Monthly Archives: September 2016

Tips to Start a Medical Supplies Business

Purchasing an establishment will guarantee that you will have the capacity to survive the underlying getting teeth inconveniences of the business and become wildly successful over the long haul.

Whether it is human or veterinary medicine requirement, medical supplies are a necessity for both the fields. Working as a medical supplies retailer is a good way to get associated with the health care industry. This business is one such venture where you will have to keep abreast with the latest developments in the medical equipment and supplies domain.

You will have to upgrade your stock to keep up with these innovations in the medical industry from time to time to ensure that you get a good profit margin. However, you must get a medical supplies business plan in place to get your venture moving in the right direction.

Conduct Market Research
You must explore the possibility of starting the business by conducting a market research about it. Speak to people who are already in this business to understand about the investment, response, prospects, profit margins, risks involved, etc. You must understand whether undertaking such a venture in your locality will prove profitable. Study the prevalent competition in your area, and decide your strategy. Learn how your competitors are making money, and check which products have maximum demand. Check the price they are quoting for these products, as it will form the base of your own pricing policy. Study how this business will fare in the years to come before plunging into it

Arrange for Funds
Starting this business is usually a very costly affair. This is because the supplies always come with an upgraded medical technology. The level of investment will also depend on the type of products you intend to sell. A product with critical technology will prove to be a costlier investment than that which is a part of normal medical supplies. Try to avail for an SBA loan or a bank loan to support this venture through its inception stage. Good returns on this business are guaranteed. Hence, in most cases, you will be able to repay the loan easily.

Identify Your Target Market
Know your target market well. It can be dentists, midwives, baby boomers, medical facilities, etc. You have a lot of choice when it comes to such a business. You can either choose a particular niche or have an all-purpose store. For example, you can either supply only medical supplies meant for dental procedures or you can offer all the supplies required for medical purposes including surgical equipment, gauze and band aids, syringes and needles, wheelchairs, bath seats, arm slings, etc. Understand the requirements of your target market and cater to them. It is always better to start with a niche and then expand the business

Register Your Business
You will have to register your business with the IRS for your tax formalities. You may also need to consult your state and local authorities to understand if you need licenses to sell a particular type of medical equipment. Hire a professional to look after your accounts and tax requirement. You may also have to register your business as “doing business as” and also get your Employer Identification Number. Apart from this, you will also have to get the necessary permit for carrying out a retail or wholesale business.

Scout for a Location
You will have to search for a place based on the type of business you would like to set up. It is advisable that you hire an outlet initially as buying a new place will blow up your budget. Ensure that the place is clean and has rooms to store your stock. If you are planning to have a retail store, you will have to set up a small- or medium-sized store. However, if you intend to sell it on a wholesale basis, you will require a larger facility. Also, if you want to sell the medical supplies directly to the consumers, it will have to be located near a health care facility. If you intend to sell bigger supplies like wheelchairs, you will require a lot of space, so plan accordingly. If you are storing supplies that can get contaminated due to change in temperature, you will have to hire a warehouse which will be temperature controlled for storing them. You also have an option of delivering the products directly from the manufacturer to the end user. However, you need to have an effective supply chain management for this to work.

Source Products
You will have to order the supplies from a distributor or vendor, if you are not manufacturing them yourself. You will have to decide about the quantity of products and their cost to be paid to the distributor or manufacturer. Remember, the difference between the price at which you buy and sell to the consumers is going to be your profit. Also, you may incur some cost for transportation, tax, and packaging the supplies. Hence, decide the best price accordingly. Source your products from reliable manufacturers as faulty products may affect the patient’s health. In case of any complaints regarding the products, you will have to speak to the manufacturer and replace them immediately. Try to keep the products in labeled compartments in a large closet for easy identification.

Hire Capable Employees
In the initial days of the business, hiring a helping hand will become very costly for you. Therefore, try to run a one-man show, until the time the business picks up. After that, you can recruit people on a part-time or temporary basis. This will help you with the management of the business, maintaining and updating stock, replacing products, handling the cash counter, etc. However, ensure that you hire an honest and dedicated person, who will not cause an inventory fraud behind your back. As your business will expand, it is advisable that you hire more employees to help you out. It will be necessary to train these employees. You will have to impart training about where the products are located, dealing with customers, and encouraging them to buy more. Try to install an inventory management software to ease the stock maintenance process.

