Fargo Medical Laboratories

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Laboratory Business Plan

Market Analysis Summary

Fargo Medical Laboratories has identified two market segments. The first segment is the physicians that practice within the same professional building as FML. The second group is comprised of physicians that practice in the surrounding area.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Fargo Medical Laboratories will provide services geared to two distinct customer segments.

  1. Main Street Professional Building physicians- This segment is made up of physicians that practice medicine in offices that are located within the Main Street Professional Building. There is a wide range of specialties represented, but predominantly primary care and general practitioners. Most types of doctors need blood work done on their patients with some regularity. The Main Street physicians have always just had to send their patients to another area of town to have blood drawn and analyzed. This is not convenient for their patients and is time consuming, so physicians in the building would generally be quite happy if there were a blood laboratory within the building.

  2. Nearby physicians- These physicians practice near the Main Street Professional Building. These doctors also have to send their patients out to a different location to have blood work done. Fargo Medical Laboratories' services would be attractive to this group because FML would be located closer to their offices than the blood lab currently used. The advantage to this group of physicians would also be convenience.
Market Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
Main Street building physicians 3% 128 132 136 140 144 2.99%
Nearby physicians 5% 115 121 127 133 140 5.04%
Total 3.97% 243 253 263 273 284 3.97%

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

It is fairly intuitive as to why physicians within the Main Street Professional Building will be targeted, they are the customers who would have the most demand for Fargo Medical Laboratories' services. Almost all types of doctors regularly have patients who need blood testing done. Assuming that the lab accepts most of the common types of medical insurance, the lab is generally chosen by being the most convenient for the patient since they are the ones who must travel to the lab to have the blood drawn.

For physicians who work within the Main Street Professional Building, Fargo Medical Laboratories would be the most convenient laboratory, being located within the same building as the physician's offices. No longer would the doctor have to ask the patient to travel to have blood drawn. For the second target market, the nearby physicians, the reasoning is similar, convenience for the patients. While it is not quite as convenient as sending the patient to another office within the same building, Fargo Medical Laboratories would still be closer than the current lab.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

Blood laboratories all provide similar services. Most accept a wide range of insurance plans. Some do the tests in-house, others will outsource the tests. Where the tests are completed is not really that significant. To be competitive the labs need to have the tests completed within a couple of days at the most. This means it all comes down to convenience. Labs serve the physicians and doctors that are closest in terms of geographic proximity. In most cities/towns, you will see labs placed throughout the city serving the different clusters of physicians.

Fargo is different, or at least Main Street is. Main Street Professional Building has for years been trying to have a laboratory locate within the building to serve the large population of doctors. The trouble has been that South Dakota is experiencing an exodus of people. As college students have completed school, they have left the state. Fargo has had difficulty attracting qualified technical people, in this instance phlebotomists (blood drawing technicians) and chemical analyzers. This is the explanation for the absence of a blood laboratory in the Main Street Professional Building. The need has existed, just no one has "stepped up to the plate", at least not until now.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

In Fargo, there is a total of seven blood drawing laboratories. Of the seven, two only serve their specific clients and do not do work for other physicians. Of the remaining five, three offer basic tests done on-site, like Fargo Medical Laboratories, and the remaining two are full service laboratories that do work complex for the other labs.

The closest competitor to Fargo Medical Laboratories is Mednet, located four miles away. This is the facility that 95% of the physicians in the Main Street Professional Building currently use. It is used by these physicians because of convenience, it WAS the closest laboratory. As mentioned earlier, blood testing service providers are chosen based on convenience, how close they are to the patients. Hours of operation (i.e. longer hours/evening hours) are insignificant since physicians are only available during traditional daytime office hours.