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How to Start a Telehealth Business – A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Start a Telemedicine Business - A Step-by-Step Guide [Featured Image]
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If you’re looking for step-by-step guidance on how to start a telehealth business, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss major things you’ll need to consider and steps to take to start a telehealth business.

What is a Telehealth Business?

First, I don’t want to take it for granted that you know what a Telehealth business is. Considering that it’s a growing phenomenon, it’s likely, you haven’t heard much about what telehealth is or how it works, so let me explain…

According to MayoClinic, Telehealth is…

Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services.

Types of Telehealth Businesses

Telehealth includes:

  • Prescribing medicines virtually
  • Offering virtual patient appointments
  • Maintaining food logs, labs, blood sugar levels, or other medical information on an electronic device for virtual review by a healthcare provider
  • The use of a patient portal for communication with your healthcare team
  • and much more

Is there a Demand for Telehealth Services?

The purpose of Telehealth is to offer more convenience. In a traditional healthcare setting, it’s common for patients to have long wait times, extended time away from work, hassles with employers to comply with health requirements, and more.

Telehealth is a solution that makes it easier to comply with health requirements and speak to a healthcare team without the common disadvantages associated with in-person healthcare.

Due to the convenience, telehealth services are growing in demand.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, technology was making it easier and more convenient for the healthcare industry and their patients. Now, with the pandemic underway at the time of this writing, the demand for telehealth services has skyrocketed.

According to Google, there’s been a significant spike in the number of searches related to healthcare online. These are just a few examples…

Do you see the spike in March 2020? COVID-19 has made the telehealth industry even more popular than before.

What do Telehealth Businesses do?

As a Telehealth business, you could provide all services or majority of your services virtually–this means, you could:

  • See patients
  • Prescribe medicines
  • Offer education
  • Monitor patients for compliance or ongoing health
  • Order lab work, medications, x-rays
  • Update medical records
  • Coordinate with insurance companies
  • Handle billing
  • Keep stocked with medical supplies
  • and more

You can offer telehealth as a supplement to in-person visits, or you can exclusively offer telehealth services–it’s up to you.

The Traditional way to Start a Medical Practice vs. The Modern Way

Like the telehealth industry itself, the process of starting a business has changed. Traditionally, you’d start by:

  • Paying for your equipment
  • Renting your office space
  • Incorporating
  • Getting your insurance, licenses, copyrights, and trademarks
  • And, ultimately, spending large amounts to acquire everything you need to deliver services

Now, with the internet, it’s possible to start a business with much les overhead. In fact, many successful businesses are starting completely sdrawkcab…backwards. Hahahaha.

Rather than starting by investing in the legal compliance or service design, modern business success stories are starting by building their audience first.

How to Start a Telehealth Business (The Modern Way) – Step-by-Step

The modern way to start a business looks like this…

1. Acquire the Skills and Licenses

For many telehealth businesses, it’s important to have an educational background, licenses, and experience before practicing on patients. It’s important to make sure you acquire the necessary licensing and skills–this can be done alongside some of the other steps, but it’s important that this is something you pay attention to.

Recommended Reading:

2. Choose a Niche

Healthcare is a huge industry, and while it’s nice to think you can help everyone, it’s best to focus on a small demographic, and scale out from there. Some example of Telehealth Niches are:

  • Pediatric Psychiatry
  • Marriage counseling
  • Abuse recovery
  • and, Naturopathic medicine

By choosing a niche, you’ll appeal more to a select group of people. When you’re a generalist, it’s less appealing because people percieve a specialists as more skilled.

3. Build a Website

In a traditional business, a physical location would serve as the waiting room and doctor’s office. Now, with the internet, you can build a website, and add functionality, so your clients can schedule appointments, pay for appointments, complete intake forms, and more.

Building a website is really important to a Telehealth business because it’s your virtual “doctor’s office, and it can help clients you don’t know to become patients.

4. Attract an Audience

Offline doctor’s offices attract new patients with signage, location, event networking, and advertising. Telehealth businesses have to attract clients too. You can implement a similar marketing plan as a physical doctor’s office, or you can put a higher emphasis on internet marketing, and acquire customers thru social media, search engines, influencer marketing, video marketing, running ads, or podcasting.

Once you start to attract an audience, you can build an email list, and offer education, or you can go right into step five, and…

5. Sell a Product or Service

Telehealth businesses make money from selling products and services, so it’s very important that you start to generate ideas about what could be a good offer for your target audience. Some common telehealth products and services include:

  • 1-on-1 consultations or “Doctor visits”
  • Group consultations
  • Health memberships
  • Digital courses
  • eBooks
  • Printables or Health Trackers
  • Advertising
  • Sponsorships
  • and, some telehealth businesses get paid for referring people to other products or services

Once you’re making sales, you have proof of concept., and it’s time to reinvest in making a higher quality service.

Recommended Resources:

6. Incorporate and Make it Official

Once you’ve started getting a few sales, then you’re also at more legal and financial risk, so it’s important to protect yourself by incorporating. It doesn’t have to be done as the 1st step though.

As you’re making sales, you can reinvest the income into things like:

  • Equipment
  • Paying yourself
  • Growing a team
  • Improving the quality of your service
  • Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights
  • Getting legal advice
  • Getting accounting advice
  • and more

7. Make Money

Business is a labor of consistency. As you continue applying the steps laid out, you’ll be able to climb new heights with your income potential. The telehealth demand doesn’t appear to be slowing down, so best wishes to make money!

Conclusion

If you’re interested in starting a telehealth business, it’s likely you love nurturing people and helping them to improve their health situations. Hopefully, this step-by-step guide on how to start a telehealth business gave you lots to ponder as you start your business. If you have more questions about this, leave them in the comments section below. Or, if you want ongoing support and accountability as you grow your business, join the Enterprise Builder community.

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