As some of you know from my post here on Addicted2Success I have recently found out that I have a food intolerance, and it has changed the way I view health. While going through this process I have discovered that there is a phenomenal startup opportunity that is only beginning in the health space.
Let’s face it; people are going to continue to be Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead (words made famous by Joe Cross) for the foreseeable future until there is a new era born. I truly believe that like the information age, the start of a health revolution is on its way.
This new era will help any budding entrepreneur (also known as healthpreneur) create value and make considerable amounts of money. Take a look around and tell me how many people you see that are smoking, drinking soft drink, eating greasy takeaway food or who are overworked.
If you’re like me, you see people like this everywhere, and so it’s your chance as an entrepreneur to help them and create a successful startup at the same time.
Below are seven exciting opportunities that I have seen if you want to establish a startup in the health industry:
1. Food intolerance eating
This first point is one that I have quickly become an expert on and I honestly thought that in the 21st century it would have already been solved but clearly it has not. The main area of opportunity is in the takeaway space. It’s very difficult to find takeaway food or restaurants that can tell you exactly what’s in their food or that even care.
For any entrepreneur who can start a restaurant that addresses this issue, you will be in a niche of your own with thousands of people as your customer. I have to admit that I was fairly naive and didn’t realise how many people have some sort of food intolerance or allergy.
In terms of technology, there is a few apps and websites but none of them are as simple as say Zoomato or the Uber App. Anyone that is passionate and puts the time into creating communities, apps or websites in this field will do very well.
Some people make the mistake of seeing one or two brands that represent their niche and thinking there is no opportunity. This is entirely the wrong way to think. Start thinking how you can do something better with loads of passion and you will leave the opposition for dead.
2. Medical records
So I recently changed doctor here in Australia and had the fun task of trying to get access to my medical records. I soon discovered that this was a major challenge and was centred around the fax machine. While the privacy requirement in the medical industry is a tough one to crack, it’s been done for medical payments so it can definitely be done for medical information.
During my experience, I had multiple specialists, doctors and pathology centres all trying to liaise with one another via phone and fax with great difficulty. If I had been seriously sick, I would have died before they had figured out who sent what fax to whom.
Imagine a world where all your medical records were hosted securely in the cloud, and you or your doctor could securely log in at any time and look at the information. You could also share food diaries, treatment journals, side effect lists, photos of medical conditions and many other things with your GP.
When you go into see your doctor next time in person, they can already see everything about what you have been doing and everything that has occurred in the medical part of your life. Imagine then that this could synchronise with your Fitbit, heart rate monitor or any other health device to give your doctor the full picture in real-time.
There is so much opportunity for entrepreneurs in the medical records space that it’s not funny.
3. Health education in schools
Yet another great opportunity for healthpreneurs is education in schools. I think most of you would agree that we don’t figure out how to be healthy until we are adults because our schools teach us out of date concepts that leave a lot of blanks for children.
We need more passionate entrepreneurs going into schools and teaching from the ground up why we should understand what foods to eat and even how to grow them ourselves. I am not saying that no one has thought of this idea (such as Jamie Oliver) I am saying that there is still heaps of opportunity to take it further.
4. Health Advice / Coaching
Most of the practitioners in the health industry lack the knowledge, passion and delivery method to be able to make reach a larger audience and grow a substantial size business. Again, I am not saying there is no one that provides advice or coaching in the health industry, but what I am saying is there is only a small few who do it well.
The majority of the advice that you get from an expert who has a degree in the field is through face-to-face appointments. Just like the finance industry, this is very inefficient, and there are much better online methods to deliver coaching.
More and more I am seeing financial planners use online webinars or Skype to deliver their advice, and I think this is the way to effectively scale advice in the health space. The benefits are obvious to the end user, reduced costs and easier to manage for busy people.
If you have some knowledge about health, consider doing a startup that takes full advantage of the web and try to provide advice that isn’t biased and gives people options. If you nail this formula, you will have a very profitable business.
5. Supplements – hear me out on this one
Yes, there are thousands of companies that make supplements and most of them are not very good. I know what you’re thinking, “Tim supplements have been around for decades.” I agree they have, but supplements that actually work, clearly show what’s in them and are made from natural, organic ingredients are hard to find.
