Consumer Health Product Startup Tips

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 80 percent of new businesses survive a year or more of operation. It’s no different in the consumer health and medical product industry.  While a startup takes a lot of work and can be a scary proposition, the rewards can be immeasurable. As medical devices and home health products become increasingly connected, there are more and more opportunities for startup opportunities with consumer health products.

Consumer Health Product Startup Tips

Take a look at these four ways you can ensure a startup in this industry finds success for that first year and beyond.

Find Enough Cash

It doesn’t matter what type of business you start, extensive cash flow is the key to stabilizing your business and breaking the barriers to entry with any product. Companies involved in home health products and medical devices are no different. The road to product launch can be long and product testing and approval may require significant capital investments. It’s important to be smart about taking on investors and avoiding the roadblocks that prevent entrepreneurs from securing loans.

Start by creating a solid business plan to help attract investors or obtain necessary funding from lenders. Consider consulting with a business advisor who has plenty of experience launching consumer health products and may have a connection to retailers, designers and understands the importance of patent law. An active investor with real world experience can be a big asset.  His or her guidance will prove invaluable and can save you significant amounts of time and cash. 

Hire the Right People

This one is really important: you have to hire the right staff, consultants or agency to ensure your consumer health product startup gets off on the right foot. You will need qualified, experienced designers, developers and staff that is ready to transfer a product from prototypes to manufacturing.  Products that require human factors testing or interface design may require an industrial or product design firm that understands consumer health or medical product design. Even though you’re eager to get your business up and running, take your time and choose your team wisely – it’ll pay off copiously.

Refine Your Pitch

The competition is fierce for consumer health, and success or failure may depend on how effective your pitch for funding and investment is.  You need to be able to clearly state the goals, expectations, forecasting and target audience that your product will solve a problem for. Unfortunately, no matter how well you understand your industry and how skilled you may be, you may still experience hiccups as you try to run your business. The best sales pitch ideas combined with great presentation skills will help you convey a successful roadmap to any investors that you may be seeking to involve.

Understand FDA Requirements

There is no denying it; the present is a time when the medical and consumer product worlds are intertwined. Medical devices that consumers can use themselves are hotter than even – wearables can encourage health habits, and other products can solve health issues and improve the individual’s quality of life. Even the Food and Drug Administration is on board with the life changing devices being created today; the FDA has created an approval fast-track for Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung, making new health product technologies available to the public much faster while slashing the time and cost needed to develop them. As you run your business, it is essential you follow the federal and state regulations for your health products application to make sure you are on the right track from day one. Understanding the federal requirements for taking a consumer health product to market creates a better understanding of your product development road map.

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to launch a successful product, so remember that your vision, passion, and skills, combined with preparation, are key to a successful future.

Health Product Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "4 Ways Your Consumer Health Product Startup Can Find Success" was first published on Small Business Trends

Survey Reveals the Retail Automation Expectations of Your Customers

The latest Pew Research Center survey revealed 52 percent of Americans believe stores will probably be fully automated in the next 20 years. But 13 percent said it will definitely happen, bringing the total number who see automation having an impact in the segment to almost two-thirds or 65 percent.

The Pew survey looked at how Americans view automation and the spread of the technology over the next two decades across several industries. Small businesses in the retail sector, including those that rely on deliveries, will be affected, according to the survey.

The Pew Research Center survey was carried out from May 1 to May 15, 2017 with 4,135 US adults participating. Participants are part of the American Trends Panel, which was created by Pew Research Center. It includes a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults who participate in self-administered web surveys every month. 

Retail Automation Expectations

Store Automation

Responding to the question whether most stores will be fully automated and involve little human interaction, 2 percent said definitely not, 32 percent said probably not, 52 percent said probably so, and 13 percent said definitely so.

Small businesses can now access a range of automation solutions for their physical and digital stores to improve their operations. Everything from monthly deliveries to POS software, marketing, customer engagement and accounting can now be automated.

If you choose the right technology for your particular industry, you can introduce new levels of efficiency to your business. This will leave your human employees to deliver the best-personalized customer service possible.

Deliveries

Amazon has already announced intention to use drones for deliveries, and there may now be additional types of robots in the market able to accomplish something similar. Earlier this year, Virginia became the first state to legalize delivery robots.

Regarding deliveries, the Pew survey wanted to know how many  believe deliveries in cities will be made by robots or drones instead of humans. Four percent of respondents think this innovation definitely won’t happen, 31 percent believe it probably won’t, 53 percent believe it probably will happen and 12 percent believe it definitely will happen.

