As an orthopedic surgeon, it was not uncommon for me to treat patients who had suffered an orthopedic injury and first sought treatment in an emergency room.
Once there, the patient would experience long wait times only to be treated, released and then referred to a specialist like myself. This methodology increased not only the patient’s healthcare costs and recovery time but also produces less than optimal outcomes.
Six years ago, I thought to myself, there must be a better, cost effective and efficient healthcare model that would also sustain a healthy bottom line. It was at that moment when I envisioned a simple strategy combined with a transparent business model. It was a franchised urgent care center specializing in orthopedic when-needed care.
Today, OrthoNOW® is the nation’s only orthopedic urgent care center franchise with 10 franchise locations between South Florida and Georgia. Similarly, Nitelight Pediatric Urgent Care as well as AFC/Doctors Express Urgent Care, one of the pioneers of urgent care franchising, have disrupted the healthcare ecosystem, presenting investors with a solid, recession proof business opportunity even if they are not a health care professional. Health care exists no matter the economic conditions and the demand for services increases every year.
As I have navigated the healthcare franchise world, I have learned some incredibly valuable insights that I refer to as my ‘key healthcare franchising tenets’ and I would like to share those tips with prospective healthcare investors as they embark on their new journey:
- Simple Strategy– If it is too complicated to understand, it’s probably not the right solution for you. Thankfully, our strategy is clean and simple: expert orthopedic care for everyday injuries that’s convenient and affordable.
- Predictable, Reliable, Stable Business Model – When it comes to injuries, they happen every day and never by appointment. Healthcare urgent care offers that stability.
- Technology Resistant – There are some services that cannot fully be provided by the Internet nor can it be outsourced overseas. Yes, the newest technology certainly plays a role in our business, but care MUST be provided by expert and compassionate caregivers.
- Proven Business System –Be sure that the franchise you are considering has developed business operations processes, advertising and marketing strategies and general procedures for launching and managing profitable locations. The operations model needs to be efficient and effective and constantly improving. You want to invest with a franchise that is always considering new solutions to make your business operate more efficiently.
- Experienced Team – Align yourself only with a corporate staff that consists of proven business, medical, and franchise professionals. It is essential in order to get all of the support you need to thrive as a franchise owner. For instance, we are committed to providing assistance all along the way as you train, choose your site, build out your center, staff it, launch and grow a profitable business.
- Understand Your Competition – Carefully consider your competitive landscape as you will need to uniquely position yourself to dominate in a highly fragmented market. Fortunately, in our case, there is no competition as we are the first and only national expert orthopedic urgent care franchise.
- Growth Opportunities and Scalability – Ensure that you are partnering with a powerhouse that is targeting multi-unit and Area Developers who understand the power of scale.
- Multiple Income Streams – Look for opportunities that offer multiple ancillary products and services that will drive revenue.
- Optimized Profitability – Evaluate to determine if your managed labor costs make it affordable to scale.
- Residual Income Streams – Look for an offering that features repeat visits, referrals and ongoing care services.
Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS is an internationally renowned hand and upper extremity surgeon at Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in Doral, Florida. After years of a successful medical career and a prestigious speaking legacy, he saw a need for specialized orthopedic urgent care centers to efficiently assess and treat a range of orthopedic and sports injuries and founded OrthoNOW®, the only network of orthopedic urgent care centers in the country. Each OrthoNOW® has a team of orthopedic specialists on staff that treat broken bones, sprains, torn ligaments and muscles, cuts, sports and workers compensation injuries. Dr. Badia is a two-time South Florida Business Journal Top 100 Power Leaders in Healthcare and a Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leader by Diversity MBA Magazine, has also been honored with Legacy Awards from Today’s Work Comp Professionals and The Doral Business Council. OrthoNOW® was named a “Top Ten Franchise Opportunity” in healthcare by Entrepreneur Magazine and featured: Orthopedics This Week, South Florida Business Journal, and The Miami Herald among others.