The reason why many people launch businesses targeting senior and elderly residents is a good one – to help. In fact, the overwhelming desire to help someone in need creates a passion that can sometime lead to services such as a senior transportation business. When a business or service is operated by someone passionate about why they started the business in the first place, it is well on its way to great success. However, every business needs practical assistance as well. Here are a number of tips that I think every business should follow during startup, especially a senior transportation business.
1 – Price Yourself Accordingly
The fact that there will be an endless supply of potential customers as the population continues to age is no reason to overprice your services. What you need to do is be competitive because you can expect some of your clients are going to “comparison shop” for the best deal. That doesn’t mean you should have the lowest rates around either. The best way to stay competitive is to search online for what other senior transportation businesses are charging in and around your area. Also factor in other commercial transportation services in your research as well. Once you establish your rates, monitor the others regularly to see if rates drop or change and react accordingly.
2 – Share The Details
When promoting your senior transportation business to prospective clients, be sure to include information on every kind of service you provide. Chances are that if you have chosen to add some extras – which may not be obvious as part of your existing business – that help to increase traffic to your business, you need to tell your customers. Maybe they don’t need you to drive them somewhere this week but your pick up service for something else may be of use. The more ‘extra’ services you are able to provide, the more extra work you have the potential of picking up.
3 – Book Up Extra Time
While scheduling will become one of your most important skills, you may find ways to increase the number of bookings you have in an hour or day. When you do this, you still have jobs to do if you experience a cancellation or two. Adding a prepayment and cancellation fee schedule can help keep income flowing when a cancellation occurs. The idea is to reduce down time and still have money generated.
4 – Add On Combos
I’ve already touched on it here, but when you are able to enhance your existing senior transportation service with extra add-on services, it broadens your spectrum of service offerings. When you do this, it makes your business more attractive in many ways. You become the person your customers will turn to for a ride plus one or two other services they would have had to go elsewhere for. You save them time and money and benefit with the added business.
5 – Earn From Referrals
Connect your service with those of other businesses in and around your community. If you are able to partner with a business offering a service you can’t provide, but are able to send customers there, you may be able to arrange a deal. The deal would be a commission of some kind coming to you for the referral. Imagine an extra 10-percent here and there for passing a client on to one of your “preferred partners” and it will have a positive effect on your service.
6 – Save Money By Networking
If you are able to build a solid network through a referral program, you will have business shared with you. When customers come to you based on a suggestion, referral or endorsement from another business in your network, you save money. Let me explain. You have just saved the money you would have spent on expensive advertising programs in newspapers and the phone book. But building a network you build loyalty and trust with your partners which is repaid frequently with a customer sent your way.
7 – Go Handheld
Your most valuable tool will be a cell phone. It will be the most reliable way for your clients to find you as well as those just checking you out. Plus, you can take it with you wherever you are for quick response to queries. You may even find yourself picking up extra business while on a trip because you happen to be nearby. The cost of a cell phone is minimal when you consider how it will produce a return on your investment.
Call these insider secrets if you’d like, but in my mind they are seven of the most important tips your business can ever benefit from using. To discover more about starting your own local senior transportation business, get a copy of my step-by-step guide: