Interested in starting a drug screening lab? Here are a few things you should know.
While many of the facets of running a drug screening lab operate under the same principles of any other business, large or small, there are certain aspects that are specific to the drug testing industry. Drug testing is primarily used to detect the presence of illegal drugs or the illegal use of legal, or prescription, drugs.
There are multiple segments within the drug testing industry. Before starting out on this venture, it’s important to determine which segment of the industry you are interested in being a part of. Some small organizations choose to focus on just one segment, while other larger operations opt to offer services in multiple areas. There are specimen collectors or brick and mortar collection sites, breath alcohol and screening test technicians, instant testing manufacturers and distributors, medical review officers, substance abuse professionals, third party administrators, as well as the physical laboratories themselves where the testing and screening is actually conducted.
After you determine which aspect of the industry you’re interested in investing in, it’s important to craft a thorough business plan. Be sure to include a detailed description of what services you will be offering, or what product you will be selling, your prospective customer base, how you plan to promote your services, how much money you anticipate needing for start-up costs, and your projection for revenue and expenses. Once you have a strong business plan in place, you should consult an attorney and an accountant to determine what legal form of business ownership you should declare your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, etc.). After you’ve secured funding, whether through a loan, investors, or personal funds, and appropriately staffed your lab, you’re ready to go!
As your business evolves, you may want to consider adding additional services. Similar to businesses in other industries, it’s important to do your research, invest in the right equipment and staff, and make sure that there is a need for the services you plan on providing.