Promote Your Business
Like all businesses, even this one needs to be promoted to gain maximum profits. You can use the social media platform to speak about your venture. Creating a wellness newsletter for the local people every month will also be a good way to advertise. Once the business picks up, try to sponsor health care events with the local community, church, NGO, etc., to gain good mileage. You can aim at sponsoring medical awareness programs. You can also utilize the radio and television medium to reach many people. Use other print medias, like newspaper ads, flyers, posters, etc., to reach your target market.

Network and Expand Business
This is one business that can expand really rapidly if you have good networking skills. Offer incentive and referral programs for medical professionals for routing patients to your business. You can also have contracts with them for monthly medical supplies. Offer them good discounts and quality services. This will encourage them to refer your company to their colleagues. Perks like free delivery, schemes, etc., will also help create goodwill. Try to sponsor medical fairs and gatherings as this will also give you a platform to network with a number of people. This way, slowly and steadily, you will be able to increase your business. After a few days, start another store in a new locality. You can then proceed to start a chain of stores.

This is, indeed, a business that will continue to be in demand irrespective of the economic conditions. Now that you know how to start a medical supplies business, implement these steps for having a successful venture.

How to Starting a Staffing Business

On the off chance that you need to think about staffing patterns, laws, and industry redesigns, it is very prudent that you turn into an individual from The American Staffing Association (ASA).

If you are looking for a welcome change from your 9 to 5 job and have an inclination towards recruitment, then starting a staffing business is ideal for you. However, it is highly recommended that you get the relevant experience by working for a staffing agency or the hiring department in organizations before starting your own venture. This will also help develop contacts with recruitment personnel in various organizations. Before starting, it is imperative that you conduct market research and make a thorough business plan detailing your finances, marketing, goals, strategy, etc. Hire help for dealing with scores of paperwork related to each candidate. If you do not know how to open a staffing agency, don’t worry at all. This article intends to give you details of a few essential tips for starting a staffing business.

Tips to Get You Started

Scout for a Location

You will have to find a location for your business. It is advisable that you lease out a space in a commercial area instead of buying it right away. Once you know about the kind of foot traffic the location commands, you can go ahead and buy the space. Also, in the initial days, buying will mean added expenditure and will increase your loan amount. Hence, prefer to rent the place out. One more option is to start an office at home. However, you will have to check the zoning restrictions in your area. Also, when you are actually meeting candidates, you will have to call them in a hotel or conference room, which will again be added expenditure. Hence, it is best to lease out a space that will have a reception area, dedicated meeting room, and waiting room.

Decide the Type of Business
There are many types of staffing businesses. You will have to decide which type of services you will offer. You must decide whether you will go for temporary staffing, long-term staffing, or temporary to permanent staffing. While temporary staffing offers candidates who are employed for a short term, long-term staffing involves recruits who are employed for an uncertain duration. Temporary to permanent staffing allows the worker to become permanent in a while based on his performance. At times, employees are also hired on an assignment or contractual basis. You will have to conduct market analysis to find which type of staffing will bring in maximum revenues. Many staffing businesses also prefer to offer all types of employment.

Complete Formalities

Apart from registering your business with the State secretary, it is highly recommended that you incorporate it. This will protect your personal assets in case of a problem. Consult the local, state, and federal authorities to know about the required permits and licenses. You will also need to get an EIN number from the IRS if you are going to hire employees. Also, know about the insurance requirement of the business. You will have to get a workers’ compensation insurance along with a liability insurance.

Undertake Marketing Initiatives

In order to survive competition, you must undertake investment in advertisement and marketing. Utilize the traditional forms of advertising like posters, print ads, radio commercials, etc. Also, use your existing contacts to tap into the recruitment departments of companies. Usually, they prefer to work with well-known entities, and meeting them in person will any day work in your favor rather than cold calls. Also, invest in social network advertising and banners to reach out to people who are on the lookout for candidates or jobs.

Conduct Networking
You will have to network with a lot of people if you want to conduct this business. This includes not only the recruitment departments of companies, but also with placement cells in colleges. You will have to convince them that your company is in a better position to find them the candidate that they are looking for. While dealing with executives or candidates, always have a professional disposition. Also, carry your business cards and marketing collateral’s so that they will know about your experience and expertise in your field. Don’t turn up in casual clothes for any meeting; if you don’t take your business seriously, no one else will.