The need for supplements is growing every year because the quality of our food supply is diminishing; our free time is decreasing, and our diets are getting worse. Don’t let any of these things give you a negative feeling, they are positive because with problems come opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Supplement companies and marketers are not always the most honest people, and so there is an opportunity for more startups to enter this space and create magic. In the western market, there are not a lot of companies that use Chinese Medicine practices and ingredients.
There is clearly an opportunity to make use of the thousands of years of wisdom that the Chinese have around health. Just take a trip to China and see the males who are over eighty years old and have no grey hair or a sign of baldness or wrinkles in sight. IT WILL AMAZE YOU!
6. All things juicing
I am only just starting to see a few startups in Australia, and the USA take advantage of the benefits that we all know exist with any form of juicing. There seem to be a few companies making very healthy profit margins selling convenient juice fasts, but I still think there is a lot more opportunity in this space for entrepreneurs.
In terms of places to buy juice, there is still not that many that exist. A lot of them are very much just the vanilla offerings and there are no wheatgrass, cold press or organic options. Bring your startup into the world of juicing and you might find yourself having some of the success that healthpreneur Joe Cross has had.
7. The labelling of food
One of the biggest challenges in the health industry is around labelling of foods. Yes, it has been addressed at a beginner level but there is still a long way to go. For example, many processed foods will say they contain garlic but a lot of people like me want to know is how much garlic is present.
There are also many cases where ingredients are given colourful names to try and hide what they truly are. Any entrepreneur who can address some of these challenges, produce products with better labelling, and find ways for consumers to examine what their food is made of, will do very well in this new health economy.
One company that has scratched the surface of this whole concept is Consumer Physics from Israel who have created a spectroscopy device that allows you to know what is in virtually anything from food to furniture, to your car.
There are many more opportunities in the labelling area of the health industry, and I look forward to seeing those inventions in the coming years.
So there you have it, my seven suggestions for startups you can create around the opportunities that exist in the health industry. Don’t just read this article and then say to yourself “that’s nice Tim, maybe I will look at these opportunities one day. “
The time is now in this new health era we are entering, and if you have something to bring of value, then you should establish your startup now and become a front runner. If you don’t have anything to bring to the health industry then check out the online / tech space, there are loads of opportunities for almost anyone there.
If you have some other ideas that I have missed or you would like to give me your opinion then feel free to visit my Facebook Page, Twitter or leave a comment below, and I will respond.
You Are The Problem With Your Business
A great way to screw up your company is to get into the habit of blaming your suppliers, the market, your staff or your product for your failures.
I recently heard a story of a business that had set up a website. They sold various products and services focusing on helping people with psychological issues. The business owner was smart. The product solved a problem.
Unfortunately, the company was making almost no money. They’d hired someone to help them with their digital marketing and it wasn’t working.
Plenty of traffic was coming to the site, users were having a look around and then not buying a single thing. Who’s fault was this?
Well, according to the business owner it was the person running their digital marketing. As a result, they wasted approximately eight months marketing a website that couldn’t make any sales. The reason the business was failing according to the owner was because of the keywords that were being targeted in the marketing campaign. This is a horrible excuse.
The reason your business fails is because you’re blaming someone other than yourself. It’s the quickest way to bankruptcy. Don’t do that.
Your company is a reflection of you.
It took me a long time to figure out that a company is a reflection of its founder.
One of the businesses I had, had a toxic culture and a bunch of people that were rude to customers, arrogant and not nice people. That was a reflection of exactly who I was at the time.
The company was reflecting the flaws of my own life and what I refused to admit.
In the case of the business owner above, what was obvious is that they were good at telling lies to themselves. It was easy not to change as a business owner and insist that the change needed was nothing to do with their vision.
The issue of their company was not the digital marketing strategy but their lack of understanding around what their customer wanted.
The thought that their products were too complicated, not solving a real problem or priced incorrectly was an admission of guilt they wanted no part in. Hence the eventual demise of their company.
Take responsibility and it will change.
When you own the business, everything is your fault.
You have the power to solve any problem you choose. It starts with you being brave enough to admit that there’s a problem, and then secondly, being bold enough to insist it’s your fault and that you can change it.
