The Road to Retail
So maybe you’re growing tired of trying to understand the constant shifts in Medicare reimbursement policy, or you’re not interested in slogging through the Competitive Bidding process and finding yourself increasingly drawn to the idea of getting more involved in retail sales. You’re wondering what it would take in terms of capital investments, creating a showroom, training your staff, and seeking prime real estate that’s easy for customers to locate and has a great deal of passing traffic. How does one take that first step, and all of the steps that will be required after that? Not long ago I began exchanging e-mails with a man who’s pretty far down the road toward making that transition, and I asked him to share his story. I’d like to introduce you to Said Hussein, founder and CEO of H&J Medical Supplies, Inc., which has locations in Long Island and Brooklyn, NY (www.hnjmedical.com). Here is his story, in his own words.
“The transition from a warehouse to retail space had become quite necessary as changes in health-care reimbursements began. With a very small display area and walk-in referrals from the medical clinic also located in our previous building, we were sure to need a larger showroom. In addition, the location of the building was difficult to reach since it was on the service road of a large commercial highway. Since our primary goal has always been customer care, we needed to become more accessible to them. After a long and tedious search, we found a storefront in a nearby shopping center that is directly next to some medical offices and a walk-in clinic.
“We remained in the neighborhood, so many of our patients were not inconvenienced by our move. With the help of my family and staff we were able to create a showroom, billing office and storage space from the approximately 3,000 square-foot space we attained, along with additional storage in the same shopping center to store larger equipment.
“The storefront has given shoppers in the neighborhood an opportunity to walk in and view the selection of products and services that we provide. We also designated a portion of our shop to post-mastectomy care, offering wigs, bras and breast prosthesis to patients in a personal and intimate setting.