According to reports, Americans spend over $2 trillion annually on healthcare, accounting for approximately 16% of the nation’s entire GDP. Yet a good number of entrepreneurs seem not to be interested because they feel they need a very advanced medical background to successfully venture into the industry.
However, have it in mind that there are numerous entry points for entrepreneurs who do not have medical degrees, including ultrasound medical imaging. The global 3D ultrasound market size reached USD 2.9 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at an interesting annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% from 2020 to 2027.
According to experts, the major drivers of the market are the growing incidence of target disease, the growing number of diagnostic centers, and a general preference for minimally invasive procedures. In addition, progress in 3D imaging has genuinely helped to boost diagnosis by offering immediate clinical information and also helped in reducing healthcare costs.
Steps to Start a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business
Table of Content
1. Conduct Market Research
A good number of people who venture into this business try to avoid the creation of their business plans, investing countless hours in the details of their start-up strategy. Howbeit, note that a good business plan offers you the platform to properly research and address details about your industry. Have it in mind that the absence of a thorough industry analysis may propel lenders and/or other external stakeholders to have a negative view of your company.
a. Who is the Target Audience for a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
The target audience for a 3D 4D ultrasound business is mostly pregnant mothers and those who have a medical need for it. Most of the time, a 3D or 4D scan will only become necessary if medical concerns arise. 3D and 4D scans tend to provide more information about the health and formation of the baby. Since these scans can show extensive details from different positions, they can help in the diagnosis of physical or internal abnormalities.
b. Is 3D 4D Ultrasound Business a Profitable Business?
Yes, without a doubt, the 3D 4D ultrasound business is very profitable and also one for the future. Note that the rise in birth rate will continue boosting market demand in the coming years. Coupled with its benefits and ease, mobile devices are massively being adopted in the United States because of the rising demand for ambulatory care.
Also note that the demands for handheld ultrasound devices are growing too, especially in the United States. The availability of advanced technologies and healthcare facilities will boost the demand for the market product in the coming years.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
Yes, there are several entry points for entrepreneurs who are looking to venture into this business. Aside from having well-equipped facilities, mobile ultrasound businesses are gaining more attention as a way for physicians to bill patients directly while outsourcing ultrasound activities to an external provider. Other niches to consider in this business include;
- HIFU (High-Intensity Frequency Ultrasound)
- Male Reproductive System
- Sports Injuries
- Female Reproductive Systems
- Core Ultrasound
- Musculoskeletal System
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- Prenatal Peek
- Analogic Corporation
- FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation
- Carestream Health
- Canon Medical Systems Corporation
- Mobisante, Inc.
- Picture Perfect 3D/4D Ultrasound
- Insight Ultrasound
- 3D Keepsake Imaging
- Lake Norman 3D Imaging
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
Yes, and these regulations vary from state to state and county to county. Note that3D and 4D machines are quite noisy when in use and will possibly be a nuisance to any upstairs or even downstairs neighbors. Owing to that, it is important to research your local regulations or visit your county office for clarifications. You should also note any area of your facility that may be sound sensitive and make sure it’s not near any noisy equipment.
f. Is There a Franchise for 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- United Imaging Partners: $185,000+
- Miracle In Sight 3D 4D Ultrasound: $45,000
- Stork Vision franchise: $85,000
- Prenatal Peek®: On-Demand
- Hey Baby 4D: £96,000
- Fetal Fotos: $61,500-$130,000
- Little Angels 3D/4D: On-Demand
- UC Baby:
- Little Bellies Spa: On-Demand
- Womb with a View: $75,000-$150,000
g. What Do You Need to Start a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
Even though you don’t require a medical school diploma to launch an ultrasound business, a medical background can be acceptable. In addition, you and/or your staff will have to be certified sonographers with current RDMS (Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer) credentials.
If you also want your business to offer ultrasound reads, then you need to have certified radiologists either on staff or available on an outsourced basis. You will also need adequate capital to purchase equipment and a good location (Depending on your choice of niche).
Memorable Name ideas for 3D 4D Ultrasound Business
- Ultrasound Medical Units
- All Clean Radiology
- Concrete Mobile MRI
- Amber Diagnostics
- Clear Vision Worldwide
- Aurora Advanced Breast Imaging
- Temple Mobile Imaging
- Western Advanced Imaging
- Imaging Partners
- Baby Carestream
- Bay Coast Radiology
- Infant Radiology Group
- Baby Face Room
- Desert Medical Imaging
- Classic Imaging Specialists
- Emergence Teleradiology
- Bio-Art Imaging
- Fair Oaks Centre
- Insight Imaging
- Lone star Ultrasound
- Mapita Medical Systems
- Mobile Diagnostics
Register your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
In the United States, the LLC remains the ideal and perfect legal entity for a 3D 4D ultrasound business. The benefits it offers include:
- Protected assets
- Heightened credibility
- Limited compliance requirements
- Flexible management structure
- Few restrictions
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a Name for Your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Choose a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- General Business License
- Health and Safety Permit
- Zonal Permits
- Signage Permit
- Operational State Facility Inspections
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
In the United States, certifications are not mandatory when starting a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business; however, you should seek Certification to boost your credibility and relevance in the market. Some certifications to consider;
- Advanced Cardiac Sonographer
- Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer
- Registered Cardiac Sonographer
- Registered Phlebology Sonographer
- Registered Vascular Specialist
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business
Depending on your choice of business entity and other business concepts, the documents you will need to start and manage a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business in the United States include;
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit and Building Approval
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
You may not need a patent, trademark, or copyright to render your 3D 4D Ultrasound service in the United States. However, your company has a name a recognizable logo. Since your name and logo are part of your brand, registration of copyright and trademark is something you should consider extensively.
