The healthcare industry is easily one of the largest enterprises in the world. Just consider the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 2.5 million nurses working in the United States. With such statistics, it is probably impossible to calculate how many different niches are active in this market. The healthcare consulting niche, however, is one of the few that receive mainstream attention. 

The reason why innumerable professionals are turning to their own consulting practices is the versatility that this sub sector provides. It allows people to choose what engagements they want to work on, in what capacity they will help, and much more. For instance, healthcare consulting could mean anything from offering second opinions to improving hospitals’ efficiencies. Thus, given the level of competition, how can one overcome the barriers to entry and survive in the consulting niche? 

Sole Proprietors Versus Employed Workers

In healthcare consulting, professionals can choose whether they want to build a business or work for established companies. Meaning, people can either create their own practice or apply for consulting jobs. Luckily, one can switch between the two almost effortlessly. In fact, a lot of consultants do both. Meaning, although they may work as full-time healthcare consultants for insurance agencies, per se, they also have their own practices. 

The benefits and shortcomings of both are somewhat parallel to one another. For instance, working as a sole proprietor will mean that the consultant has to start from scratch. For those unfamiliar, such a beginning includes developing a brand and overcoming the competition from larger companies. People who work for large organizations, on the other hand, will not have to worry about brand awareness. 

Nevertheless, working for someone else does limit the consultant in what they can accept or decline to work on. Additionally, it ties them to predetermined hours and fixed salaries that progress over time. 

Therefore, surviving the initial entrance to the healthcare consulting field is highly dependent on how one decides to operate. 

Providing Reliable Service

In order to overcome the initial competition, consultants must out-do their opponents. So, if a large company dedicates three hours to their low-level clients per week, someone’s private practice should offer twice that. Doing so will enable them to provide the customer with a top-notch service that will facilitate word-of-mouth referrals. 

Consider, for example, a medical expert like Dr. Eldor Brish that is looking for a consultant. Also, assume that the matter in question pertains to expanding the anesthesiology department in his hospital. Well, in order to do so, Dr. Eldor Brish must coordinate the endeavor flawlessly and he decided to rely on a third-party consultant. 

For someone to offer valuable input, they should engage in all of the following: 

  • Face-to-face interview with the anesthesiologist;
  • Visual reviews of the space in question;
  • Discussions with the administrative department;
  • Communicate with experts that have experience with hospital expansion work;
  • Communicate with construction companies that could facilitate the project. 

Doing so will allow the consultant to offer Dr. Eldor Brish high-quality advice that will ease the impact of the expansion. Consequently, they will establish a reputation with everyone from the hospital in question to the construction company that completed the expansion. 

Although this is a hypothetical example involving Dr. Eldor Brish and a medical consultant, it accurately depicts the amount of work that healthcare consultants must be willing to do. If they are unable to complete the previously described duties, their longevity in such a competitive niche is questionable. 

Never-Ending Networking

Lastly, creating a valuable brand or even moving up the ranks in an organization has a direct relationship with one’s networking skills and resourcefulness. For those unfamiliar, this describes how well someone connects with potential associates or clients. Well, in order to raise awareness about their skills, consultants should be ready to sell themselves to the future buyer.

This can be achieved by presenting their offering in a creative way or relying on competitive advantage related to pricing or efficiency. Regardless, healthcare consultants must be easily distinguishable from the group in order for someone to involve them in larger projects. To that end, social skills are just as important as their technical knowledge!