When you start to offer rides to seniors to various appointments, to meetings or to participate in social activities you are that much closer to having a non-emergency medical transportation business. It is a rewarding business opportunity that provides a valuable link to many seniors. There are seniors who no longer drive a vehicle and this type of transportation service would come in handy for a trip to pick up groceries, a visit with a friend or to attend church or a movie. The best part is that you can earn extra income just by providing this service. You can look at it as a taxi service aimed primarily at seniors. But you do need to have a few things in place before you can launch your non-emergency medical transportation business.
1 – Legal Structure
You will have to decide the legal status of your business. This will be how the taxing authorities will look at your service and will tax it accordingly. Your choices are proprietorship, partnership or LLC. Each has advantages and disadvantages and one will be the right fit for your business now, but you will have to imagine your business in the future and beyond and operate it under the correct legal structure. Online resources, such as nolo.com, can help you decide what’s best for you.
2 – Licensing
Aside from proper vehicle and driver licensing for transporting clients and their belongings, in most areas you do not require any formal licensing for this kind of work. You will require a business license and any other documentation that allows you to operate your non-emergency medical transportation business in and around your community.
3 – Name
You need to choose a name to operate your business under and it should be easy to remember and not complicated in any way. It should say something about your business and you may want to check to be sure the name you finally pick is not already in use or trademarked elsewhere.
4 – Supplies
As with any kind of business there are supplies required to function properly. Depending on the kind of office space you intend to use – a home office would be best – you will need just about everything from a computer/tablet, a cell phone, billing software if you drive medicaid customers, and everything in-between.
5 – Service Schedule
The kinds of services you intend to offer your clients need to be itemized and on a chart so you and your customers can reference them. The services you offer may only be from Point A to Point B or round trips to start but other transportation opportunities may become obvious and those will need to be factored into the equation. Be flexible until you can firm up all possibilities and that will be your service schedule.
6 – Price Schedule
The price you charge your clients has to be documented but what can you charge? An average non-emergency medical transportation business charges between $20 and $60 per hour. Your rates will fall in there and depending on where you live, the economic conditions, number of seniors and other local variables will define your final price. Plus, you may want to allow for discount programs and combo pricing on similar services.
7 – Getting The Word Out
This is the one step that brings you exposure to potential customers and clients. It involves the promotion of your services through different forms of advertising. It can be just in the form of posters, flyers and business cards or can be more elaborate such as newspaper advertising. Your budget will give you guidance on what direction to take to start with. In addition, our Senior Transportation Guide lists several free ways to advertise your new business.
There you have it! These seven steps will help you get your non-emergency medical transportation business in operation. Remember, your clients are expecting you to be a professional and taking care of all these tasks first will give you the professional and competitive edge you will need to turn this business opportunity into a profitable business you will want to see grow as you service the needs of more and more seniors in your community. To discover more, read: How To Start a Profitable Senior Transportation Business.