We live in a world of innovation, change and disruption:
- The largest hospitality chain in the world owns no hotels (Airbnb)
- The largest media conglomerate publishes no media (Facebook)
- The largest taxi company in the world owns no taxis (Uber)
- The largest retailer in the world owns no stock (Alibaba)
The illusion of security is being dilapidated one sector at a time. Century-old companies are struggling to keep up with those created by teenagers in their parents’ basements.
Opportunities are ripe and that is why no sector is out of danger. One day, someday, disruption will set in and bring chaos to what was once a sea of tranquillity.
Health seems heavily protected as a sector because of the tight regulatory environment within. However, it is worth reviewing what happened to industries like hospitality and transportation: both were populated by undying corporate mammoths until the fine day it all came crashing down.
In January, Jeff Bezos shook $30bn off the health industry in one day (Source). He did not do anything particular other than announce plans to provide affordable healthcare to his employees. That is all it took
No lobbying could have protected healthcare companies then.
As a one person coach, you might be intimidated in taking on the healthcare establishment by yourself. It can remind you of David and Goliath, and you would not be that off.
Regardless, making a name for yourself and carving out a piece of the pie as a health coach is easier than ever before. Let me explain why:
In order for disruption to set in an industry there must be a confluence of three factors:
- Relaxed regulatory environment
- Heightened Price sensitivity
- The emergence of new business models.
In essence, for an industry to be widely disrupted there must be loose legal entry barriers, an increasingly displeased portion of the population with the available services, and the technological advancements necessary to make disruptive business operations viable.
So here are 3 insights to make a name out of yourself in the Health industry:
Being different doesn’t mean being differentiated. The former means you have chosen to be a contrarian without necessarily considering whether your new ways actually add to your clients’ journey. Differentiation comes by knowing what is currently available in the market and exploring innovative ways to serve those neglected by everyone profitably. It is then testing and validating those assumptions through minimum viable products.
For a coach, this is all about getting to know inside and out the reasons why people are fed up of their current healthcare provider, and what makes them want to explore alternatives. It means sitting down with yourself and asking what benefits does your coaching bring to the table, and why should people care about them. All of this helps you plan your go-to-market strategy, create relevant marketing material and optimise your approach with clients.
Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Source). It is a bold statement that requires constant innovation to be ever achieved. This is because there is always new information to be organised and made use of, in faster and more accessible ways. Innovation brings change but you need to know when to stop and move onto another version of your products or programs. This is very well illustrated in the value/innovation graph below. Notice how without a further iteration in the product, innovation plateaus and the value addition is minimal
As a coach, the only way to be in business for the rest of your career and enjoy predictable clientele is to innovate your coaching delivery. More than anything, when it comes to health and healthcare, technology is a looming threat. The industry as a whole is moving towards less invasive treatments through advanced technology in an attempt to care more for the customer. How can you as a health coach deliver your coaching in ways which force people to pay attention to? What will machines never be able to provide to patients? Innovating along these lines is a tried and tested approach to long-term competitive advantage and worry-free business development.
Amazon’s mission statement is longer than Google’s by a factor of a couple of pages. The gist of it is that they are on a mission to become the world’s most customer centric business (Source). Why? Because caring sells.
As a health coach you need to be aware of what is shifting in the health industry as a whole. What we are seeing unfold now are shifts in consumer attitude. People are more displeased and want more transparency. They want health bills to be accessible and easily understandable so that refunds can be simplified. Health is moving towards the same level of customer satisfaction than Amazon. When the experience you get ordering a book online is better than the care you receive when you are in need, the system has to change. You must be the one to see it before anyone else.
The health insurance premiums have increases year on year for the past 20 years in line also with the annual deductible costs (Source), making healthcare more and more a privilege for the few. People are going to expect more care, for less, whilst improving the entire customer experience from start to end. At what point do you come into the picture? That is the question you must ask yourself.
Healthcare is ripe for disruption, with the correct industry analysis and customer behavioural insights, health coaches have a reliable ace up their sleeves.