When we think of home-based opportunities, direct marketing generally springs to mind. Selling Tupperware, or such products can be a great way to make money but there is a lot of competition out there. A newer opportunity, selling medical supplies, is similar to direct marketing but offers a lot of room for expansion.

Before you get going, make sure that the legal bits and pieces are out of the way – you will need to be registered in order to be allowed to purchase medical supplies for resale – your National Provider Identification number is vital. You will also need a business licence and may be liable for taxes. Keep books properly from day one and make sure to get all the legalities out of the way before starting.

Next up, set up a business plan. What goods are you going to sell? Considering the hundred of thousands of medicines and medical apparatus out there, there is no way that you can cover everything. It is far better to build smaller, more targeted business.

You next need to find the right company or companies to buy goods from. Will you represent one company only, or several? What kind of discounts will they offer you? Will the discount be enough to make good business sense for you?

Now start looking at who you will sell to. It is a good idea to get in touch with the medical professionals in your area and to start building a bond with them. Never underestimate the importance of networking and the possibility of gaining referrals in that manner. You will also be able to keep an ear open for possible gaps in the market that you can fill.

You will also need to register as a provider with insurance carriers. Contract into medical aid rates and you may find that your business benefits – whilst the margin is lower, being a preferred provider means that the medical aid company will send business your way and this is a great way to build your business from the ground up. Make sure that you are completely comfortable with how their terms and conditions work.

You will, whether contracted or not need to use the right codes when you bill your clients or you risk not getting paid at all. It is also advisable to get software that will assist in submitting the claims and keeping track of the whole process. It is a lot quicker to do this electronically.