For the last few weeks I have been working on a match-making project for an overseas trade delegation. It’s not a service that I advertise but after receiving an email enquiry titled “Match-making services” (which I almost didn’t open for understandable reasons), I rang the Business Support Office to discuss what they were looking for – only to find out that it’s basically something I do nearly every day for free. So why not?
I wasn’t anticipating the range of companies seeking to engage with UK distributors, and health and care, purchasers, procurers and decision makers. Nevertheless, I have “cracked-on” with the project, and made new contacts and introductions and am starting to put together an itinerary.
The companies that I am supporting cover a wide range of specialisms. Coming from another country to the UK they are interested in knowing more about our market, who can help them develop their businesses and who might buy their products and services.
In order to help make these connections I have been unravelling different processes associated with each speciality and can honestly say that I don’t know how new entrants could approach UK markets without help. I know my way around procurement, tendering and a range of clinical services relatively well and it is taking time, a string of phone calls, emails and connections to meet the challenge. Coming to a market cold is more difficult than anyone knows before they start. Let’s be honest, if every senior practitioner, procurement manager or commissioner opened their doors to everyone wanting to meet them, they would never get any work done – so they’re protected by walls of steel and spam filters.
Employing someone with one foot in the door can save a lot of time, energy and frustration. Small companies often say that engaging a consultant is too expensive for them, however before jumping to this conclusion has the cost of time taken to speak to the right people been considered?
As I tell most of my clients the most expensive and valuable asset in their business is themselves. If that asset is spending the majority of their time trying to get someone to speak to them, or stuck in traffic on the way to an appointment or the very worse, sitting for hours waiting to see a clinician only for them to have to leave for an emergency, the company will inevitably stall. A consultant may be able to answer some questions straight away based upon experience. They can make sure that the people you are trying to meet are the right people, or even make direct personal introductions. It has taken over 20 years to know what I know, my clients are specialists in what they do, so am I. Use the services you need. We all know the phrase “Jack of all trades” – went entering a new market make sure you don’t try and do everything and become “master of none”.
Having said this if anyone would be interested in meeting with companies that provide the following products and services please let me know 😉
animated patient information
activity and communication technologies for people with cognitive impairment or communication difficulties
Infection control and cleaning (in particular flexible endoscopes)
Theatre tapes and disposables
Distance foetal monitoring
Type II diabetes digital intervention
Staff scheduling and rostering
Clinician and Life Science recruitment
Stoma site care
Digital support for psychological therapies
Laboratory environment monitoring
Temporary and permanent clinical buildings