Many people begin their own businesses because while their current jobs or careers produce satisfactory financial and personal rewards, they provide less than satisfactory feelings of improving the status of the customers and market place they serve. This was the situation in which Pat Collins found herself. After a successful twenty year career as a retail pharmacist, Pat was convinced that many customers were not aware of how they could properly manage their own medical and pharmaceutical situations. She was convinced she could do more good for these customers and her community by counseling them in how to gain control of their medical situations, and began considering a career change to accomplish this goal.

In December 2007 Pat formed MedAdvocates, with a mission to provide individuals with information and tactics that would allow them to take control of their medical situations. She would encourage people to ask questions of their medical providers, pharmacists, and insurance providers to determine if procedures and medications were appropriate or necessary, whether there were alternatives to prescribed medications or procedures, and recommend life style changes to improve overall health.

Pat soon realized the primary ingredient for success was getting the word out about her services. After considering several sources for assistance, she contacted the Knoxville SCORE office and was put in touch with counselor Chuck Christiansen. After gaining an understanding of her mission, Chuck assisted Pat in identifying her target audience, what methods could be used to reach this audience, and what message to present that would encourage prospective clients to take advantage of her services. They concluded that the two primary methods would be word of mouth by networking through associations or clubs, and a web site.

Pat has successfully utilized these marketing tactics by joining several groups and arranging speaking engagements to explain how her services can improve people's lives. She is also creating a web site to better explain the services of MedAdvocates, and publishes an email newsletter to provide readers with helpful information. Less than a year after starting MedAdvocates, Pat's client base has expanded from her local area into several adjoining counties; she even has clients in other states. Based on her initial success, Pat has realized the services she provides are needed in a larger area, and has set a goal of franchising MedAdvocates!

Pat's success in based on several factors that are crucial to starting and managing any new business:

  • You must have a passion for the business.
  • You must know about and have experience in the business you want to start.
  • You must realize there are areas of business in which you are not experienced, and be willing to ask for assistance in those areas.

To better understand the mission of MedAdvocates, visit http://www.medadvocate.net.