Charges and Fees

You will have to create contracts with the organizations as well as candidates. For this, it is recommended that you take help of a legal expert, who can help you out with the legal formalities. Most times, you will be paid only by the organization in case of permanent staffing. However, if it is temporary, you may reach an agreement. For example, after gaining $20 from the company, you will pay only $16 to the employee. Also, many times, both the employee and the organization bear the joint expense of your fees.

Create an Expertise
In a matter of few years, you should become the go-to agency for a certain type of staffing. You should find a strong area in which you can offer your expertise. Choose anything from IT, manufacturing, management, finance, consulting, construction, etc., and offer candidates for the same. For example, if you are located in an area which is primarily an IT hub, you can become an expert in providing candidates for the IT field. It is important that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and do not end up offering wrong candidates for positions in an industry where you lack experience.

Seek Candidates

You will have to get the right candidates for the positions. Apart from advertising, you should also set up booths at career fairs and job fairs to know the candidates directly. You must maintain a database of the contacts, qualifications, and experience of all these candidates. If you are targeting students, then you can put up posters near the college or in caf├ęs where youngsters usually hang out. If you are looking at head-hunting senior officials, you will have to reach them out through professional networks and get to know them through references. It is advisable that you conduct a background check before hiring people for critical jobs like babysitting, store manager, security personnel, etc.

Know the Tricks of the Trade
It is important that you interview the candidates and only send capable and experienced ones for the interview. At times, you will receive a frantic call from the company where you have sent a recruit that the person never turned up for his job. This happens all the time as people may change their minds or just find a better opportunity. You should always have shortlisted candidates whom you can send for an interview in their place. Remember, people may not keep their commitment, but as a businessman, you will be held responsible for their actions. Also, verify through references that the qualifications and experience mentioned by a candidate are true. The last thing you would want is to spoil your reputation that you do not send trustworthy candidates.

Over
a period of time, you can increase the domains in which you offer your services. You can also graduate in making senior executive placements that are more lucrative. Hope you will utilize these tips for starting a staffing services business and expand it further.

Tips to Starting a Vending Machine Business

A candy machine business is one of those few true blue organizations that oblige you to invest next to no energy and exertion, yet at the same time rake in colossal benefits. That being said, this wander has its own particular positives and negatives, which you have to consider before beginning your own particular wander.

Tips to start a vending machine business
Feel like having a soft drink while walking down the street? … What do you do? Well, it is likely that you look out for a vending machine, insert a coin, and out pops the can. While you have got what you wanted, someone, who perhaps is holidaying somewhere, has made a profit out of it. You could have been this person making profit while being on a vacation, had this vending machine belonged to you. Right? If you are thinking on similar lines, here is your guide to understanding the business, which will help you get going.

Know that this business is a 100% cash-only business with a nominal initial investment, i.e., if you are not opting for those huge machines, and one that does not require a history of sales-and-marketing experience. That you are your own boss, perhaps is the best thing about vending machines. You will be the one to decide the type of vending machine you would want to opt for and where it will be placed. You will also get to decide what the vending machine will sell. And yes, you will be the one responsible for servicing machine from time to time. Once you roll out your own business, you are the only person on whom the success (or failure for that matter) of this business will depend.

Setting It Up
It is better to start small, and climb the ladder of success, gradually. Ideally, you must go in for just one or two vending machines. Select a good spot for the machine, and see how it performs for a month. This way you will get a feel of the routine involved in running the business. If things are not going the way you expected, you can make the changes — in pricing your goods, location, etc. — as and when required. Once you are confident of the way things are moving, besides gaining a monetary incentive, you may opt for more machines.

Decisive Factors
It is quite unlikely that a vending machines business will ever go into loss, though that doesn’t mean it will give you astounding profits either. There are quite a few factors that will decide as to how much profit each of your machines will make for you. As in case of any other business, you will have to take these factors into consideration when you decide to start this business.

