Business Plan On Naturopathy On Call (Noc)
Market Analysis – SWOT
One of NOC’s main strong points is that it provides a natural and an alternative approach for diagnosing and addressing physical ailments. There is increasing literature about how conventional medicines are actually causing us more harm than good, such as the findings that childhood obesity actually increases for children more exposed to antibiotics (Mcnamee). NOC will bank on these recent findings, hoping that people will soon realize the advantages of the natural approach. Another inherent strength is that the services will be offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and through channels most convenient and accessible to people these days – their mobile phones and the Internet.
On the other hand, NOC’s weakness lies in its limited and minimal interaction between the patient and the physician. A visit to the doctor is almost a personal affair and our relationship with our doctor is oftentimes considered as important as the doctor’s competence itself (Goold and Lipkin S29). As such, the provision of consultations over the phone or over the Internet may take some time before they get fully accepted by the general public. Aside from the trust issues brought about by the non-contact between the physician and the patient, there might also be inaccuracies in the diagnosis, especially for more complex cases. In addition, as both the service and the remedy offered are unconventional, people might be reluctant at the start to try them.
NOC definitely has several opportunities it can optimize. The growing awareness of the advantages of naturopathic medicine (Larsen) is something that is largely unexplored and can be leveraged on. The public is just about starting to appreciate the benefits of alternative medication as opposed to conventional ones. Moreover, while there are other on-call medical services being offered in the market, there is not much on naturopathic medication just yet.
The threats against NOC include both the conventional and alternative medical services available in the market. Conventional hospitals and clinics will always have their client base as there is a huge likelihood that people still prefer personal interactions with their physicians. On the other hand, other unconventional means that also pose threats include online search engines like Yahoo and Google, which could offer answers with a click of a button. There are also similar on-call medical services already operating in the market these days.
Market Analysis – PESTEL
The medical field is a highly-regulated industry (Field 607). However, since the service being offered by NOC is relatively new, there might be some lag time before any regulations will be deemed necessary and applicable to NOC. In this regard, NOC will have to self-regulate and be extra careful in its dealings and operations.
As economies grow and prosper, one tendency is for people to be so busy that they sometimes do not even have time to visit hospitals. This economic phenomenon of busy adults is one of the motivations of NOC – to cater to these individuals.
Social factors may be one of the deterrents of NOC. People are creatures of habit. As we are so used to having personal, one-on-one consultations with our doctors, it might really take some time for people to get used to the idea of over-the-phone and over-the-Internet medical check-ups.
As most services will be provided online or over the phone, there should be enough infrastructure built around these communication channels to ensure smooth operations for NOC. The frameworks of established call centers can be used as models, and they can also serve as proof that these set ups could work and function pretty well.
NOC will most definitely cater to the environment-friendly. NOC’s advocacy is to promote natural remedies as opposed to chemical antibiotics that are prepared in huge factories and that are artificially-manufactured. NOC will stand on the belief that all of our bodies’ ailments can be addressed and cured by medicinal herbs and plants that are naturally growing around us. The set-up will most likely enable NOC to get support from environment-conscious groups.
Similar to the political factors, the legal factors may take some lag time to catch up as the framework and the services offered will be unchartered territory. Conventional drug companies might find some loopholes should NOC start to stir interest and build its own following, but NOC should be careful around these things – product and service patents included.
Financial Plan – Key Financial Data
A business venture has to be financially sound. While a business may not make much at the start, it is expected to be self-sufficient and profitable at some point. To discuss some of NOC’s financial plan, here are some of the elements to be considered in financial planning and analysis.
Ensuring that NOC won’t have any cash flow issues, a cash flow budget should be closely monitored and adhered to. Cash flow is vital to any business operations, and NOC has to ensure that it can sustain its run.
Profit and Loss Analysis
Again, a business is not expected to make much money on the first few months, but it is expected to earn profit at one point. As such, financial indicators such as gross profit margins and operating profit margins should be up in our list of financial indicators to monitor for NOC. Simply put, the gross profit margin ratio is the gross profit margin ratio expressed in percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher the value that the business retains for each dollar of sales. This also translates to more of the money going to operations and ultimately, to the net profit. A low gross profit margin means that either NOC is not generating enough revenues to sustain the operating expenses or that the services might have been priced too low. The operating profit margin, on the other hand, is calculated by dividing the operating income by the net sales. In particular, the operating profit margin measures the proportion of NOC’s revenue that is left after the company has paid for the variable costs of production such as raw materials, wages, and others.
Solvency analysis is about calculating NOC’s net current assets less its current liabilities. This will be useful in analyzing NOC’s ability to meet long-term obligations. To be more specific, the solvency ratio is calculated as net income (or after tax profit) plus the depreciation divided by short-term liabilities plus the long-term liabilities. There are other solvency indicators, but the solvency ratio is considered one of the more comprehensive measures as it measures the company’s cash flow rather than the net income by including depreciation into the equation. It measures the company’s cash flow capacity relative to all liabilities and not only against debt. Aside from debt, the other liabilities may include short-term accounts payable and long-term capital lease and pension plan obligations for employees.
Return on Capital Employed
One of the more important indicators is the ROCE, or the return on capital employed. This will measure if NOC is able to recover the capital employed in it, and if investors are getting their money’s worth.
Field, Robert. “Why Is Health Care Regulation So Complex?” Pharmacy & Therapeutics 33.10
Goold, Susan Dorr and Lipkin, Mack Jr. “The Doctor-Patient Relationship.” Journal of General
Internal Medicine, 14.1 (1999): S26-S33
Larsen, Hans R (2014). “Alternative Medicine: Why so popular?” yourhealthbase.com.
International Health News, 2014. Web. 26 Dec. 2014
Mcnamee, David (2014). “Antibiotic exposure associated with early childhood obesity.”
medicalnewstoday.com. MediLexicon International Limited, 30 Sept. 2014. Web 26 Dec. 2014 <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283184.php>.
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