Helping lab professionals GoMolecular.
In this article:
- How to conduct a market assessment
- Determine the needs of your market
- Consider strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
Know Your Market
Before you open a molecular lab, you should ask some important questions: Does my community need a molecular lab? Which tests does my patient population need most? How can we be profitable? Who is our competition?
All of these questions can be answered when you conduct a thorough market assessment. If you gather enough information upfront, this will help you see the needs of your market and how you can fill them. Here are some steps to evaluating your market and finding all the answers you need.
1. Define Your Market
Determine the potential size and scope of the community you will be serving. Who will benefit the most from your lab services? Look at the numbers of clinicians and patients, the estimated test volume, and the size of the geographic area. Consider any specialty or niche markets that you could target directly, such as toxicology or pharmacogenomics. Identify any competition within your market and what they have to offer.
2. Conduct a Survey
A good way to assess market needs is to talk to the people who would benefit from a molecular lab. Conduct interviews with a good sampling of administrators, directors, lab managers, tech support, and clinicians. You will find their insights and expertise to be invaluable to your project, and help guide the decisions you make in the process.
By getting key individuals involved from the start, you will see greater support and commitment to your efforts in the end. One-on-one personal interviews are best, but a questionnaire could also be conducted via phone, online, or during a focus group.
3. Perform a S.W.O.T. Analysis
This strategic planning exercise helps you identify and determine Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (S.W.O.T.). It’s a great way to get it all down on paper and see exactly what you have going for you, and what challenges are against you in your market space. Create a four-part chart that details succinct lists in each category:
• Strengths: What gives you an advantage?
• Weaknesses: What could use improvement?
• Opportunities: What do you hope to accomplish?
• Threats: Who is your competition? What risks or challenges will you face?
The next step is to conduct a S.W.O.T. analysis for your competitors. This will give you a clear picture of what you need to do to compete and succeed.
4. Assess and Report
A thorough market assessment should help you understand the opportunities, revenue potential, and your ability to make it happen. Gather all the information you need and present it in a report to the appropriate decision maker. This should act as a preliminary proposal that will help determine whether the project moves forward or not.
If you and your administration decide that the market is ready for a molecular lab, the next steps would include a formal business plan and presentation to the key decision makers in your organization.