• Do’s and Don’ts for the Drug Testing TPAs (Third Party Administrators)

    As one of the major players in the Drug & Alcohol Testing business, the TPAs a.k.a Third Party Administrators assume a substantial role in the growing success of the industry. If you have done your research already on how to get started in the drug testing business, then you must already know a little about what TPAs do. Otherwise, continue to read on and have a little know-how on this type of business sector.

    Do’s for the TPAs

    If you want to get into the drug testing business as a TPA there are some serious things you need to keep in mind, such as:

    • Do create detailed business plan. In any type of venture, a business plan is required to set forth the goals and expectations of the dealings. A good business plan should outline the description of the products you will sell, your prospective customers, how you plan to promote, how much money is needed for start-up costs and your revenue and expenses projections.
    • Do read materials specific to your business. This is one of the most effective ways to increase your knowledge bank. The more you know what you’re getting into the more efficient you become as a TPA. Similarly, employers will begin to trust you if they know that you are an expert in your business. Keep in mind that your success will depend on your ability to provide services to your customers that are in compliance with a variety of Federal and State laws.
    • Do know the difference between DOT and Non-DOT drug testing programs. It’s one of the most basic things a TPA must do. Workers that fall under the DOT regulations must be given a specific type of drug test required for employment drug screening; whereas, individuals employed in positions that do not require drug screening under DOT regulations must be given non-DOT tests in accordance to their company’s drug testing policy.  Additionally, you must know what substance to check for and how often the drug tests are required.
    • Do purchase good equipment for your business. Naturally, you’ll need some computers, printers, scanners, software, phone systems and other office materials to operate your business. Cheaply-priced products are tempting but you’ll never really know how efficient they can be and how long they’ll last. Invest on good equipment and technology to succeed in your business.

    Don’ts for the TPAs

    Now that you have some ideas on the acceptable efforts you need to exert to get into the drug testing business, the next step is to know what must be avoided:

    • Don’t just buy the cheapest technology available. Even if you’re running a home based drug testing business, the kind of technology you use will give you an idea on how far your business will go. Skimping isn’t a good idea. In fact, it can only hinder the achievement of your goals.
    • Don’t ignore trainings and workshops related to your business. Workshops, conferences and training programs help you professionally manage and administer your drug testing business. You’ll learn a lot from these resources. Foregoing them is synonymous to waiving away your success. DATIA offers the Advanced Drug Testing Management Course. It’s a great way to expand your knowledge in the industry.
    • Don’t do everything by yourself. Learn the art of delegation. You’ll need to delegate in order to focus on the most important aspects of your business. Trying to do everything by yourself can be counterproductive. Hire skillful and trustworthy people to help you man your drug & alcohol testing business.

    There are some more things you must learn to be an effective and successful TPA. Download Joe Reilly’s 2012 white paper, Getting into the Business – Drug & Alcohol Testing , and explore more on this topic from the real expert. The paper is filled with valuable information on how to get into the drug & alcohol testing business. Aside from the common terminologies, it also discusses franchise and business opportunity models, and provides additional reading materials to help you become an effective TPA.

    Joe Reilly is an expert on workplace drug testing issues.  He served for nine years on the DATIA Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Board from 2004–2008. He was the Founder and the former President and CEO of Florida Drug Screening, Inc – a nationwide provider of drug & alcohol testing and drug free workplace programs – until he sold the business to CBC Companies in 2007. After retiring from the firm in 2009, Joe Reilly continues to actively assist buyers and sellers in the drug testing industry as private consultant. He regularly provides training and consulting services for people entering the drug and alcohol testing industry.

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