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
Owing to detailed cost analysis, the total cost of starting a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business in the United States will range from $25,000 to $75,000; however, this will depend on your market, your business concepts, and some other factors.
Have it in mind that a new business will have to set funds aside for 6 or more months of rent and payroll so that you can focus on building your business. The biggest and most important cost in setting up your ultrasound business is the actual ultrasound equipment, and that can cost around $20,000 for used machines or $40,000 for brand new ones.
b. What are the Cost Involved in Opening a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines, and other software) – $3,300.
- Promotion expenses for the grand opening of the 3D4D Ultrasound business for $4,200 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $2,360.
- The total cost for hiring a business consultant including writing a business plan – $2,500.
- The total cost for the purchase of insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty) coverage at a total premium (initial (first) premium) – $6,400.
- The cost for renting or leasing operational office space or facility- $45,000.
- The cost for 3D 4D Ultrasound Machines – $93,000
- Other start-up expenses including, commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery, ultrasound gel, gel warmers, Disinfectant spray, wipes, and cleaning solution – $4,700
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills and fuelling et al) – $10,000
- The cost for the purchase of storage hardware (bins, rack, and shelves) – $3,720
- The cost for office equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $3,750
- The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $3, 000
- The cost of launching a website: $600
- Miscellaneous: $5,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- Business Size
- License and Certifications
- Hiring and Paying a Business Consultant and Attorney
- Branding, Promotion, and Marketing Plans
- Supplies and Ongoing Expenses
- Cost of Recruiting and Training Your Staff
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility?
Yes, aside from going down the mobile business route, you will need a well-built facility to run a 3D 4D Ultrasound business. However, note that the cost of constructing your facility will surely differ based on some key variables like size, square footage, and existing building infrastructure.
Owing to all these factors, you will see a large variation in 3D4D Ultrasound facility construction costs compared to office costs. Nonetheless, expect to spend around $350 to $1325 per square foot. Have it in mind there is no one formula and each facility needs to be evaluated individually.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- Payroll and taxes
- Electronic Medical Records/EMR software
- Utility bills
- Maintenance and cleaning
- Professional fees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Chief Ultrasound Technologist (Owner) – $83,185 /year
- Ultrasound Technicians – $65,753 /year
- Ultrasound Nurse: $75,981/year
- Ultrasound Technician Assistant: $49,694 /year
- Accountants (Cashiers) – $52,000 per year
- Receptionist – $26,541 per year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- From personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- From investors and business partners
- Selling shares to interested investors
- Applying for a loan and equipment financing from your bank/banks
- Applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
- Source soft loans from your family members and your friends.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Amber Diagnostic is a new 3D 4D Ultrasound company in the city of Denver that offers a vast range of medical image scanning tests to pregnant moms and medical facilities around the city. We have successfully noted two customer segments that we will target: medical insurance carriers and physicians. The driving force of getting customers is attracting large insurance carriers.
Our second customer group at Amber Diagnostic is the physicians. Although the insurance company will mandate what labs are acceptable for their insurance plan, it is the doctor’s choice where they send their patients to. Our business aim is to capture 40% of local physicians’ business within two years.
- CAT Scan
c. Mission Statement
At Amber Diagnostic, our mission is to be renowned as the leader in medical scanning technology in Denver, Colorado. We intend to achieve this by focusing on friendly service, flexible acceptance of insurance plans, and accurate analysis.
Our vision is to offer a vast range of 3D 4D-based medical scanning tests. We boast of the latest equipment and expert medical training to provide valuable consultation to patients.
d. Goals and Objectives
- To capture 40% of local physicians’ business within two years.
- To attain profitability within two years.
- To boost and double sales by year three.
e. Organizational Structure
- Chief Ultrasound Technologist (Owner)
- Ultrasound Technicians
- Ultrasound Nurse
- Ultrasound Technician Assistant
- Accountants (Cashiers)
a. SWOT Analysis
- Superior location
- The extraordinary reputation of our technicians
- Immune from any negative change in the economy given that the bulk of our revenues are generated from insurance companies and publicly funded health systems
- High gross margins
- Changes in regulation
- The constant struggle with the United States government as it relates to reimbursement rates
- Absence of a detailed marketing plan
- We can expand by developing satellite locations or by establishing secondary full-scale locations.
