Starting a senior citizen transportation business can be a very profitable venture. However, there are a few things you need to do in order to get your business off the ground.
Here are the ten steps you can take to get started on building your very own senior citizen transportation business.
Ten Steps to Launching a New Senior Citizen Transportation Business
1. Choose Your Type of Senior Citizen Transportation Business
The first step in launching a senior citizen transportation business is to identify the type of senior citizen transportation business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
Local Senior Citizen Transportation
You can provide door-to-door transportation services for local seniors who need to get around town for appointments, errands, and social activities.
Long Distance Senior Citizen Transportation
You can specialize in long distance transportation services for seniors who live in rural areas and need to travel to urban areas for medical appointments or to visit family and friends.
Senior Citizen Transportation for Special Events
You can provide transportation services for seniors who need to attend special events such as weddings, funerals, and parties.
2. Name Your Senior Citizen Transportation Business
Give your senior citizen transportation business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your senior citizen transportation business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your senior citizen transportation business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that potential customers will be more inclined to use your services.
3. Determine Your Senior Citizen Transportation Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a senior citizen transportation business including:
- Private Transportation Provider: You can contract with local municipalities or private organizations to provide transportation services for their seniors.
- Public Transportation Provider: You can work with state or local governments to provide public transportation services for seniors in your community.
- Transportation Broker: You can connect seniors in need of transportation services with private transportation providers who can give them a ride.
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 senior citizen 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 senior citizen 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 senior citizen transportation business structures.
5. Write a Senior Citizen Transportation Business Plan
All senior citizen 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 senior citizen transportation business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services do you offer?
- What are your rates?
- How will I be charged?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Are there any restrictions on who can use your service?
- How do I make a reservation?
- Do you provide transportation for special events?
- What is your service area?
- Do you have a fleet of vehicles?
- What are the qualifications of your drivers?
- How can I contact you if I have a question or problem?
Answering these questions in your business plan will help you develop a clear and concise strategy for your senior citizen company.
Read our article about how to write a senior citizen 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 senior citizen transportation business.
For example, if you plan on transporting seniors across state lines, you will need to get a DOT number and register your vehicles with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You will also need to comply with their regulations regarding driver qualifications, vehicle maintenance, and insurance requirements.
You must also register your senior citizen 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 senior citizen transportation business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your senior citizen transportation business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your senior citizen transportation business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your senior citizen transportation business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about how to fund your senior citizen transportation business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your senior citizen 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 GPS tracking for your vehicles, dispatching software, and online reservation software. This technology will allow you to track your vehicles in real-time, dispatch drivers more efficiently, and take reservations online which can save you time and money.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run a senior citizen transportation business.
9. Market Your Senior Citizen 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 Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the senior citizen transportation industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Senior citizen transportation businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Sponsor a charity event or fundraiser.
- Provide free transportation for nonprofit events or fundraising drives.
- Set up a booth at a local senior citizen center or retirement community.
- Distribute flyers and brochures at local businesses, libraries, and senior citizen centers.
- Place ads in newspapers, online, or on local TV or radio stations.
- Give talks or presentations about your senior citizen transportation business at community events, business meetings, or conferences.
- Offer discounts to first-time customers or for referrals.
- Create a loyalty program for frequent customers.
- Provide free consultations to potential clients.
Read our article about how to market your senior citizen 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 senior citizen transportation business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your senior citizen transportation business to learn more.
Starting a Senior Citizen Transportation Business FAQs
There are many reasons to start a senior citizen transportation business. It’s a great way to help seniors stay independent and active. Additionally, it’s a needed service that not many businesses provide. And finally, it can be a very profitable business if done correctly.
Here are a few tips for starting a senior citizen transportation business:
- Find a need in your community and fill it.
- Use technology to your advantage.
- Focus on marketing your business.
- Hire the right people to help you grow your business.
- Keep costs low and efficiency high.
A simple checklist to use when starting a senior citizen transportation business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Senior Citizen 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 Senior Citizen 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 Senior Citizen Transportation Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Senior Citizen 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 Senior Citizen 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 senior citizen transportation business can be a great way to help out your community while also making a profit. It’s essential to do your research and plan before starting any business, and the same goes for a senior citizen transportation business.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful senior citizen transportation business.