The problems in your business can all be solved. That’s what it took me a very long time to understand. When I changed as a person and faced up to my hidden battle with mental illness that I didn’t want to talk about, the odds turned in my favor.
Had I have not taken responsibility for my mental illness, I would have never become a leader in a business or started another side hustle. I would have been crippled by the big, bad world that I thought I could control.
Control came from responsibility, and responsibility solved the major problem in my business: me.
Change is a must.
Not with your digital marketing strategy.
Not with hiring new people.
Not with developing a new product.
“Changing yourself is the *must* because YOU attract the problems and the solutions into your business”
You can’t find the solutions or stop the never-ending problems until you stop the cause of it all: you. You’re the problem with your business. The good news is that it’s entirely within your control to fix.
Not the business.
The Different Ways of Measuring the Success of Your Start-Up
You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.
How to Evaluate Success
As anyone who’s been involved with start-ups knows, you need a fair amount of flexibility to do well in this environment. Take the division of labour for example – rather than strict roles, you’ll often see everyone do a bit of everything. The same principle extends to measuring success. It can be vague and mean different things to different people, and it can change over time.
But amongst all that vagueness, one thing has become clear. Predicting the success of a start-up is very difficult for external observers. As a matter of fact, it’s often impossible. Therefore, in order to evaluate how successful a start-up has truly been, we need to know the goals of its founder(s).
“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” – Marianne Williamson
When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?
The answer to this depends. If the founders wanted to start a lasting business, then yes, they failed to meet their goal. However, that isn’t always the case. If they were looking for a short-term solution and came out with more money than they had coming in, a closed-down start-up needn’t be unsuccessful. It can actually be the opposite of that.
So, looking at the figures isn’t enough, and there are different perspectives to consider. When they start planning their business venture, start-up founders may not have any particular numbers in mind when it comes to profit. Instead, they can judge their success according to some of the following criteria.
1. Happy Customers and Solving Problems
The story of a start-up often begins with a problem. The desire to help people overcome a specific issue can be the spark which ignites the creation of an entire business. And in the end, that may be all that matters to the founders.
This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.
In other words, some start-up founders don’t just use financial reports to measure how much they’ve achieved. To them, the one metric which stands above all others is the quantity of positive feedback they’ve received. The main area of focus is customers who use the start-up’s products or services to solve a problem they were having.
Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).
In both cases, the furthering of mankind is the ultimate goal. Many other start-up founders feel the same, even if they have smaller goals in mind. To these people, there is no greater proof of success than if their company has had a positive impact on society or even a small segment of it. In their view, to make a difference is to succeed.
“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins
For some, starting up their own business is less about getting rich and more about gaining the freedom to conduct their business the way they want to. In this case, financial success is just a means to an end. The endgame is to be your own boss.
The fact is, some people don’t do well when they’re constantly receiving orders. They are simply hardwired to be free thinkers and they require an environment that allows them to do things in their own way.
Being in a position where you hold all the cards can be exhilarating. The knowledge that your decisions are final is very empowering, and many strive for such freedom. If a start-up can allow such people to go from being a regular employee to being in charge of making all the decisions, then it has already achieved all the success that it needs to.
4. Time for Friends and Family
As many people know all too well, a job can easily turn into the focal point of your daily life. Instead of being a way to support your lifestyle, your work dominates your time. And when that happens, the time you have to dedicate to your loved ones becomes scarce. Combating this is precisely what some have in mind when they decide to take the leap and start their own business.
Now, running your own company is no mean feat and it will require a lot of effort. But the beginning is the most time-consuming part of the process. Later on, it can be possible to create a system which leaves you with a lot more time on your hands. You can spend this time with your significant other, your children, or your friends. A start-up which gives you this opportunity is perhaps the greatest success of all.
A start-up is an extension of its founders and so are that company’s goals. Some entrepreneurs are in it for the profit, but not all of them. In the end, there is no single way to measure the success of a start-up. It all comes down to the specific aims of those who established it. But if the founders can end their day on a happy note, then the venture is a success even if it doesn’t fit some standard definition of the term.
The Problem Is Not Your Website Or Your Product.
