Long before you fling open the doors to what will most certainly become a profitable senior transportation business, you need to do a few things first. The following list of seven key elements you need to have in place before you start booking clients will ensure your success.
1 – Legal Structure
This step will set your business apart from any competitors as it will clearly define the foundation of your business. You will have to decide early if you are going to operate your senior transportation service as a sole proprietorship or as an LLC. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Each will have different tax implications and each will have a different bearing on how you will be able to expand your business with the addition of more employees or vehicles. Nolo.com has excellent online resources for learning more about the pros and cons of each one.
2 – Licensing
The legal right to operate your business will come from various levels of licensing. This will include a business license for the community you intend to provide your services. You may also require state so it is wise to sort all of those details out early.
3 – Business Name
The identity you create with your business name is crucial. It will be how customers will identify you and you will want it to project a good, positive image. With this in mind, your business name should be easy to remember, say something about the kind of business it is and sound professional and caring.
4 – Supplies
You will need some additional things to keep your senior transportation service operating smoothly. This will include office supplies and any other item you will require on the job. It may mean a cell phone, appointment calendars, billing programs on a computer along with the computer. If you are starting small, with non-medicaid customers, a smart phone with the right apps can handle your appointments and scheduling.
5 – Service Schedule
What kinds of deliveries do you see yourself doing in order to create a profitable senior transportation business? Obviously you will end up building your service around pick ups and drop offs. Some clients may need a ride to appointments and you may also end up running out to pick up groceries in addition to the regular chores you intend to offer. The service schedule is pretty much the ‘menu’ of what you can offer. Consider it carefully as you may see extra opportunities coming from beyond your basic pick up/drop off plan.
6 – Pricing
This is what will make the difference between your business being profitable and not – the price you charge your customers. Typical rates for this kind of business range from $20 to $60 per hour. Your location will have some effect on pricing with cities earning closer to the top of the scale with rural communities earning closer to the low end of the scale. Plus, it would be wise to see what services you plan to offer that can be combined and charged out at a slightly lower rate.
7 – Promotion
The best way to get customers is to advertise your business. While there is a cost attached to most forms of advertising, there are ways to promote your business that will cost you next to nothing in the long run. Business cards, posters, vehicle signage and networking for contacts will all serve to funnel traffic to your business.
Once you complete these seven key steps you will be that much closer to having a profitable senior transportation business. Failure to complete all of these steps will have a huge effect on your success. I have put a great deal of effort into developing this simple, yet important, method of building any kind of business to a successful level. I am certain that yours will be as well once you take care of these seven items first. Good luck!
Discover more in our step-by-step guide, How to Start a Profitable Senior Transportation Business.