Mike Bonventre is the Operations Manager and Business Opportunity Consultant for Rapid Drug Test Systems (RDTS) , a company that offers ambitious entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their own business in the rapidly growing drug and alcohol testing industry. RDTS offers comprehensive personal training and continuous 24/7 live support to its consultants, providing them with maximum earning potential in a virtually recession-proof industry.
The story of just how Mike came to own his own business opportunity consulting operation in this growing field is an interesting one. Here he tells it to BusinessOpportunity.com’s Entrepreneur Exchange readers in his own words:
“I have been involved in the drug and alcohol industry since 1982, working as a consultant with law enforcement agencies from coast to coast. I saw the ugly side of drugs. However, given my extensive business background, I also saw an opportunity―the opportunity to help employers keep their workplaces drug-free.
“My unique blend of experience and skill resulted in a business idea, and in 1999 RDTS was born.
“Determined to provide the highest quality collections services coupled with the utmost integrity in the collections process, RDTS quickly became a premier full-service drug and alcohol collection, testing and training provider that soon gained national recognition. More importantly, RDTS was and still is privately owned and not affiliated with any hospital or medical facility. Moreover, it is not a franchise.
“As RDTS expanded its services nationwide, the need for qualified sub-contractors with integrity and a passion to do what we do so well was evident, but the search was disappointing. Everywhere I looked, I found ill-trained collectors who had received sub-par training from mass training providers. I also found franchises and business startup providers who were promising all types of proprietary components at huge prices, when in reality nothing other than the business name, website and revised operating systems are what is proprietary.
“Once again marrying my experience with opportunity where I saw it, I launched a business opportunity consulting operation on a large scale. While I have helped launch several businesses since 1999, I am now committed to offering entrepreneurs who are interested in what we do an alternative to franchising.
“RDTS’ business opportunity has the proven track record of taking a startup business owner who has a reasonable upfront investment and providing that person with all the tools and training he or she needs to have a real shot at success in this trillion-dollar industry.”
Given his tremendous success as an entrepreneur, Mike went on to offer the following responses to some of our readers’ most commonly asked questions:
How does someone know if they have what it takes to own their own business? Tell us a bit about how you made the decision and why.
In a word, commitment. Commitment to the industry, commitment to your customers and commitment to produce the best product or service you can, whether that is making a cupcake or doing federally regulated drug collections. As stated above, the principals involved with RDTS saw the opportunity in the drug-testing industry and they took it. In learning more about the industry, their passion was ignited.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your first six months in business? How did you meet that challenge?
The biggest challenge was that the industry was new and experts were scarce. This challenge was met by following basic business instincts like finding successful people in the industry and imitating them. In other words, we did not waste a lot of time re-inventing the wheel! It also helped that the absolute core of the business was contained in the Department of Transportation Code of Federal Regulations.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing business owners today and why? Any suggestions for how to address those challenges?
I think it is being overwhelmed by numerous vendors, marketing come-ons and the distractions that say everyone else has a better way to do it when, in essence, everyone is saying the same thing, and it’s all pretty simple. Get up, go to work and stay focused.
What is the single strongest piece of advice you would have for someone just starting out in business for themselves?
Trust yourself. You have managed to live up to this point, making decisions, being successful in many areas. You don’t just lose all of that because you are starting a business. Choose carefully when it comes to who you will get and take advice from. Listen to that advice and learn all that you can, but trust you in the end.
What would you say is the one thing that new business owners forget about or overlook when they are just planning/starting out?
New business owners tend to overlook the effects of their decisions on those closest to them, and they need to discuss their plans with them. And those closest to the business owner must be honest and not just cheerleaders. You must determine if you have their support or if they are simply going to be spectators. Owning a business is not a 9 to 5 job. It is a full-time commitment, and the new owner would be wise to determine if that fits in with his personal and family goals and lifestyle. I say that a new business is like a newborn. You must feed it when it is hungry, not when you feel like it.
What marketing strategies have you found to be most successful in growing your business?
Referral and word of mouth. Personal introductions, eye-to-eye contact, shaking hands (i.e., Chamber of Commerce events, civic organizations, handing out business cards in your community, visit or call your customers regularly, develop personal relationships…)
What is it about the business/industry you are in that made it so attractive to you?
The drug and alcohol testing industry is an ever-growing industry with no end in sight.
After the initial start-up phase in business, what obstacles do business owners face as they try to grow their business and remain successful? Any advice for how to overcome those obstacles?
Patience, staying focused on your initial goals until they are perfected and become routine. Don’t overreach your capabilities. Do a few things perfectly and not many with mediocre quality.
What online, software or other resources have helped you the most in managing all aspects of your company? Why and how have they been helpful?
The basic software business packages, such as QuickBooks. All other online services are supplied by the vendors you are doing business with, so don’t try to recreate the wheel. Don’t buy rewritten, relabeled software that makes you dependent on a private individual.
What did you do before you decided to become your own boss, and how have those skills helped you in your current business?
I grew up and worked in a family-owned business. This experience brought me into contact with many bosses, and I soon decided that I would rather work in a business in which I had a personal interest and stake.
What process do you follow to successfully close on a lead and make the final sale? Any tips?
I don’t close leads. I offer a service that will satisfy the prospective client’s needs on every level. It is the client who decides to be sold.
If you work from home, what are the greatest benefits to doing so? What are the drawbacks, and how do you manage them?
Self-motivation, discipline, and the ability to make your friends/family understand that you are running a business and that the fact that you are running it from home is not an excuse to be interrupted or distracted during your working hours.
What is/are your favorite motto and/or quote when it comes to business? Any final words of encouragement and/or inspiration for the budding entrepreneur?
A well-known business quote: If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right!
More about the Rapid Drug Test Systems Business Opportunity:
RDTS offers all the benefits of a franchise without the restrictions! This is your chance to start a business of your own in an industry that is literally exploding with potential clients―from businesses of all kinds and sizes to families and individuals to federal/state/local governments, organizations and municipalities to caregiving service providers…and everyone else in between.