I spend a lot of my time talking to business owners. They focus on their product, their marketing channels and trying to make more profit.
I met one such business owner who was in the plastic surgery business. Their product (boob jobs and nose jobs) was not working. Their website sucked and people clicked off as soon as they visited it.
People would call their office, get put on hold, listen to the on hold message and hang up.
This business didn’t seem all that special. I’ve talked to many businesses and didn’t think for a microsecond that a plastic surgery clinic could ever teach me anything valuable.
I’ve been to Hollywood on holidays and the issues of body image are all too apparent to me. Anyway, this post is not about body image.
I ended up losing this business as a customer — not that I would ever have sold anything to them if it were up to me. I sat down one afternoon and thought about why we no longer did business with them.
That’s when I realized it’s not about your product or your website. All the issues with this plastic surgery clinic and a lot of other businesses I’ve dealt with stem from one thing. Let me explain in more detail.
Your Google Reviews say you’re an piece of work.
I looked up their Google Reviews and their customers said they were assholes.
They spoke down to clients, they didn’t deliver their clients what they wanted, they argued with their staff in front of customers and they treated people like they were nothing more than a dollar sign.
All I had to do was read their Google reviews to see that the problem wasn’t their product or their website.
Your clients tell you every day that you suck.
I asked the plastic surgery what their clients said.
Many of their clients told them that their services sucked and they would prefer to go to places like Thailand where they could get a better product at a much lower price.
The business owner made the mistake of thinking it was their product that was the problem and that a new website will tell clients a different message.
That wasn’t it.
You abuse your staff and they consistently leave.
I spoke with many staff that worked for this business.
Every single one of them hated the company and were not afraid to say what they thought of the business owner.
The business owner would sit outside on a nice sunny day and look across the street at all the yachts and the people boarding them.
They’d sit there and think that every lead they got was going to take them one step closer to owning their very own yacht.
“If only I could deliver more boob jobs, maybe I could have one of those,” they thought quietly to themselves hoping that no one else could hear how ridiculous this sounded.
I can remember multiple times being on the phone to the business owner and having one of their staff burst into tears halfway through the call.
The first time it happened I didn’t think much. After the third time, I got the message. During the short time I dealt with this business, people consistently left. If you made it to the six-month mark, you were some sort of hero and would probably be given a free surgery to say thank you for your work and make you feel worse about your own body at the same time.
It was free noses and boobs in return for daily abuse.
The problem still wasn’t the website all the product.
You don’t solve real problems; you solve your own problem.
A good business solves a problem.
That problem typically affects human beings and solving it is how you make money in business. Solving problems can start out with a problem that affects you, but at some point, you’ve got to start solving that same problem for other people/businesses.
This owner of this plastic surgery clinic was only trying to solve their own problem which was making more money to buy fancy items like yachts.
Only solving your own problem is not just selfish but bad business.
Good business is solving a big problem or lots of small problems for entire strangers who you don’t know thus doing something valuable for the human race.
Solving only your problem will make you poor.
The problem still wasn’t their website or product.
Creating more problems.
Everything this business owner sold created more problems.
They’d film videos to purposely make people feel like their body wasn’t perfect.
They’d write articles suggesting that everyone needs botox to feel young.
They’d take photos of men and women who were supposed to be perfect so that young people would dream of looking like them.
Not only was their business not solving a real problem; it was also creating more problems every day that it existed.
If your business creates more problems than it solves, you’re in real trouble.You need to take a long hard look at the business and become obsessed with doing everything you can to change it — and do so damn fast to limit the whirlwind of problems you’re creating behind you.
The heart of the problem.
It’s the business owner.
The business I mentioned will fail. That part is certain. The problem with the business is not the website or the product.
The problem is the business has no heart because the business owner has no heart.
You cannot focus on your own selfish desires, create really bad problems in the world, treat other human beings like garbage and expect to go buy a yacht and live happily ever after. It just doesn’t happen like that.
Whether you are a plastic surgery clinic like the one I described or a solo entrepreneur, the problem with your business is you.
Fix the problem of YOU. You can’t get away with being horrible forever.
Being horrible is bad business.
Being respectful, kind and valuable is the final answer to the problem with your business.
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