If you’re looking for a business idea that’s both meaningful and profitable, medical transportation may be just what you’re searching for. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of starting a medical transportation business, from choosing a niche to getting the necessary licenses and insurance.
Here are the ten steps you can take to get started on building your very own medical transportation business.
Ten Steps to Launching a New Medical Transportation Business
1. Choose Your Type of Medical Transportation Business
The first step in launching a medical transportation business is to identify the type of medical transportation business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) businesses transport patients who need to get to and from medical appointments but who are not in a life-threatening situation.
- Emergency medical transportation (EMT) businesses transport patients who require immediate medical care.
2. Name Your Medical Transportation Business
Give your medical transportation business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your medical transportation business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your medical transportation business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that patients will want to use it.
3. Determine Your Medical Transportation Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a medical transportation business including:
- For-profit businesses can either be private or publicly-traded companies. They generate revenue by charging patients and/or insurance companies for their services.
- Non-profit organizations are businesses that do not aim to make a profit. Instead, they reinvest any money they make back into the business or donate it to charity. Non-profits usually rely on grants and donations to stay afloat.
- Social enterprises are businesses that have a social or environmental mission at their core. They generate revenue like for-profit businesses but reinvest a portion of their profits into their mission.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your medical transportation business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your medical transportation business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common medical transportation business structures.
5. Write a Medical Transportation Business Plan
All medical transportation business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team, among other things.
When developing your medical transportation business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services do you offer?
- Do you offer any specials or promotions?
- How much does it cost to use your service?
- Are there any restrictions on who can use your service?
- Do you provide transportation for accompanying family members or friends?
- What type of medical conditions do you transport patients with?
- Do you have any age, weight, or height restrictions?
- What are your hours of operation?
- Do you offer 24/7 service?
- How do I schedule a transportation pick-up?
- Do you provide transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, hospitals, nursing homes, or other medical facilities?
- Do you provide transportation for non-emergency medical procedures?
- What type of vehicles do you use for transportation?
- Are your vehicles wheelchair accessible?
- Do you provide oxygen or other medical supplies on board?
- Do your drivers have any medical training?
- Do you provide child safety seats?
- What are your driver’s qualifications?
- What type of insurance do you have?
- What are your safety procedures?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- What is your refund policy?
Read our article about how to write a medical transportation business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your medical transportation business.
For example, if you plan on transporting patients across state lines, you will need to obtain a USDOT Number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You will also need to register your vehicles with the FMCSA and get commercial insurance.
You must also register your medical transportation business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper medical transportation business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your medical transportation business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have funds to invest in your medical transportation business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your medical transportation business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about how to fund your medical transportation business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your medical transportation business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in software that helps you to dispatch drivers and track vehicles. This type of software can automate many of the back-office tasks of your business so you can focus on providing great customer service.
Another key piece of technology for your medical transportation business is a GPS system. This will help you keep track of your vehicles and ensure that drivers are taking the most efficient routes.
9. Market Your Medical Transportation Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Nextdoor. Also consider networking with other people in the medical transportation industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials required to execute your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Medical transportation businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Creating a strong online presence
- Networking with other professionals in the industry
- Creating print materials like business cards and flyers
- Sponsoring local events or causes
- Gaining media exposure through press releases and directories
- Creating partnerships with other businesses in complementary industries
Read our article about how to market your medical transportation business for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your medical transportation business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your medical transportation business to learn more.
Starting a Medical Transportation Business FAQs
Why Start a Medical Transportation Business?
The medical transportation industry is growing quickly as the baby boomer population ages and the need for non-emergency medical transportation services increases. This presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to start a successful business in this industry.
What are Some Tips for Starting a Medical Transportation Business?
Here are some tips for starting a medical transportation business:
- Have a strong business plan in place.
- Make sure you have the right technology and software in place.
- Develop effective marketing and promotional strategies.
- Find and train the right people to help you grow your business.
- Promote your services through social media channels and directories.
- Establish an e-commerce website so potential clients can learn more about your services.
- Network with other professionals in the medical transportation industry.
Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting a Medical Transportation Business?
A simple checklist to use when starting a medical transportation business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Medical Transportation Firm: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Medical Transportation Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Medical Transportation Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Medical Transportation Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Medical Transportation Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting a medical transportation business can be a great way to help people in need and make a profit while doing it. By following the tips above, you’ll be on your way to starting a successful business that provides much-needed services. Remember to research the market, get the necessary permits and licenses, and market your business effectively so that you can reach your target clients.