HOW TO START A MEDICAL LAB BUSINESS
When we entered 2020, we were hoping for a brand-new start and the resolutions about earning more getting fit were made but destiny had some other plans for us and the globe was hit by coronavirus and COVID-19. The ambitions were knocked down and the world was locked-down. The schools shut and businesses were lost. The only sector the world saw rising was the ‘Essential Service Sector’ where healthcare and sanitation workers were of prime importance and we were allowed to leave our houses only for food and medicines. We saw our local medical labs at the frontline beating the COVID-19 pandemic, helping us during this delirious time and… earning profit. It was the business that was running when everything else was shut.
Medical lab is not a sector that changes with time. For correct diagnosis of your ailment, you have to undergo tests and they take place only in pathologies. The Medical lab business has always been big but after the pandemic, it is being noticed even by the common people that investing in it is a good idea but not everyone can open up a Medical lab. You must have right education and qualification for it. Let’s have a look at how you can set up a Medical lab business in India.
Create a Plan
There are many types of tests and services provided by a medical lab such as Haematology, Biochemistry, Clinical Pathology, Serology, Cytopathology, Histopathology etc., decide beforehand what kind of Medical lab you want to open. Decide what will be your reach and your location. Make a plan for what is going to be the size of your Medical lab at first. The growth will only follow if you thrive in the market.
Permits and Licences
To open a Medical lab business, you much have a long list of permits and licenses that are assigned to start this business. Drug licenses in India are issued by The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and State Drugs Standard Control Organization. The standards are prescribed by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization where the State Drugs Standard Control Organization grants the licenses after assessing certain parameters such as the area of the Medical lab, infrastructure, and whether the lab pathologist has the minimum qualification to open a Medical lab business.
Along with this, you’ll need to get yourself registered as a business person, get your GST registration, and all sorts of licenses and permits are done. Make sure you are ready with all the paperwork and to take multiple rounds of government offices because opening any business in India calls for this.
Location and storage space
You will have to rent/ buy a place where you can store your equipment and run the tests on the sample. Keep in mind that the location of your lab matters a lot. A market place with high footfall is necessary. You can rent a place near a Hospital where you know even if there is competition, the demand is always going to be high and whenever customers visit the medical shops, they are more likely to see your lab too. If you are renting a place away from the hospital or clinic, be aware of the competition around. Try to locate yourself when there are lesser Medical labs. Also, keep in mind the storage capacity of your lab. Make your location prominent on google so when potential client wishes to search for a
Have the right distributor
Make sure you have a distributor who can easily make you available with the medical supply whenever you demand them. Keep all the syringes, cotton, test tubes, films always ready with you. You should never delay reports because you are not careful about your supplies
Integrate with Hospitals and Doctors
Have word with Hospitals and doctors as whenever their patient needs to get any test done, they send them to your medical lab. It is the best way of making mark in this field as people always trust doctors’ words.
The medical lab business needs equipment and machinery for x-ray, CT scan, or even for blood tests. Make sure you buy the best quality that functions well and is easy to maintain. It is a big investment and will require a lot of research from your side. If you are a specialist in this field then great, but it will be best if you take advice from an expert. Resources do not come easy so be ready to spend on that.
Setting up any business requires a strong local connection and communication so that the business can propagate but with the rise in the use of the internet, things have become a lot easier. Make a website for your medical lab business and keep option of booking appointment online and sending results and reports through mails.
Delivery and Marketing
Nowadays many Medical labs are keeping the option of providing home delivery services of the reports to the nearby localities. It is a very good option as it builds a good rapport with locality and people will most definitely recommend you to their peers. But don’t go overboard with the boundary. Deliver in the circle which you have set and expand only when your business is expanding or you will lose out on your profit.
You can also set up a website for your Medical lab and bring your business into the e-commerce world. Put up pages on Facebook and Instagram and develop a strong SEO, and invest in marketing offline up ads with discounts for your regular customers. Along with online, spending on offline methods to propagate business is necessary. Since you have an offline store and most customers will save your number for future reference, you can invest in WhatsApp Business and use its marketing tools to propagate your business. It is convenient to use and digitally provides a personal touch as the medium is one to one messaging which has become one of the best provisions of converting prospects to customers. Remember to greet them nicely and make them feel important.
The Medical lab business is very popular but you have to understand that it comes with a lot of accountability. You have to be qualified enough and have minimum education required to open up a Medical lab. You cannot leave your lab in the hands of an underqualified person. You must understand the responsibilities that come with this business that involves taking care of a person’s life. Be responsible! All the best!