Restaurants and other businesses relying on making deliveries may soon use drones, robots or other automated technologies as part of their operations. As the price point comes down and the technology becomes more reliable, use of such delivery tools will likely become more common.

Will Automation Impact Your Small Business?

According to a McKinsey Global Report, physical activities in highly structured and predictable environments, and data collection and processing will be the most susceptible jobs to automation. In the US, the activities the report mentions account for 51 percent of the economy, which is responsible for close to $2.7 trillion in wages.

The McKinsey report explains this will not happen overnight. But early implementation of automation, robotics, drones, 3D printing and other technologies allows your small business to compete and stay relevant.

If you are worried machines will have all the jobs, the McKinsey report says, “Our analysis shows that humans will still be needed in the workforce: the total productivity gains we estimate will only come about if people work alongside machines. That, in turn, will fundamentally alter the workplace, requiring a new degree of cooperation between workers and technology.”

The Pew Research Center survey is a must read if you want to know how Americans feel about these technologies. You can take a look at it here.

Image: Pew Research Center

This article, "65% of Your Customers Expect More Automation in Businesses of the Future" was first published on Small Business Trends

Right Networks Cloud Includes 3 New Solutions for Small Business and Their Accountants
Right Networks has introduced three new cloud solutions for small businesses and their accountants. The Right Networks Cloud is designed to streamline business operations and accounting by making it easier to use third party web applications in the cloud.

More Efficient in The Cloud

Here’s why that matters to small businesses. Bookkeeping, small business finances and accounting are safer and more efficient in the cloud. What’s more, small businesses can take what they need and leave the rest in the cloud. There’s no need to buy and implement software in this case.

John Farrer, Right Networks CEO explains the all-important flexibility provided by cloud solutions.

“In today’s hyper-competitive market, accounting professionals need the ability to scale up fast as their business grows,” he said. “Our three new cloud offerings give our customers a broad and powerful blend of cloud applications.”

Right Networks Cloud Solutions

Here’s a breakdown of the three new cloud solutions from Right Networks:

QuickBooks Desktop Cloud, as the name implies, offers access to Quickbooks Desktop and other accounting and legacy software from the cloud — meaning you can access them anywhere. You’ll also be able to print documents from the cloud, manage PDF files and store up to 5GB of data.

“Our QuickBooks Desktop Cloud offers secure and reliable access to QuickBooks Desktop and will put your accounting and legacy applications in the cloud with anytime, anywhere availability,” Krug writes in the official blog post listing the solutions.

The Application Cloud offers access to Microsoft Office, this time with 50 GB of storage and a cloud-enabled QuickBooks Desktop option. The company says this solution also gives you unlimited access to a curated set of apps ranging from business analytics to retail applications.

“Pick from a range of applications that will power-up your workflow — like business analytics and reporting apps, financial, or retail applications,” writes Rachel Krug, Right Networks’ director of product marketing on the company blog.

Business Cloud offers a veritable smorgesbord of options including a higher level of integration with Quickbooks Desktop. There’s also the ability to generate expense reports from Expensify, making payments with Bill.com, tracking employee time with TSheets. You also have 10 GB of cloud storage and access to Microsoft Excel.

Prices start at $50 per user per month and run up to $70.  Right Networks specializes in helping accounting experts and small businesses move their critical applications into the cloud.

Image: Right Networks

This article, "Right Networks Has 3 New Cloud Solutions for Small Businesses and Their Accountants" was first published on Small Business Trends

The Future of Happiness: Keeping Your Balance on Top of Technological ChangeTechnology has moved faster than any one could ever imagine, causing stress and feelings of anxiety in many of us, technophobe and tech geek alike. The Future of Happiness: 5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity and Well-Being in the Digital Era is a guide to eliminating this stress. With the book’s principles, readers learn how to use technology without being overwhelmed by it.

What is The Future of Happiness About?

Think about all the technology that has become a part of your life in the past few years. You have a cell phone (more than likely a smartphone) that lets you stay connected to anyone around the world near a cell phone tower. You use a desktop or laptop to access the internet and check your email, use social media, make purchases, learn new things and do your job. You might watch movies on Netflix, store your pictures in a cloud or read a digital version of a book.

None of these technologies existed a few years ago. Yet, they have become an integral part of our lives. We can’t imagine living without them. (Try to leave your cell phone at home for one full day!). In The Future of Happiness, author Amy Blankson explores what this means for us caught in the middle.

We are overwhelmed by this technology but we can’t imagine being happy without it.

In The Future of Happiness, Blankson argues there is a “middle path” between technological overwhelm and technological obsession.

