This is the latest blog explaining how understanding your healthcare catch basin can help you to grow you business. In earlier blogs I have explained how a healthcare catch basin is defined and how you analyze it. In the last blog I had explained how you should utilize a thorough catch basin analysis in your merger and acquisition due diligence in order to minimize wrong decisions and maximize your opportunities.

In the following, I will explain how you can use catch basin analysis to make strategic decisions about where to invest in the geographic expansion of your healthcare business and where to best invest your marketing dollars.

The Problem

You know that you want or have to expand geographically. But how do you decide where should you expand? Where should you begin to look for the next practice location? How far away should it be from your current location(s)? Which of the potential areas are most promising in terms of growth opportunity and target patient base? Could you answer these questions for your healthcare business clearly and with confidence?  Have you been in a situation in which you have acquired another practice but the impact on your business has not been as big as you had expected despite knowing everything about their financials and operational capabilities? The problem is that you do not have enough information about the actual catch basin and the market.

Understand what you are looking for

If you have a multi-location healthcare business, understand the catch basin for each location and determine which demographic patterns your more successful locations have vs. your less successful locations. Specifically, you want to understand the following at a minimum:

  1. The average core catch basin per location and the average across all locations
  2. The population density, race, average household income and other demographics by location (successful and not successful locations)
  3. For more advanced analysis, a breakdown by service line (high profit vs. low profit services)

Once you have a detailed understanding of your geographic catch basin(s), you can start drawing conclusions about where the best possible opportunities for a new location or overall business expansion may lie.

Determine the search area

Next, you need to determine how “connected” or “disconnected” you want your new locations to be to your existing catch basins. At a minimum, you have to look far enough away that your new practice location does not overlap with your existing “Core Catch Basins.” Ideally, your new practice location will be in one of your existing “Extended Catch Basins” (read here to understand the different types of catch basins). This allows you to have the best opportunity to capture the market potential.

Once you have defined the geographic area that is relevant for your search, start searching for locations that best match the ideal catch basin profile.

If you have done a more advanced analysis by service line, it will help you to even further refine your research and increase the quality of your search results.

Advanced analysis opportunities

If you want to further improve your results, you have the opportunity to correlate additional aspects of your business and data with the above results. Google Analytics provides you with a wealth of information that, if combined with your practice catch basin analysis results, can add another layer of information that you can’t get from anywhere else. The data within Google Analytics can help you answer these important questions:

  • Where are the web users that visit your website?
  • Where do you have a high concentration of traffic of patients that are interested in your services?
  • What are these visitors searching for on your site?
  • How do the high interest areas on the web correlate to the geographic areas you identified in your catch basin analysis?

Conclusion

By utilizing an advanced catch basin analysis for the purpose of finding the best location(s) for your geographic expansion, you will see that making expensive growth and expansion decisions doesn’t have to be a guessing game anymore. You have the opportunity to drastically increase your expansion success rate, your profitability and decrease the time it takes to ramp up new business locations. On the flipside, by not doing this analysis before your important expansion decisions, you drastically increase your financial risk and overall risk of not being able to accomplish your strategic growth objectives.

If you are interested in more information about how to use catch basins analyses for your growth decisions, read our other blogs or call us at 973-998-8008.

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