Home > Sample Business Plans > ProTrax

The Market Opportunity

A detailed analysis of the market opportunity clearly demonstrates that an Internet recruiting service would provide tremendous value to both health care facilities and potential employees by fulfilling a currently unmet market need. The results from secondary data and primary research illustrate the huge potential market size for HealthWanted. These results also document the general dissatisfaction employers feel about their current recruitment alternatives as well as the mismatch between existing recruitment alternatives and needs.

Finally, health care recruiters expressed considerable interest in HealthWanted and reported that they would use such a service if one existed3.

There are an estimated 102,000 physical therapy, 54,000 occupational therapy, 73,000 respiratory therapy4, 2,044,000 nursing, 206,000 medical assistant, 684,400 doctors of medicine, 35,000 doctors of osteopathy and 190,000 dentist positions5 available in the United States alone. In the field of physical therapy, for example, the current supply consists of approximately 71,780 full-time and 18,430 part-time workers; the demand for physical therapists exceeds the available supply by 11,7906. In the United States the number of physical therapy graduates in 1995 totaled 5,5017. Consequently, recruiters must look outside of the U.S. for additional qualified professionals. Canadian graduates are frequently recruited because their educational training programs are similar to those in the U.S. and because Canadians' immigration requirements are relatively simple. Health care professionals from other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the Philippines, also commonly work in the United States.

There are 15,000 hospitals in the U.S., 6,580 of which are accredited8. In addition, there are 1,501 home health agencies and hospices, 1,080 elderly home health care agencies, and 33,006 other health care facilities including nursing homes and related care facilities9. In Canada, there are 1,224 accredited hospitals10. Over 80% of these facilities currently spend a minimum of $5,000 per year on recruitment and 57.1 % spend at least $10,000; approximately 50-75% of these expenditures are allocated to advertising.

ProTrax's market research studied the response of both potential customers (health care recruiters) and potential end-users (health care students). The results were highly positive, very enthusiastic and unexpectedly prompt. The response rates for recruiters and physical therapy students were 38% and 80%, respectively, much greater than the 15% average response rate for mail surveys in North America11. Over 93% of health care facilities who responded said they would use a web-site for recruitment purposes. While 78% currently recruit students on university campuses, only 30% presently recruit outside of the United States; 43% of respondents reported that they do not recruit overseas because of expense and lack of access. About 57% of health care facilities have existing web sites, yet only 14% utilize this medium for recruitment purposes. Of the total respondents, 95% feel that there is a need for this service and that they would use it to advertise if such a vehicle existed. Finally, 42.2% of recruiters indicated less than moderately effective results from their current advertising media. This market research finding, illustrated in the following graph, supports the need for our service.

Figure 1 Recruiters' Level of Satisfaction with Current Advertising Campaigns

Of the students surveyed, 92.5% currently have access to the Internet, and 56% browse the Net at least occasionally. For their job search, most (71%) resort to professional journals, followed by campus recruitment centers and newspapers. Interestingly, only 31% of students currently use the Internet for their job search, while 94% said they would use a health-care specific web site. From survey results, conversations with therapists as well as first-hand experience, ProTrax has determined that potential employees seek information concerning job responsibilities, work setting, benefits, geographical location, real estate, attractions and overall descriptions of the area to which they might relocate.

Despite the extremely successful response rate, we nonetheless account for the possibility of non-response bias in the survey. Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted to randomly selected facilities from those that did not return their surveys. We reached facilities with an average size of 237 beds, and expressed very low level of satisfaction with current advertising media (average rating of 4.5 on question 18, Exhibit 1.1 Questionnaire to Recruiters and Results, p 16). The average interest level for our service is rated 3/5 (Question 23, Exhibit 1.1 Questionnaire to Recruiters and Results, p16). These results indicate that the behavior of those who did not respond to the survey does not differ significantly from the respondents.

3 See Exhibit 1. 1 Questionnaire to Recruiters and Results and Exhibit 1.2 Questionnaire to Students and Survey Results
4 U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Health Resources Statistics, 1971.
5 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 1995.
6 American Physical Therapy Association, 1996.
7 American Physical Therapy Association, 1996.
8 Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, 1993.
9 Statistical Abstract of the United States, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census 1995.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics
10 Statistics Canada, 1989.
11 Dr. Emine Sarigollu, Associate Professor of Marketing, "Marketing Research," McGill University, 1997.

Table of ContentsAppendices
0. Executive Summary
1. The Company
2. Market Opportunity
3. Competition
4. Positioning Strategy
5. Marketing Strategy
6. Operational Plan
7. Management
8. Financial Statements
9. Future Growth
Schedule of Operations
Resumes of Management
Forecasting Market Share
Cash Flow
Income Statement
Balance Sheet
All information herein is confidential and belongs to ProTrax.