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If your company put together a “2020 Vision” plan, you are not alone. You’ve now successfully executed your business plan to make it to 2020. Congratulations!

What’s next for your planning horizon? “2030 Vision” just doesn’t have that same ring as 2020, but if we’re being candid, 2030 Vision isn’t that bad. It’s not perfect, but at least you can see where you are going.

It’s not likely anyone is going to set their sights on 2030 Vision right away. However, there is nothing wrong with planning for the next decade with 2030 in mind. Good management is often about positive communication while managing nuances and subtleties that align the team’s focus on the right objectives.

To achieve positive performance, the question becomes: how are you going to grow? As good business leaders know, if a business isn’t growing, then it’s going backward and will become less profitable.

In the face of non-existent or slow growth, there are some short-term fixes for business leaders. Making changes to improve the bottom line can help a company survive while waiting for the next new product, market segment penetration, or acquisition for growth. Longer-term, it’s difficult to cut a way to success. In the near-term, it’s not an unreasonable approach. As a great business mentor once informed us, “Good margins pay for a lot of sins.”

If you need to grow your MedTech business, the question now becomes how? Should your growth be organically (internal R&D) or inorganically (external innovation or M&A) driven? Unless your business is struggling to survive financially, the answer to that question should always be yes. Organic and inorganic growth both create a healthy environment for future success.

For organic growth, start with finding the unmet clinical need (versus finding new ways to use your established technologies). We’ve seen too many companies innovate with great technology only to find it difficult to sell – because it doesn’t meet a clear clinical unmet need for the practitioner/end-user.

The most fun for any business is when you can meet a clinical unmet need with an existing or developing internal technology. The hard work is when you need to determine the best clinical unmet needs that align with your business model, market opportunities, and channels.

For inorganic growth, be open to acquiring an external technology and/or companies that have synergies with your business. To meet external growth objectives:

  • Be open to external possibilities
  • Put together an umbrella strategy of what types of technology or companies would fit with yours
  • Communicate that inorganic strategy internally and to the outside world

You will need to be patient and opportunistic for the right opportunities to arise. However, if you are purposeful about inorganic growth as part of your overall business strategy, you will increase the likelihood of success.

We wish you well with obtaining your growth objectives in the new decade, and we welcome your comments regarding the best examples of growth execution you’ve experienced or observed.

MedWorld Advisors

MedTech MindSet is a monthly column discussing opportunities in the medical industry. About the authors: Florence Joffroy-Black is a long-time medtech M&A and marketing expert with significant experience in the medtech industry and is now the CEO of MedWorld Advisors. She can be reached at florencejblack@medworldadvisors.com. Dave Sheppard is a former medical OEM manufacturer Fortune 500 executive and is now a principal at MedWorld Advisors. He can be reached at davesheppard@medworldadvisors.com.