Let us assume … that you have decided to start this business with a single machine that will sell cigarettes. You have a competitor, who also decides to start selling cigarettes through a vending machine. Both buy the same machine and sell the same brand of cigarettes. You place your machine outside a gymnasium, or a sports complex, while your competitor places his, outside a pub. It is, but obvious that the competitor’s machine will sell the entire stock of cigarettes even before your machine manages to sell a single pack. If both of you decide to remove the cigarettes and replace them with health energy drinks, your machine will finish its entire stock even before your competitor’s machine sells one drink.

In both the cases, the machines were the same, so were the contents, but the sales figures were totally different. Why? There is a simple, one-word answer to this, and your entire vending business will depend on the location.
The location

Location is the most important factor when it comes to vending machines. You should, ideally place your vending machine where human traffic — foot traffic in particular, is constant. A vending machine will get customers only when it is visible to them, and they will see it only when it is placed strategically. If your vending machine is easily accessible, it is bound to attract customers and help you make a decent profit from your venture.
Yet another advantage of keeping your machine where there is consistent human flow is security as doing so will rule out the chances of your machine being vandalized — a problem which is quite common when it comes to vending machines. If you place your machine in an area which is hardly frequented, it will not make much profit, and chances of it being vandalized will only increase.

Good places to have vending machines include malls, busy street corners, movie theaters, inside or outside pubs and discos, inside the school premises or outside it, … the list is virtually endless.

Getting hold of the place
Irrespective of where you intend to place the machine, mutual understanding with the owner of that place is a must. If you are lucky enough, you may get a place for your machine for free, or for a nominal share of the profit. Whatever deal you strike, it is always better to have an understanding between you and the other party on paper as doing so will rule out legal issues, which may crop up if differences occur at any point in the future.

Target customers

Location will also depend on who your target customers are. A little research will always work in your favor. Today, almost anything can be sold through a vending machine — soft-drink cans, gum, hot coffee, cold coffee, cigarettes, even hot dogs and pizzas.

Know the taxes
Before placing your vending machine on any street corner, or outside a pub, or any such place, make sure that you check with your local authorities, and find out what taxes and tax deductions are applicable for this business in your region.

Research before purchasing the machine

You need to trust only reputed vending machine manufacturers/dealers, and keep away from those, who make tall claims. You can visit a few established operators in your area, and find out where and how they purchased their machines, and if they were experiencing any problems with them, how did they go about solving the issue. This way you will be sure of buying it from a good source.

Start Small, Dream Big
The vending machine industry, sure is a dynamic one. There is no harm in starting small. You get the taste of managing your venture with little capital investment to start with; and finding yourself in the position to expand your business, you may increase the number of vending machines in different locations and reap good returns. Make arrangements for a standard vehicle to help you visit the location where the vending machine is placed.

Take Notice
After reading all of this, it may seem that this business is really easy — buy a vending machine, place it at a strategically apt location, fill it up with what you intend to sell, earn good money, and refill the machine after regular intervals. Theoretically — yes, it is incredibly simple. Practically speaking — yes and no; it can, or cannot be so simple depending on how you would go about it. You need to understand that owning a vending machine is not some sort of magic formula to become rich as many advertisers will make you believe. This notion itself is one make-believe!

Beware of the false claims
Going through the advertisements on vending machines, you will come across several claims of average profits every day. A majority fall heels over head for this, dreaming of all the money they will make if they start with 10 machines all at once. This, however, is not the case. These false claims have prompted a number of people to start their business only to find that they couldn’t even recover the amount they invested in buying the vending machine until several months into the business.

Buy from a reputed manufacturer/dealer

Avoid buying machines from manufacturers, who make tall claims of earning big amounts from day one. These people may be out to cheat you, and the aggressive marketing that they resort to is only to cover up the fact that the quality of their machines is substandard and their service, poor. It is in your best interest to buy vending machines from a reputed manufacturer/dealer. It may, initially cost you a tad more, but will be much more profitable in the long run.

To Sum Up …
You just need to be sensible when starting this business. You should not get carried away by false claims of people becoming rich overnight (or over the fortnight for that matter). If you get confused and can’t decide on a certain issue, it’s better to take advice from someone you trust.
In order to make your business work, you will have to ensure there are a few essentials supporting your plan:

~Place your machine at a strategic location.
~Crosscheck with the local authorities for rules and regulations with regard to starting the business.
~Ensure that the company from which you buy the machine has a good reputation in the market.
~Insure your equipment.
~Always maintain a fresh stock.
~Opt for regular servicing of your machines.

