There’s been significant growth in the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) market in recent years. The reasons for that are the growing aging population and the fact that more patients prefer staying in their homes.
The increasing demand for durable medical equipment prompted many to open their own DME business, either physical or e-commerce ones. If you’re looking to open one yourself, here are five keys to a profitable DME business.
Figure out your strategy for generating DME referrals
As a business owner, it is of vital importance that your DME business generates enough revenue. To be able to do that, you must figure out an effective way to both produce and retain customers. Your customers, both patients and referral sources, are the one thing your business can not survive without.
As such, it’s essential that you come up with a strategy for generating DME referrals. Hospitals, rehab centers, and clinics are all good referral sources, but you can also rely on healthcare professionals (e.g. physicians). When it comes to generating leads, your website and ads may come in quite handy. Some businesses may also consider the option of buying leads. If so, make sure that you do so in a way that is legal, otherwise, you’re exposing your business to risk of being shut down.
Develop an effective strategy for marketing your DME business
An effective DME marketing program is an essential component of building a profitable DME business. It needs to effectively communicate the purpose of the product you’re selling, what it does, and how it can help improve the patient’s quality of life. One marketing strategy medical equipment providers tend to rely on the most to expand their client base is telemarketing, although its regulations vary across the U.S.
For instance, you will need a telemarketing license in Florida if you’re making calls there, but that’s not the case in South Carolina. There are currently 32 states along with the District of Columbia that require businesses to register as telemarketers. Still, virtually all states have certain telemarketing laws and regulations that need to be followed when calling their residents. Non-compliance to the regulation does carry serious consequences for the telemarketers, so these regulations are not to be overlooked.
Make sure you understand all the licensing requirements
Speaking of licensing, you may also need to obtain a license that will allow you to sell DME products in your state. Some states will require a specialized license in order to do so, and may even impose certain restrictions. These can include anything from types or amounts of goods kept in the stock to specific patient recordkeeping requirements.
Your safest bet would be to consult with the medical board or the state Board of Pharmacy. That way, you can rest assured knowing that your business is in compliance with all the licensing requirements.
Do your best to stay relevant and up-to-date
Another way to ensure the success of your DME business is to remain relevant and up-to-date. One of the best ways to do that is to use online tools to your advantage.
Nowadays, you can easily follow the latest trends in the DME industry and track important data. Social networks such as LinkedIn also make it easier for businesses to remain informed. Furthermore, you can use networking sites to keep in touch with industry experts and keep an eye on the competitors. Remember to attend conferences regularly to stay on top of the latest products. That way, you’ll be able to choose the best products that you can offer to your customers.
Customize your service for value and convenience
Updating and customizing the way you serve customers is another way to ensure DME industry success. This can mean anything from adopting flexible payment methods to making it possible for customers to order your products online. Things like these provide value and convenience to customers and make it easier for DME businesses to differentiate themselves.
Last but not least, consider automating certain operations. Not only is this a great way to improve your everyday business efficiency, but it’ll also save you a significant amount of money that you can direct towards further streamlining your workflow.
Ensuring success in the DME industry is no easy feat. That said, with proper knowledge, planning, support, and the ability to adapt to the ever-evolving trends as well as regulations, medical suppliers can take advantage of the growth and innovation opportunities and overcome the challenges more effectively.
That, combined with your drive and work ethic, will make it possible for you to navigate today’s market more easily and make your DME business a successful and profitable one.