- We can also hire additional ultrasound technicians that can increase the billings of the centers on an ongoing basis.
- Changing government policies
b. How Do 3D 4D Ultrasound Businesses Make Money?
Note that every patient attended to by the 3D 4D Ultrasound Business will help generate revenue for the business. Most of these businesses make money by offering the following services.
- CT, MRIs, PET scans
- Blood work, urinalysis, and handling of other bodily fluids testing
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Connect Amber Diagnostic RIS system to a HIPAA compliant visual analytics tool where we can create customized reports.
- Create a map report that shows the zip code or address of all Amber Diagnostic patients.
- Find specific neighborhoods, schools, and businesses in our business areas to partner with.
- Leverage our business location and post specials and coupons on private Facebook neighbourhood groups or the NextDoor website.
- Run Facebook ads for the businesses in our location.
- Advertise our business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
a. How Much Should You Charge for your product/Service?
First, note that what you charge will vary depending upon the type of services a patient receives. However, since medical coding for this type of facility can be quite confusing, you must invest in an EMR specifically written for ultrasound imaging facilities, hire a billing company or coder, or invest in additional education on this subject.
Although insurance companies will handle much of the reimbursement, patients are also required to fulfill their deductible and copays and these fees tend to vary depending upon the client’s medical plan.
b. How Much Profit Do 3D 4D Ultrasound Business Owners Make a Year?
Have it in mind that the amount of profit an ultrasound business owner can make annually is directly tied to the number of patients the business attends to, average fees charged for each client, and operating costs. If you have one technician on staff, who attends to two patients for a nine-hour day, 5 days a week, at $100 per patient:
$100 x 2 x 9 x 22 = $39,600 per month. That comes out to approximately $475,200 annually.
Howbeit, to note your actual profit, you must subtract clinic costs, including salaries of the physician and staff. Successful facilities report break-even numbers of between 12 and 18 patients per day, depending upon the specifics of their business and location.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- Business size
- Number of patients or clients
- Business location
- Facility management style
- Marketing and advertising plans
- Staff and facility credibility
d. What is the Profit Margin of a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
Note that the profit margin of a 3D4D Ultrasound business is not fixed, and will depend on some factors like location, services, insurance companies, and other industry regulations. However, the Profit Margin of these facilities could range from 30 percent to 65 percent!
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $270,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $520,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $800,000
Set Up your Office
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- At least 5 Hospitals are within ten miles
- The population of the cities and towns in the business area should be substantial
- Other freestanding or independently owned diagnostics centers and the modalities they offer
- Traffic patterns and accessibility from major roadways.
- Don’t forget to take parking and public transit into account when selecting your building!
b. What State and City are Best to Open a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- Austin, Texas.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Columbus, Ohio.
- Houston, Texas.
- Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- San Antonio, Texas.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business
- Gamma Cameras
- PET Scanners
- Fluoroscopic C-Arms
- CR Systems
- Fluoroscopy and Radiography Systems
- High-Resolution Monitors
- Teleradiology Equipment
- Medical Imaging Systems
- DICOM Viewer
- Image Viewers
- Image Printing Systems (Paper Printers, Paper Products & Accessories, Records Management – Storage & Disposal, Film Products & Accessories, Film Processors & Services, Alternators/Light Boxes, Film Printers)
- MRI & CT scanners
- Diagnostic Imaging Equipment
- Lab Benches & Equipment Carts
- Film Digitizer
The first mistake most entrepreneurs make when starting this business is to hire a lot of staff. You must start simple until the business begins to amass profit. At that point, you will only need front office personnel and a manager.
Also note that employing individuals with experience will help guarantee the business runs effectively, particularly in the lean months. To attract seasoned professionals, you will have to offer attractive incentives and benefits packages.
Launch the Business Proper
Have it in mind that this industry is becoming very competitive, and aside from hosting an opening party, properly branding should be your utmost priority. Note that the outward appearance of your facility, location, logo, and website are all very necessary components of the branding experience. You should also consider employing the services and expertise of a professional when developing your branding and marketing strategy.
a. What Makes a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business Successful?
- Only source and acquire medical equipment that has demand within the community.
- Offer quick, friendly service with accurate readings.
- Leverage strict financial controls to help manage the expensive capital costs associated with 3D4D Ultrasound equipment.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
In this line of business, there are numerous moving parts and you will be expected to wear many caps, especially at the beginning. The facility will have to be kept clean and orderly, patients need to be checked in and out, billing and other administrative duties will also have to be taken care of, and patients will also need to be attended to.
Sometimes, someone from the facility needs to ensure patients receive follow-up details and services as required. A representative will also need to be in charge of handling the marketing strategy.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a 3D 4D Ultrasound Business?
- Confident In Decision-Making
- Skilled At Delegating Responsibilities To Staff
- Experience In Business Administration
- Excellent Communication and Negotiation Skills.
- Ability To Pay Attention To Details