Effective Marketing Tips

It is hard to emerge as a focused administration supplier of medicinal services when the business has such a flood of alternatives. Investigate a portion of the compelling promoting tips for human services business, which can help you increment and hold customer base.

As the world reels under the pressure of several health problems, it is time that healthcare businesses create some serious awareness. If fast food restaurants can lure hordes of customers to their doorsteps, and mess with their health, then effective marketing tips will surely make a positive impact on the healthcare business too.

The point to note is that healthcare businesses need to target the right kind of people with appropriate advertising. For instance, targeting women, who play a major role in running households, will change the dynamics of the healthcare business. Making these women rightfully aware of their aging bodies, prone to possible health hazards, and making healthcare accessible to them is the exact way of tapping into a potential market that is both deprived of and ignorant of healthcare benefits. Likewise, here are some more tips that will prove beneficial for those looking to grow in the healthcare sector.

Essentials of Healthcare Marketing

Organize Healthcare Drives

Campaigning is an effective way to make yourself known to those who matter to you. As an organization or an agency engaged in the healthcare business, you first need to reach out to people to let them know that they can avail your services. Blood testing drives, simple health check-up camps, and free eye-testing days are some of the measures you can take for the community surrounding your facility. Reach out to people first so that they reach out to you when in need.

Conduct a Survey of Your Locality

Conduct surveys to know the demographics of the locality around your facility. As this will give you a clear breakdown of the age, sex, income, and collective understanding of popular health concerns, it will give you something to work with. Such survey is important to understand your possible clientele better in the long run. This way you can work towards designing medical treatments pertaining to a certain segment, which in turn will retain and increase your clients base in the near future.

Segmented Marketing

To have universally appealing marketing strategies is a dream come true. However, it just a dream. Thus, to begin with, draw up effective marketing and advertising plans to appeal to a larger segment of the demographics drawn up. For instance, if there are more number of kids in a given community, focus on issues pertaining to them. A good example is to focus on dental problems and dental care that will engage the kids’ parents in an effective communication with you. Thus, forging a valuable relationship that helps the business and the patients. Similarly, if the number of woman are more, breast cancer, osteoporosis, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy-related issues can be the prime focus. Think of how you can lure the larger segment of your derived social demographics to get to the remainder too.

Follow It Up

A marketing strategy doesn’t stop at just selling a product. It extends to following it up as well. Make follow-up calls to your clients with context to their next meeting with the healthcare expert, inform them of particular tests they need to get done, ask them how their treatment has fared so far, and pick a moment to introduce them to a new set of schemes that you may have on offer. A lot of patients look for palliative care units and other programs that offer benefits. Following up with your client’s medical treatment will help you establish a good rapport, retain them, and make a pitch for other services that you may have.

Get Online

With over a huge part of the literate world have access to the virtual world, it is time you go online and make your mark. Use the power of social media to attract a customer, blog about your services, get your patients to write testimonials for you, and ensure your presence in the web world too. While you are creating an online identity, ensure that your offline marketing techniques are equally in place. Keep all your staff informed, educated, and well-versed about your latest additions to the services. Your healthcare unit must give out a united vibe to every patient to keep winning them over and over again.

Study Your Competitors

The old adage goes, keep your friends close but your enemies closer, holds true in this case as well. Study your competitors to know what are they offering. Know their history of advertising, what has worked in their favor and those which haven’t, and their product launches. An over-competitive analysis will help you see what your competition holds for you, and the kind of effort you need to make to beat it.

Keep Evaluating

A constant evaluation that quantifies your actions so far in terms of sales, gained and retained clientele, and business growth, will show you both positives and negatives of your marketing strategies. Evaluations can be done through consumer feedback, surveys, and polls, to know the general sentiment about your healthcare facility. A self-assessment is always clouded by a prejudice towards the self; however, when you open your mind to an assessment by others, a huge scope for self-improvement becomes apparent. The common denominating factor of all these assessments should definitely be worth considering.

Your marketing strategy should be ingrained in your organizational structure for it to become a true success. A key point to be remembered is to always work in favor of your customers. The bigger the satisfaction quotient of your customers, the bigger your sales volumes will be.