A drug-free environment makes for a productive and profitable environment. With that in mind Houma entrepreneur Larry Liner and his part-time business partner Kristen Boje have opened a franchise with USA Mobile Drug Testing.
Boje has a background in sales and Liner has independent business experience. As franchise owners they wanted to get into a field that offered them an opportunity to help other business. They contend they found that niche when they launched their business about a month ago.
Liner noted that more than 70 percent of drug abusers hold jobs and are 10 times more likely to miss work because of their habit. They are also 3.6 times more likely to be involved in workplace accidents and five times more likely to file for worker’s compensation claims than their clean and sober counterpart employees.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 8.2 percent of full-time workers, ages 18 to 64, used illicit drugs in the past month and an average 8.8 percent used alcohol heavily during the past month.
Liner and Boje said these facts constitute the need for a drug testing and educating service to be available for employers as they help prevent employers from becoming statistics.
With drug and alcohol testing, program management, guidance and consultation, Liner and Boje claim their program can help increase productivity, boost employee attendance and safety, and secure tax breaks for employers.
As the full-time member of this partnership, Liner makes sales calls, provides educational material and schedules and conducts on-site testing times. With Boje, his is able to cover more ground while she picks up the processing end of this operation in a part-time capacity. “We also do other stuff like background checks and fingerprinting,” Liner said.
“We were looking online for opportunities to own our own business and something that didn’t have brick and mortar,” Boje said. “And found this.”
“It is a nationwide company too, so we like that,” Liner added.
USA Mobile Drug Testing is a national substance abuse investigation and education firm that is making its mark with businesses, law enforcement and drug courts that need drug and alcohol testing resources that will literally come to them. “We are compliance specialists,” Liner said as he explained that they also go off shore when needed.
“There is nobody else out there with a national footprint doing mobile drug tests,” USA Mobile Drug Testing partner Jeff Sardisco said in a telephone interview from company headquarters in Tampa, Fla.
USA Mobile Drug Testing began in 2007 when a casual conversation with law enforcement friends prompted founder Joesph Strom to recognize the need for a mobile drug testing crew in settings from traffic stops to corporate employment screening. Since July 2010 the company has grown to include 38 franchises and Territories in 17 states.
“The best way we saw to get it out there was to franchise it,” Sardisco said. “It is not medical. We don’t do any blood.”
USA Mobile Drug Testing franchise owners and representatives are trained and certified in gathering data ranging from urine samples and alcohol breath tests to DNA testing and background checks. They then ship overnight the collected information to SAMSHA certified laboratories for analysis. Results are known within 72 hours.
Representatives also offer drug and alcohol abuse training for employers and employees and are able to provide onsite presentations.
Sardisco declined to disclose the company’s net sales. “But in March we outsold McDonald’s to be the No. 1 growing franchise,” he said.
Those wanting to begin USA Mobile Drug Testing franchises undertake a 60-day training process and put up approximately $50,000 in franchise fees, plus marketing fees and equipment that could total up to approximately $115,000.
“We have to buy equipment like the alcohol analysis machine and insurance,” Liner said.
“We don’t just take anybody,” Sardisco said. “We want to make sure it is the best fit. Money comes through royalties. If they are not successful we are not successful. We want nothing more than every one of our franchisees to be successful.”
Sardisco said that people from various backgrounds to entering into this franchise business. Many come from the corporate world while some have come from medical fields.
Sardisco said that USA Mobile Drug Testing has received positive responses by assisting human resource department in the processing of employees. “With our state of the art system they do not have to send employees out to a facility [for testing] and have them off for three or four hours,” he said. “It turns into a lot of paper work and headaches [for human resources]. With our system we stand behind [clients] and a client.”
An individual drug test is $35. But corporate fees increase based on the number of persons involved, what educational and testing packages are included in educational presentation could increase costs to near $500 and higher.
“We have marketing materials, we have pamphlets, we have employee educational material, we have supervisor training programs, we have direct mail pieces,” Sandisco said. “We have it all.”
Lanier and Boje have landed about a dozen clients since beginning their business a month ago. They declined to disclose client companies.
“When you sit down and think about it, this is more beneficial than sending employees out to a fixed facility,” Liner said. “You eliminate the headache of paying them when they are not at work. When we come to you, time away from the job is minimal in a controlled environment.”
“We’ve sold several tests already and are getting policies for three companies,” Boje said. “So we are just getting started.”
“Business owners love this,” Liner said. “The mobile part of it is phenomenal. We are getting good feedback.”