VGM just merged with Essentially Women – How will your company take advantage of market growth?

Posted on in VGM News, Growth Strategies


 By: Beth Cox Hollingsworth, VGM Marketing

In a decision fueled by changing market dynamics, VGM Group, Inc. has merged with the nearly 20-year-old Essentially Women, a member service organization for women business owners that specialize in women’s health care. The acquisition of Essentially Woman, a member-driven group that functions similarly to VGM’s HME membership groups, it was a logical way to extend VGM’s member service core and serve additional health care businesses.   

“EW will continue to operate as a stand-alone company, and will retain its name, brand and values,” said Christa Miehe, a 13-year veteran of VGM Group and the new president of Essentially Women. “The organization will retain its uniqueness as a women’s group, which is an important part of the history.”

The decision to expand was based on market trends that show a strong need for specialty health care businesses.

“Women’s health is an important niche in the health care continuum, one that has room for significant growth,” said Mike Mallaro, CFO of VGM Group, Inc. “This is one of a number of specialty health care segments which are poised for growth as health care service and product suppliers exercise laser focus on meeting the specific and unique needs of a customer group and developing offerings that optimize patient experience.”

These types of opportunities will be ripe for HME businesses in the coming years, despite the increased regulatory pressures.  The growth in the health care industry, including specialty niches, will be undeniable. The number of baby boomers turning 65 will rise dramatically until 2030, with 10,000 boomers retiring every day. These stats on aging are paired with high rates of chronic health conditions such as hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Strengthen your business core for market success

The market for health care services is growing, so we know there is a significant need for businesses that provide the experience health care consumers seek. Before you consider expanding to new markets, make sure your business core is strong. Businesses with a solid core are the ones that can expand with success.

Here’s what a solid core might look like.

A loyal customer base - Consider an expansion when your business has a customer base that is asking to find you in a new location or asking you to offer new products. This is one of the ways you know the demand will be there when you grow your business.

Your business is profitable - Make sure you’ve had a steady growth in profits and a positive cash flow for a solid financial foundation. Reimbursement business is difficult, so expand your cash sales to help recover from audits and the lag they can create.

There is a strong team in place – Your staff has to be capable to take on additional business. Whether it’s a new location or a new program, you should have the right people to take charge.

Operations are solid – Efficient processes will be key to managing growth. They should be documented, and standards should be in place for proper training and analysis.

What markets should an HME business consider? Hint: Think consumer!

Mallaro stresses that understanding the health care consumer’s point of view will be the key to capturing niche business. “Think about growing into home accessibility, women’s health or products and services for families of adolescents or adults with disabilities,” said Mallaro. Each of these specialty services will require an intimate understanding of the needs of the customer that, once achieved, can give your business a distinct competitive advantage.

“Whether the customer is looking for convenience, do-it-yourself tools, empathy or a total shopping experience, the ability to understand the unique point of view will help your business win,” said Mallaro.

So as the adage says, walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. It’s good advice for life and a great way to differentiate and grow your business.

Just as HME businesses will look to expand to unique niches in health care, VGM will continue to seek experts, products and services to help HME providers grow into new markets. Coming soon, we’ll release the HME Business Playbook of advice on more topics like market trends, growth and differentiating your business