Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

Considering a Medical Device Start up Company? What are you Crazy?

Do you remember what seems to be just awhile ago that almost everyone wanted to go with a pharmaceutical sales or medical device start up company? You know, the place you go where they can give you a good base pay and forgo the commission for the real big bucks when the company was sold or maybe, just maybe became a star in their own right?

Well hot new medical sales start ups were waning by mid 2008 and now, reflecting back, almost one of the riskiest things to do from 2005 through 2008! If it was risky back when money was flowing, then I don’t need to tell you how risky it is to go with a start up in today's environment!

Then again, perhaps I do need to review “the why” since I still receive calls monthly from people wanting to know if they should entertain a start up.

Here are the factors you should consider FIRST:

Hey, if you are unemployed then certainly take the start up job and keep your hand in the Job Search Market at all times! If you are entertaining a pure straight commission only start up opportunity make sure that doing so does not affect your unemployment benefits (make that call to your state unemployment office if you can get through and find out FIRST). Better to have some money coming in vs. working yourself to death for half of your unemployment benefits plus the added cost of doing business as a 1099!

OK, still considering that medical sales Start Up Opportunity? Then you must weigh the realities of pharmaceutical sales, medical disposable and medical device sales start ups. They are often funded by Venture Capital or Angel Investors a group of wealthy individuals who partner together financially on their own and hire the people with the industry experience to put the organization together and give those people rights to stock options or some other vehicle that will send you into early retirement (you hope).

So back to the risk factor; can you take the risk of a Start Up Company? If you can’t answer yes to any of these 5 Questions than the answer may be a BIG NO, your new start up may be TOO risky for you:

  1. I am unemployed, with no unemployment benefits left, and I have exhausted every avenue of finding a new job with a stable company within the past 3 months.
  2. I am over 50 years, unemployed, and I already know the cards are stacked against me and something is better than nothing.
  3. I am employed and under the age of 40, with a college degree AND one year of savings for ALL my family expenses AND my family can get medical insurance benefits on an independent policy IF the start up goes under (no special needs or medical risk family members).
  4. I really do not need to work, I have amassed a large sum of money and only choose to work because I enjoy it (lucky YOU!).
  5. The start up company I am considering is part of a larger company. In addition the new products are centered upon a growing disease state (ie; Diabetes) with majority (if not all) funding coming from the parent company. Also, the parent company has included the new company as part of it’s long term strategic plan.

Before you consider the Start Up, you must first consider your personal and financial situation. The first 4 questions center upon self assessment. If you fit into one of those buckets, then perhaps you can handle the risk. You always have to determine what you may lose in the attempt to strike it big, especially when the statistics are not good for Start Ups succeeding! Bottom line; Is the risk worth the probable gain?

The other part of the risk is determining how viable the Medical Sales Start Up really is (amount and source of venture funding, quality and experience of human capital, viability of product, market considerations and etc.). Analyzing the soundness and likelihood of success for a Start Up Company really becomes a whole other issue! Question 5 above is the best situation to have and one the I personally risked many years ago. By the way, after several years, that Start Up opportunity also went Belly Up (and that was in the high rolling years of the early 2000’s!).

So I will ask you again; are you considering a Start Up? Are you crazy? Only you can answer that question, after all, people told me I was crazy co-founding RecruitBUZZ and believe me, that company was self funded by both partners (real crazy). I found that I could answer yes to one of the questions above, (and no it was not number 5 when it came to RecruitBUZZ), that was 5 successful years ago and I am delighted I did!

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Tags: measure company strength, start up companies


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