All kinds of medical professionals, from veterinarians to surgeons, need specific supplies to do their jobs. Most medical supplies are bought from specialist companies that have a niche in certain kinds of equipment. There are many large medical supplies, but it is entirely possible for a small independent medical supply business to be successful in this industry. If you’re interested in starting a retail business and want to work in the health care industry, then a medical supply company could be the answer.
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- Target a niche. The medical industry is very varied, so to be successful you need to narrow down to a niche. Who is your target market? Do you sell supplies to home health aides, midwives, nursing homes, or opticians, for example? Will you make your own products to fill a need, or bring together the best of existing products? Choose a niche and find your target market.
- Check your licenses and permits. In some areas, you will need a license to sell medical supplies. This won’t be required for all kinds of supplies, especially if you choose to specialize in equipment, but find out if this is the case for the kind of supplies you are interested in selling. You should also make sure you have any required permits for owning a retail business. Check what is required in your area, and get all your paperwork straight to avoid trouble later on.
- Find the right place to store your supplies. Medical supplies must be handled carefully, so you need the right place to keep your stock. A commercial warehouse that is temperature-controlled is the ideal. Your storage facility should be clean and free of dust to stop your supplies from becoming contaminated. If you don’t need as much space, a clean room, or even a large closet can be used for storing inventory. Consider transport too. Do you need to ship things securely or will you need portable medicine fridge?
- Establish wholesale accounts with distributors of medical equipment that are suitable for your niche. Buying wholesale is the easiest way to make a profit. You can find suitable distributors online, in the phone book, or in business directories. In order to open a wholesale account, you will probably need to provide some business documentation and may have to order a minimum amount.
- Generate business by offering incentives for medical professionals who use your medical supplies company. For example, you could offer incentives like discounted or free shipping, free delivery within a local area, or discounts for large orders.
- Make sure you’re marketing your supply business to medical professionals. It’s wise to focus your marketing on medical professionals in your area. Send out flyers and coupons to local professionals. Attend and sponsor medical conventions, conferences, or health fairs. Send news releases, whether through email or direct mail, to local medical associations and professional groups.
Like any business, there’s a lot of preparation that goes into starting a medical supply business. Do your research and prepare well before you launch.