No matter what he was doing Scott Lloyd always considered himself to be an entrepreneur.
But healthcare was never an industry he was interested in pursuing. In fact, as an undergraduate student, Lloyd read The Wall Street Journal daily from front to back, skipping healthcare-related stories. Ten years later he is co-founder of Extrakare, a medical equipment distributor ranked eighth among the fastest-growing private business in Atlanta by Inc. Magazine.
As the keynote speaker for the Goizueta Business School’s Healthcare Forum, Lloyd spoke about opportunities in the healthcare industry due to an aging population in need of various medical services. Founded in 2004, Extrakare now services 13 counties surrounding the metro Atlanta area. The company has built a reputation on quality of their products and services, including respiratory care, sleep disorder products and home medical equipment.
Lloyd spoke in depth about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in the healthcare field. With the majority of healthcare costs being covered by medical insurance companies, firms like Extrakare do not have the luxury of setting prices for many services they offer.
He also highlighted a few key points he has found to be the most important in determining the success of medical service providers.
- Adopt a low-cost strategy by achieving operational efficiency. It is helpful to look at the financial statements of profitable competitors.
- Don’t be afraid to change the level of service you provide as long as long as you have a deliberate plan that is implemented slowly and communicated well through your sales and marketing team. Lloyd said it does no good to try to compete at the service level when the product has become a commodity.
- Healthcare entrepreneurs must be politically engaged. State senators and legislators often vote on healthcare bills along to party lines, according to Lloyd, without an intimate knowledge of issues that could affect the business.
- Attain clinical credibility. As a healthcare entrepreneur Lloyd says you must achieve a level of clinical credibility for customers to have confidence in the products and services you provide.
- Finally, Lloyd said be prepared to work in a highly regulated environment. There are standards healthcare distributors must comply with in order to stay in business ranging from having an employee on-call at all times to fulfilling in-home visits to repair product within four hours.
Lloyd, who has an MBA from Goizueta, also reminded hopeful entrepreneurs to never lose sight of the customer and to strive for the genuine feeling of doing good.