Drug Testing Business Idea
If you’d like to learn how to start a drug testing service, there are quite a few things to consider. Virtually every type of employer is guaranteeing a drug-free workplace. This makes a perfect opportunity for your business.
With the growth in recreational and prescription drug abuse in the nation’s youth, there are quite a few parents who regularly drug test their teens. Add in the court-ordered testing for drug and alcohol offenses, and it’s clear that the drug testing business is a growth industry.
Learning How To Start A Drug Testing Service
The basic operation when learning how to start a drug testing service is fairly simple. People come into the office with a form detailing who has requested the drug testing, who will be paying for it, and what substances to include in the screening test.
The client is escorted to a private area and a sample is taken for testing. Depending on the type of test, you may collect urine, blood, or hair. Everything must be collected and labeled in front of the client. Next, the sample is either tested in-house or sent to a laboratory.
The results are recorded and sent to the party who requested the test. In some cases, two samples must be collected just in case there was a problem with the test or someone disputes the results.
Establishing A Location For Your Business
While learning how to start a drug testing service, your first step will be finding a location. You will need a convenient location with a layout similar to a doctor’s office. A comfortable waiting room should be provided with an office area for a receptionist to check in clients.
In the testing area, you should have separate rooms for each client along with bathroom facilities for urine collection. An assortment of sample containers and labels will be required as well as forms and information sheets. Cleaning and sterilization supplies, needles, bandages, and other first-aid items will also be required.
You will also need computer equipment and software to keep track of client records, insurance information, invoices, and contracts. If you plan on doing the actual testing on-site, you’ll need laboratory equipment and chemicals as well.
Critical Success Factors For Your Drug Testing Business
While learning how to start a drug testing service, don’t forget that you will need special training and certification. Each time a sample is taken, specific procedures and protocols must be followed to establish a chain of command and indicate any signs of tampering.
If you are going to provide testing services for government agencies, they will have strict laws on both the state and Federal level that must be followed, or the entire case can be thrown out of court. In fact, you may even have to testify about the conditions of the sample collection in a court of law.
While no special training is required to accept a hair or urine sample, only a certified phlebotomist is allowed to draw blood. To stay up to date on all new regulations, you should join professional associations like the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA). They offer certification programs for sample collectors along with annual exams for renewals.
To operate a successful drug testing service, you should make sure that you maintain an environment where clients are comfortable coming to you for their drug testing needs. Frequently, the client will have a choice of facilities. This process can be embarrassing in the best of circumstances.If your office makes it more so, the client will simply go somewhere else.
You’ll also want to closely follow all regulations. If you have a reputation of carelessness, it will become very hard to find or retain customers.
Request a listing on the approved list for insurance companies, court and government agencies, and drug treatment centers to find customers. If possible, acquire a Department of Transportation (DOT) testing certification. Most of the government’s truck and heavy equipment operators require periodic drug testing, as well as testing after an accident.
Once you’re DOT approved, you can also call on transportation companies to offer your services. Many companies with government contracts are required to randomly test all of their employees. Becoming an approved testing provider for these types of businesses will draw in more business than any advertisement.
Expanding Your Business
Once you’re successful, you may want to expand. You could open a new location in a different part of town, or offer additional laboratory services. Many people require periodic testing for diabetes, cholesterol, or various diseases. If you would like to expand in a different area, consider training drug testing workers for other facilities.
As with any business, you will need various licenses and certifications to operate in a legal manner. Because each state and local government can implement their own regulations in addition to Federal requirements, you must ask your local government agency for the specific rules that apply to your industry.
If you’re still unsure, seek legal counsel. In addition to the legal requirements, you should consult with an insurance agent who is experienced in your area of interest. They will assist you with all of the suggested and legally-required insurance coverage details including general liability and workman’s compensation policies.
While insurance coverage may seem like a costly expense when learning how to start a drug testing service, it will help protect your investment from lawsuits in the event of any negligence on the part of you, your company, or your employees.