That “middle path” centers around the five principles discussed in the book. These five principles, however, have nothing to do with the type of technology that a person picks. It has to do with the person (aka you) who picks the technology. By paying more attention to how we use technology, we can gain more control.

Although we tend to blame technology for many of society’s new problems (texting while driving, decreasing attention rates, etc.), they are not the problem. We are! When we don’t pay attention to what we are doing, we end up chasing productivity gadgets instead of being productive. The Future of Happiness is about breaking this cycle one principle at a time.

Blankson is an author, speaker, and consultant in the areas of positive psychology and technology. Blankson cofounded GoodThink, Inc, an organization that bridges the gap between academic research and practical application of that research. She has completed projects for a variety of people, including presidents, and even Oprah Winfrey. (Blankson served as a professor in one of Oprah’s happiness courses).

What Was Best About The Future of Happiness?

The Future of Happiness is a great book because of its authenticity. The book recognizes the internal tension we feel about technology. We know that technology has become an important part of our lives but we fear the consequences of having too much of it. No other book on this topic displays this insight in quite the same way. As a result, Blankson’s book offers a perspective that should be accessible to everyone.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

While The Future of Happiness offers powerful (but simple) principles, down-to-Earth stories that everyone can relate to, and an excellent translation of academic research into practical resources, there is one area that could use a little more work. The bulk of each chapter of the book focuses on the research and stories for the book’s five principles. Only a small section of each chapter is devoted to outlining strategies. More content here (especially with examples) might give more detail to readers who want to translate the book’s strategies into reality at work and at home.

Why Read The Future of Happiness?

The Future of Happiness covers the overlooked issue in discussions about the future of humanity. As many books point out, there will be more gadgets, more robots, and more artificial intelligence. Will there be more happiness, though? This is a topic that most books don’t talk about. They assume that humans will just figure it out. As Blankson points out brilliantly in her book, this is not the case. Adding more technology doesn’t make us happier. At the same time, running away from our technology-driven future won’t make most of us happy either.

Instead, we need balance.

The Future of Happiness helps us achieve that balance by redirecting our attention from mindless chasing of quick solutions to practical (and timeless) principles. If you are concerned about the increasing pace of technology, this book will help you place things in perspective before it’s too late.

This article, "The Future of Happiness: Keeping Your Balance During Technological Change" was first published on Small Business Trends


If you want the best small business team, you need to create a culture that’s going to attract top talent.

That’s no small feat. But it can be made easier with expertise from business culture experts. An upcoming Twitter chat can help you glean insights from some of those experts and others in the small business community.

The Twitter chat, Build Culture, Win Talent: Driving Small Business Success, is scheduled for November 29 at 3 p.m. ET. Experts will share tips and ask questions of participants to create an active conversation.

You can learn more about the chat in the Featured Events section. Then check out even more upcoming small business events in the list below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

TWITTER CHAT: Build Culture, Win Talent: Driving Small Business Success#MetLifeSmallBiz Twitter Chat: Build Culture, Win Talent: Driving Small Business Success
November 29, 2017, Online, Twitter

MetLife will host a #MetLifeSmallBiz Twitter chat conversation among small business owners about how to build and maintain the kind of culture that attracts and keeps top talent. MetLife will be joined by Small Business experts Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends, Rieva Lesonsky of Small Biz Daily and a member of Susan Solovic’s team. These experts will share tips based on their personal experiences building winning business cultures, and expand upon small business insights from the latest Employee Benefit Trends Study and the MetLife & US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index. Join us 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Twitter under the hashtag: #MetLifeSmallBiz


TNW New YorkTNW New York
December 12, 2017, New York, N.Y.

The fifth edition of TNW New York is designed for decision-makers looking to explore the digital technologies transforming the Tech, Communication and Media industries.
This year we’re keeping it cozy and curated by operating an invite-only policy. If you want to be one of a thousand industry leaders discovering, discussing and shaping what’s Now and Next in digital this December, then apply for your invitation now!


LEAP HR: Retail Conference, Nashville 2018LEAP HR: Retail Conference, Nashville 2018
February 27, 2018, Nashville, Tenn.

LEAP HR: Retail 2018 will once again dig deeper into the innovative people leaps helping digital-native and established retailers succeed in a rapidly transforming industry. With new speakers, fresh case studies, and a pre-conference ‘Boot Camp’ day dedicated to what the next-generation retail workforce really looks like, LEAP HR Retail 2018 remains the unique opportunity for senior people leaders in this industry to really challenge and get creative around how we do HR in retail.


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Twitter image Via Shutterstock

This article, "Attract Top Talent with a Great Culture, Learn More in This Upcoming Twitter Chat" was first published on Small Business Trends