Posted by Shareef Aldubais on 12/2/2013 to Starting A Medical Supply Store In Houston TX
How to Start a Medical Supply StoreIn 2012, I and a few of my friends were sitting around wondering what kind of business we should open. Mind you none of us had a clue about opening a business let alone running one! For an entire year, we would come up with different ideas.
A friend we saw often was running a medical supply store and it seemed like he was very successful. He had only been doing it for 3-4 years and already had a nice house in a great neighborhood and was driving a very luxurious car. So, we decided to ask him more about the business and how it works.
We sat with him many times asking him about his business and what kind of progress he was making. He always told us that it was doing well and even though he had some problems in the beginning, as all businesses do, things were going well.
What Does it Cost to Open a Medical Supply Store?
We told him we thought of opening one ourselves and he became very excited. He was starting a franchise and we were his first prospects! He explained that with $50,000 and 2 months, we could have a medical supply store up and running. Not bad, huh? It was important for us to know what kind of return on this investment to expect and how long it would be before we would see that kind of return. He looked us straight in the eye and said, "3 months and $5,000 in profit each month!"
3 Months for a Solid Return on Investment?
3 months? He reassured us, "Yes, 3 months." As you can imagine we were very excited! 50k and 3 months of hard work and we turn a profit? If you think it's too good to be true. Read on.
Understand that this wasn't just a buddy we knew, this was one of our most respected friends. We had very high respect and blind trust in him. If he told us to put our hand in a fire we would have. Given this, we agreed to open a franchise. Two months later we opened Heal Well Medical Supply right next to Houston Medical Center!
Our New Medical Supply Store
Our new store is only 1500SF and when everything was said and done, it still looked empty, but we pushed on. As you might expect, the business was very slow, but here is my advice:
- Run a promotion! Every store just opening must have a budget for promotion. Starting a medical supply store without promotions and advertising will keep you twiddling your thumbs for 1 - 6 months. Promotions help people discover that there is a medical supply store that just opened up next to them!
After 3 months, that's exactly what we had to do. The cost of not running the promotion was 3 months of rent, utilities, and employee salaries totally over 10k completely uncovered by sales.
Don't Make the Same Mistake, Advertise.
Now that you've learned from our mistake, take the 10k you would have wasted sitting and waiting for customers for months and spend it on marketing and promotions. Some of the best ad placement resources are:
- medical advertisers that have magazines or flyers going to senior citizens
- placements that market to disabled veterans
- direct mail distributions within a 5-mile radius of your store
- local radio placements
- digital ads
- search engine optimization
Do not skimp on this! It's very important to spread the word about your new store in your area. There's no shortage of marketing options.
We hope you enjoyed our input on opening a new store if you have more questions you can contact us.