You Rang? On-Demand Businesses and the Surge in Entrepreneurship

Ever wished for a wizard? In today’s economy you can have one — several, in fact. Want a car at your door in 10 minutes? There is Uber. Desperate for a parking spot? There is Spothero. Need a last-minute hotel? You have Hotel Tonight. Are you hungry but don’t want to cook? Order through Postmates.

The latest word in business — indeed in healthcare — is NOW. Which is good news for urgent care franchises.

These days, nearly anyone can feel like a dignitary because the market is catering virtually anything to consumers — pronto. Tap or swipe and you have a doctor or a dog groomer on your doorstep within the hour.

According to recent data, the on-demand economy grew 58 percent in 2017, with estimates of total spending for on-demand products and services at $75.7 billion in 2017 (compared to $48.0 billion in 2016).

So, what is driving this need for on-demand? Dr. Alejandro Badia, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of OrthoNOW, a network of specialized urgent care franchises, says, “For years we have been getting accustomed to 24-hour news, the great flexibility of cell phones, etc. Then Uber burst onto the scene and made people realize that something very traditional — a taxi — could be swapped out for something much more convenient. Consumers began thinking, ‘What else could be streamlined to make my busy life easier?’”

Entrepreneurs have risen to answer that and other questions. One article cites data indicating that more than 280 companies now provide on-demand goods and services across 16 industries, up from 76 companies in six industries offering such services in 2014. Urgent care franchises are part of that mix. All the better for musculoskeletal patients if their care comes from an orthopedic urgent care franchise such as OrthoNOW.

A recent Forbes article says three in four smartphone owners turn to their mobile devices to search for information to address their immediate needs.

“If someone has an immediate need for medical attention,” says Badia, “they are more likely to pull out their cell phone and look for information on the nearest healthcare location with the shortest wait time. This is good news. OrthoNOW’s On My Way NOW® app allows patients to take advantage of the integrated Uber feature and alert physicians as to the nature of their injury so that their care begins before they arrive. Consumers want a seamless experience when it comes to healthcare. They are already stressed about their medical issue; the entity that can provide a caring, hassle-free experience is going to survive and thrive.”

With all these conveniences at our fingertips, consumers have gotten a taste of power — one which they are unlikely to relinquish anytime in the foreseeable future.

So, get used to ruling the world — or at least your world — from your phone.