm.com.

About the Author

Mike Isaacson is the senior vice president of business development for VGM & Associates and oversees the continued development, growth, and enhancements of its communities. Prior to joining VGM & Associates, he was vice president of business development for VGM HOMELINK, and has also spent 23 years as a state and national leader in community healthcare settings. He can be reached via email at Mike.Isaacson@vgm.com.

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