Wondering how to start a laboratory animals business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Business Overview: Laboratory Animal
Although it can be controversial, the for-profit distribution of laboratory animals is a necessary part of scientific and commercial advancement. Without adequate supplies of research animals, many of the products and processes we have come to rely on simply would not exist.
Laboratory animal supply companies serve the pharmaceutical industry, universities, contract research organizations, hospitals, toxicological testing facilities, and a wide variety of government laboratories. Strains and stocks of rats, mice and guinea pigs are most common, but it's possible to expand your line to include other species of animals, including non-human primates.
The sensitivities associated with the use of laboratory animals require compliance with ethical standards and protocols. In addition to providing the highest level of care for the animals in your operation, it may be advisable to pursue certification from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC).
Maintaining a Supply of Lab Animals
Lab animal startups face both qualitative and quantitative supply challenges. Companies that supply mice and rats usually perform their own breeding programs featuring outbred and inbred strains of multiple varieties. Although suppliers of larger laboratory animals face additional challenges, it is critical to ensure that your startup has enough supply to meet your customers' needs on a go-forward basis.
The supply complexities of the laboratory animal industry make accurate recordkeeping and inventory management an essential business skill. Before you initiate breeding or animal acquisition activities, you will need to establish a sound recordkeeping process that leverages software designed specifically for animal research or laboratory environments.
Networking & Lab Animal Business Growth
Animal research is a relatively cozy community -- it may be difficult to hit revenue targets until you are a known and recognized player in the industry. So although networking is a normal part of small business ownership, it is even more important for entrepreneurs in the laboratory animal business to create and execute a proactive, industry networking strategy.
In addition to participating in the AAALAC, it may be helpful to engage in networking activities through the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) and other organizations that facilitate interactions between researchers and animal suppliers.
Business Plan Mechanics for Laboratory Animals Businesses
If you haven't written a business plan for your new laboratory animals business, it's time to get started.
Rather than avoiding your business plan, keep your business plan simple. Ultimately, your business plan is intended to be a resource for you, the business owner.
If your time is limiting, outline the essentials of your laboratory animals company's business plan now and make a commitment to come back to it later.
Take a Look at the Competition
Long before you open a laboratory animals business in your area, it's a good idea to see what the competition looks like. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors in your city. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of laboratory animals businesses near you.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
If you are seriously contemplating launching a laboratory animals business, it's a smart move to talk to somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a laboratory animals business on the other side of the country may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, given that you don't compete with them in their area. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you find somebody who runs a laboratory animals business in another city who you can speak with?
Easy. Find them using our link below and start calling until you are successful.
Why You Should Buy (Instead of Start) a Laboratory Animals Business
Spurred on by dreams of a future big money buyout and an undeniable entrepreneurial impulse, many would-be laboratory animals business owners are driven to pursue startup strategies.
Yet a healthier and safer strategy may be to purchase an existing laboratory animals business.
Existing laboratory animals businesses are proven operations with dependable revenue streams. When you buy, you also gain the ability to sidestep all of the trial-and-error that comes standard with any laboratory animals business startup.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
A franchise jumpstarts your business by letting you leverage the franchisor's brand recognition and proven business formula.
Before you consider starting a laboratory animals business, a smart move is to check out whether purchasing a franchise might make sense for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
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