Don?t just focus on the productThe demise of many small businesses is often down to the founder?s passion overshadowing their business sense. You can have the most innovative idea that larger competitors haven?t thought of yet, inject lots of money, time and effort into it and feel proud knowing you have created something ground-breaking. But, if it?s financially unsuitable for a public sector audience ? meaning they will have to wait a long time to see a return on investment ? it simply won?t take off. You need a strong team that can provide the best of both worlds: the technical vision as well as the consumer insight and financial know-how.
Listen to the woes of your industryThroughout the process of creating a new product, you need to put the purpose of the product at the forefront rather than reflect on how impressive it is. Ask yourself what issues are you trying to combat with this product? In healthcare for example, how can it revolutionise patient care, or maximise efficiency and change the way healthcare professionals use technology for the better? Finding that crucial gap in the market and homing in on it will help your business progress. At Creavo Medical Technologies, we focused on one specific problem that has a huge impact on A&E departments ? chest pain. Chest pain is one of most common types of admissions into A&E and currently only a small number of patients can quickly be identified as ?non-cardiac? at initial presentation. Our non-invasive scanning device, Vitalscan, can help physicians rule out non-cardiac patients in just three to five minutes, saving valuable time, resources and bed space. Financially, the device has the potential to save the NHS up to ?200m a year.
Take all feedback on boardFor most businesses looking to break into the public sector, consumer insight is incredibly useful and market research should never be ignored, whether it be through trials, focus groups or surveys. It can help you make sure your product is heading in the right direction and meets the needs of the people you?re targeting. The medtech industry, for example, is an expensive one, often requiring significant funding and support from investors. So, paying attention to any feedback through a consumer insight exercise is a must to ensure you?re not wasting your money developing a product that doesn?t meet the NHS? requirements. Our device is currently at clinical trials across four major UK hospitals with some of the busiest A&E departments. Every bit of feedback we are getting, not just from NHS staff but also from chest pain patients, is being treated with the upmost importance and could influence any further improvements before we officially launch the product. With public sector organisations under increasing pressure, starting out and surviving in today?s climate is a brave and daring endeavour. If new enterprises want to succeed in getting their ideas from concept to market, impressing potential investors and making a real difference, they need to find that fine balance between innovation and cost-effectiveness. Steve Parker is CEO of Creavo Medical Technologies
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