There are several ways to develop a successful senior transportation business. However, if you don’t have assistance from someone who has valuable advice, it will take you that much longer to get on track. Here are a number of my favorite insider secrets that are guaranteed to get you that kick start you need to move forward quickly.
1 – Be Competitive
One of the tallest hurdles for any business startup is product/service pricing. The same goes for a senior transportation business. You don’t want to be the most expensive service as that will eliminate a good portion of your potential customers who are living on a fixed income. You also don’t want to be so low in prices that you end up giving away your time. The best way to get an idea of what the “going rate” is will be through some research. You can start online by searching for “transportation rates” and go from there.
2 – Have More Than One Rate
This may sound odd, but you will probably succeed with some customers by offering more than one rate. How you do it is completely up to you but you could charge a flat rate for a specific pickup and delivery. If it takes additional time over what you have allotted for it, tack on an hourly rate for extra time. Or, you could have a base rate and offer discounts from that to military families or whatever special you plan to use. Discounts can help you build loyalty with customers and a discount can be used as an incentive.
3 – Fill In Lost Time
When scheduling your day, you will have places where you may be able to fill in some extra runs. This will increase your overall income for the day. In the case of cancellations, adding a 24-hour cancellation policy with a fee for a cancelled job and you don’t lose any income due to an unforeseen circumstance that forces a cancellation.
4 – Extras And Combos
You can enhance your business offerings by adding additional services that may not normally be associated with your senior transportation business. Seasonal extras are a good idea and can range from property drive by checks when clients are on holidays to snow removal in the winter. By adding extras and combining services you will see an increase in business as customers learn they can come to you for more than pick up or delivery services.
5 – Bundle Trips
If you are able to schedule at least one day a week to service clients in the same part of the community or make a day “pharmacy day” you will make your business run more efficiently. It also increases the hourly income by bundling customers into the same time block for similar services.
6 – Payment Scheduling
You will need to develop a billing system that either allows for pre-payment or payment at the completion of a task. Allowing customers to pay you monthly after you have performed several services for them could become problematic. Let’s be honest here, seniors forget things. You don’t want to end up with a number of customers who ‘thought’ they paid you by letting them wait to the end of the month to square up. You do not want to open that door and besides, pre-payment or on time payment is best for all parties involved.
7 – Stay Clear Of Expensive Promotion
Radio, newspaper, billboard, phone book and online advertising can be expensive. You don’t want to spend a lot of your profit on any of this. But how do you get the word out about your senior transportation business? By promoting your business through word of mouth. Good, top quality service gets talked about. Offer customers an incentive such as a discount on a referral or some other special to encourage the happy customers to do the advertising for you.
8 – They Call It A Smart Phone For A Reason
A smart phone can be your best friend. In addition to giving your clients instant access to you, you will be able to carry your weekly/monthly trip schedule with you in the palm of your hand. Other useful apps you’ll be able to download will help you keep track of your time, time spent on tasks, fuel consumption and much, much more.
These insider secrets are some of the more important ones that will assist you with your senior transportation business immediately. By following these tips you will be a little bit closer to building a successful service and a whole lot closer to getting ahead of all competitors. To discover more about starting your own local senior transportation business, click here.