Fargo Medical Laboratories

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Laboratory Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Fargo Medical Laboratories will leverage their competitive edge of a convenient location within a large medical facility to help it quickly gain market share. FML has developed a strategic marketing plan that will use several different methods to develop local awareness of itself and the benefits offered. Fargo Medical Laboratories has also developed a sales strategy to help turn the qualified leads into clients by emphasizing the significant benefits that physicians can offer their patients by sending them to Fargo Medical Laboratories. Sections 5.1-5.3 offers more detail regarding the competitive edge, marketing and sales strategies.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Fargo Medical Laboratories' competitive edge is convenience. In the blood analysis industry it is hard to differentiate yourself from competitors assuming a few basic levels of care and performance:

  • You accept several popular insurance plans, otherwise many patients could not use your service.
  • You provide fast analysis, tests are completed and reported within 48-60 hours at the most.
  • You provide accurate, precise results.

If these basic, foundational levels of performance are met, then you are competitive. This is why convenience is so important and why it is an effective way of distinguishing one lab from another. The physician is looking for a way to get a blood sample from a patient that is easiest from the patient's perspective.

Other factors include maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. If these were not met it would not "kill the deal" but would decrease sales. Here are some important customer service elements that all employees of Fargo Medical Laboratories will emphasize:

  • The receptionists and phlebotomists are friendly.
  • A satisfactory specimen is secured on the first try.
  • Patient discomfort is minimized.
  • The phlebotomist was able to personify the laboratory and promote a positive impression between the lab and the patient.

These customer service factors will certainly be taught to all employees to ensure the most positive patient experience.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Fargo Medical Laboratories will undertake a marketing strategy employing three means of communicating its new service offering:

  • Direct mail. Local physicians will receive a flyer announcing the opening of Fargo Medical Laboratories and detailing the services offered. A list of physicians is easily obtained through the local licensing board.

  • Personal introductions to Main Street Professional Building tenants. A representative from Fargo Medical Laboratories will visit all of the medical offices within the building as a way of introducing FML to the doctors. This will provide FML with an opportunity to develop a personal relationship with doctors, something that is useful and valuable for service providers within a licensed industry.

  • Advertisements. Ads will be placed in the regional flyer that all licensed physicians receive as members of their local chapter of the American Medical Association (AMA). 

5.3 Sales Strategy

Fargo Medical Laboratories' sales strategy will be used to convert a qualified lead into a client by emphasizing three important services:

  1. Most forms of insurance accepted- This is important because the vast number of patients that will have their blood tested will not be self-paying, they will be using insurance. FML would not be a viable alternative if they did not accept popular insurance plans.

  2. Quick turnaround- A doctor's diagnosis and treatment is often based on the results of the test. It is not reasonable to expect the patient to wait an excessive period of time for the results. Fargo Medical Laboratories will deliver results fast.

  3. Convenience- There is no other alternative that is more convenient than sending the patients to an office within the building.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

Fargo Medical Laboratories had developed a conservative sales forecast for the three years of this business plan. A conservative forecast was chosen because the venture is being funded by bank debt, which is fairly risk-averse, and therefore, it is in Fargo Medical Laboratories' best interests if they are able to meet the monthly sales goals. If the forecast was more aggressive it would be far easier for FML to miss sales targets and find themselves hurting financially due to inaccurate assumptions and forecasts. This would then cast doubt on the survival of the business.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Professional building physicians $81,778 $210,545 $232,545
Nearby physicians $16,356 $42,109 $46,509
Total Sales $98,134 $252,654 $279,054
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Professional building physicians $28,622 $73,691 $81,391
Nearby physicians $5,724 $14,738 $16,278
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $34,347 $88,429 $97,669

5.4 Milestones

Fargo Medical Laboratories has identified several milestones for the organization to achieve. The achievement of the milestones will be instrumental in the success of the the venture. By enumerating the milestones it provides the organization with clear goals that everyone can focus their energy on.

Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Completion of business plan 1/1/2003 2/1/2003 $0 Dave Business development
Secure lease 1/1/2003 2/15/2003 $0 Dave Operations
Conversion of 50% of in-house drs into customers 2/15/2003 10/15/2003 $0 Dave Sales
Profitability 10/15/2003 12/15/2003 $0 Dave Everyone
Revenue of $100,000 12/15/2003 2/1/2004 $0 Dave Sales
Totals $0