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Who to target first when launching a marketplace?

We have been working on development of a freelance market place for healthcare professionals.....idea is of on demand healthcare at patient's doorstep. The good old house calls of healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, elderly care(geriatrics), child care professionals, physiotherapists etc etc)... the healthcare professionals are to register with us and patients to search and book their appointments online............ difference between this and the current on-demand house call portals (like pager in US) is that we don't hire doctors....We are basically uber x freelancer for healthcare professionals.

I am a single founder and I do have some constraints as well... with limitation of marketing budget the top of the list : ) obviously! Once I have gained some traction, I can always look for investment. But until that time I have to get maximum registrations in shortest time possible.

So we have a catch 22 here..... who should we target first ........... Healthcare professional registration or patient registration?

The reason for posting it in discussion is to hear your thoughts on who to target first or better! How to target both while retaining them till it is grown to its full potential!

30 Replies

Jessica Alter
2
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Jessica Alter Entrepreneur • Advisor
Entrepreneur & Advisor
Really helpful to do a search on FD first - this topic has been covered many times overhttp://members.founderdating.com/discuss/topic/Marketplaces
Sivaprakash Murugamalai
0
0
Solution Architect | Project Manager | Agile Coach | Digital Commerce | SAP Technology Solutions
Balal, In the case of a marketplace, you need to always target the providers first. The consumers will have to follow. Imagine you building a mall. You cant have consumers come to the mall, and then have the shopkeepers (providers) be attracted to the place. If you would take that route, you will have to have something else to attract the consumers. Based on the description of your market, you should target the healthcare professional. You can build your initial volume of providers with risk-free options. For e.g., you can given then a $0 fee for first 5 years. You can use them to bait your first set of patients. And then, try to set off the vicious cycle.
Renan Prado
0
0
Renan Prado Entrepreneur
Employer Branding na Natura Cosméticos
Hi Baial,

I'm a former CEO of Pubers - All beers, one place, an online marketplace for craft beers launched in Brazil'14. This is the classic egg-chicken dilemma, but in my experience, first you need to have some products to offer or in your case, healthcare professionals. Even the number of professionals are small, with these guys in your platform you will be able to reach a few customer/patients. If you try to do in the opposite way, will be very hard to attract patient with you don't have any professionals yet.
Molly Roberts, MD, MS
0
0
Integrative Medicine Physician. I help you discover & heal the root causes of your physical/emotional symptoms & manifest your healthy, vibrant, & joyful life.
My first thought is to target the doctors first. They will likely be more understanding that you are trying to get this off the ground and since they probably have other jobs to sustain them until you are ready to get started, there wouldn't be as much irritation from them if it takes you a while to launch this. If you target the patients first without enough docs on board, that will create dissatisfaction with your service early on, and those early reviews will be hard to climb out of later. I hope that helps!
Prem Bajaj
0
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Prem Bajaj Entrepreneur
Chief Advisor at PB Corp Advisors
Rightfully so, in agreement with above suggestions that you should consider first building the store front i.e. Healthcare professionals. The customers will follow once the products are in place (again healthcare professionals). However, being a more sensitive matter (than an uber driver), suggest you maintain a quality/certification checklist to assure customers the integrity of the visiting doctors and right diagnosis.

Balal Ahmad
1
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Balal Ahmad Entrepreneur
CEO at Intellectual Bunch Ltd
sorry Jessica for a topic that was discussed before however, i couldnt find the answers I was looking for hence, starting the thread with initially the same question as asked before.

and thanksSivaparkash, Renan, Molly andPrem for the useful feedback.

I am inclined towards taking the path you guys have suggested. However, I have two concerns in this regards!
1: We do intend to do qualification checks by means of verification from the professional bodies of respective healthcare professional in their country of registration. However, won't this "pending" period while we doing the checks put the healthcare professionals off ? I am assuming some would appreciate, but if we start asking for degree certificates etc. from everyone to verify it (which we eventually would do), not slow our registration process..... should we just stick to a basic healthcare professional registration check with professional body atthisstage ?

2: sorry! I couldnt think of the right word right now to describe it...but politely put... do you think healthcare professionals might feel reluctant in signing up like a freelancer in fear of sounding desperate for a job ??
Cathryn Imperato
0
0
Cathryn Imperato Entrepreneur
Nurse Practitioner at UC Berkeley
+1 Molly and Prej: focus on creating a business model that incentivizes good, well-qualified providers to work for you (compensation, support, mitigating risk, scope of practice, efficiency, etc). The complexity and risk involved in delivering high quality medical services makes it difficult to "Uberify".

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-why-an-uber-for-healthcare-may-not-happen-20160201-column.html
Cathryn Imperato
1
0
Cathryn Imperato Entrepreneur
Nurse Practitioner at UC Berkeley
Balal -

Healthcare providers expect for their license and qualifications to be verified before being allowed to practice, so I can't imagine that a verification process would be considered off-putting by anyone you want working for your service. :)
Molly Roberts, MD, MS
0
0
Integrative Medicine Physician. I help you discover & heal the root causes of your physical/emotional symptoms & manifest your healthy, vibrant, & joyful life.
I agree with Cathryn - doctors are used to having a verification process before working somewhere. A person's healthcare is too important (and too potentially harmful) not to make sure you have qualified providers. A verification process might actually make the doctor feel that you are more legitimate, as not asking for verification of credentials could be a red flag for them that you are not a reputable service. In addition, doctors are used to physician verification taking a while to complete, so asking them for verification documents will give you some time to get the rest of your infrastructure in place.
Rob Gropper
5
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Balal, forget trying to decide which side to target first. Target both. don't try to boil the ocean. define a small, narrow, strategic subset of both providers and users (buyers and sellers) and capture both sides of this small, well-defined subset. Get really good at satisfying that first niche market then expand to related markets.
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