Mobile phlebotomy is an exciting business opportunity for phlebotomists looking to take the bold step of starting their own businesses. In the mobile phlebotomy industry, not only can you apply your training and experience to a business that’s all your own, but you can potentially make a lot of money in this growing industry.
If you’re already a phlebotomist, you have a head start on others looking to start this type of business. You already understand the field and can do much of the field work yourself in the beginning.
But knowing how to draw blood is just the beginning. Starting and running a business involves a whole different set of skills and knowledge.
Here are the steps to take when starting a mobile phlebotomy business.
Pick a Name
Before you do anything else, decide what you want to call your business. Choose the name carefully, because it can be difficult to change later. As you’re thinking about names for your mobile phlebotomy business, think in terms of the future of your business. You don’t want the name you choose to limit your growth potential. For example, if you hope to one day have a large staff of mobile phlebotomists working for you, make sure your business name doesn’t suggest you are a one-person operation (“Mary’s Mobile Phlebotomy”). Similarly, if you plan to expand outside of your immediate area at some point, don’t name your business after your location (“Springfield Mobile Phlebotomy”).
Once you’ve settled on a name for your mobile phlebotomy business, register that name (if required in your state). This is a simple process known as registering your DBA (“Doing Business As”) or Fictitious Business Name, and it usually involves a small fee. Typically, the registration is done with your county clerk’s office.
Get a Tax ID Number
The next step is to get a Tax ID number from the federal government, also known as an Employer Identification Number or EIN. You do this through the IRS website. Make sure when you are applying that you are on the irs.gov website, as there are many online “services” out there that will charge you a fee to apply for the EIN for you. There is no reason to do this, as the IRS application process is fairly straightforward and free of charge.
Once you are assigned an EIN, keep track of it because you’ll need it for things like opening a bank account, applying for business licenses and small business loans, and filing your tax returns.
Open a Bank Account
The next step in the process of starting a mobile phlebotomy business is to open a business bank account. Even if you plan to start small and not hire any employees anytime soon, it’s important to keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses, so having a separate bank account for your mobile phlebotomy business is essential.
Find out the Licensing Requirements in your State
All states are different in what they require in order to license your business. It’s best to contact a local health law attorney for advice on what you need to do in your state, or you can contact your state’s Department of Health to determine if any testing or licensing is required to start a mobile phlebotomy business in your state.
Get a Business License
A business license allows you to operate your business in your local area. Typically, you get a business license from the city in which you will be operating your business. There will likely be a fee for this.
Get a Seller’s Permit
If you plan on purchasing your supplies wholesale, you’ll need to have a seller’s permit. You’ll also need a seller’s permit if you plan on selling items like at-home testing kits to your patients. You can get a seller’s permit through your state, and there is typically no cost involved. Obtaining a seller’s permit can take a few weeks, however, so make sure you plan ahead.
One of the most important things you can do as a new business owner is to keep your finances in order. As mentioned above, be sure to keep all of your business expenses separate from your personal expenses. Choose a bookkeeping software—Quickbooks is a popular one—and learn some bookkeeping basics.
You should also choose a company that can help you accept credit card payments. Since most of your payments and co-payments will be accepted “in the field”, a mobile solution like Square is a good option. Find a good business tax accountant who will file your annual tax return and help you stay on top of any taxes you need to pay during the year.
Contact Insurance Companies
Unless you only want to work with private pay individuals—which would severely limit the number of patients you can service—you’ll need to contact the insurance companies whose plans you want to accept and join their network of providers. This can usually be done online on the websites of the various insurance companies. You’ll also need to connect with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) if you want to accept patients with these types of coverage.
Marketing and Networking
Once you have all of your ducks in a row (or at least most of them), you’ll want to start getting the word out about your new business. Have some professional marketing materials created, including a logo, a website, and a leave-behind piece, like a brochure or flier that lists your services and contact information. The same person should design all of these pieces for your company so the image you portray is consistent.
Next, you should start connecting people who can use your services, such as doctors’ offices, home health agencies, nursing homes, or companies that need to regularly drug test their employees. You could even see if your local medical lab would refer you to their patients who need someone to come to them.
When starting any type of business, it’s important to be patient. Very few businesses see overnight success. Stick with it! Keep knocking on doors and making connections, and eventually you’ll start to see your business grow!