Starting an ambulance company is a lucrative and exciting business venture. However, there are some important things to consider before starting out.
This article will outline the basics of starting an ambulance company, from licensing and insurance requirements to hiring staff and marketing your business.
Here are the ten steps you can take to start building an ambulance business.
Ten Steps to Launching a New Ambulance Business
1. Choose Your Type of Ambulance Business
The first step in launching an ambulance business is to identify the type of ambulance business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT): NEMT businesses provide transportation services for patients who need to get to and from doctor’s appointments, dialysis treatments, and other non-emergency medical appointments.
Emergency medical services (EMS): EMS businesses provide transportation and medical care for patients experiencing a medical emergency.
Specialty care transport (SCT): SCT businesses provide transportation and medical care for patients with special needs, such as those with disabilities or chronic illnesses.
2. Name Your Ambulance Business
Give your ambulance business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your ambulance business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your name among other options.
The main goal for naming your ambulance business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that potential customers will be more likely to use it.
3. Determine Your Ambulance Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for an ambulance business, including:
- Private: You own and operate the ambulance business by yourself.
- Public: The government owns and operates the ambulance business.
- Cooperative: A group of people owns and operates the ambulance business together.
- Franchise: You buy into an existing ambulance business brand and follow their established guidelines.
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 ambulance 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 ambulance 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 ambulance business structures.
5. Write an Ambulance Business Plan
All ambulance 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 ambulance business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services does your ambulance business offer?
- Do you provide transportation for people with disabilities?
- What are your rates?
- What is the minimum time commitment?
- How do I make a reservation?
- Do you have a cancellation policy?
- Are you licensed and insured?
Read our article about how to write an ambulance business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your ambulance business.
For example, if you will be transporting people with disabilities, you may need to obtain a disability access certificate. You will also need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if you plan to drive the ambulance.
You must also register your ambulance 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 ambulance business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your ambulance 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 ambulance business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your funds, other forms of potential funding for your ambulance business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about how to fund your ambulance business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your ambulance business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in an automated dispatch system to help manage and keep track of your calls. And if you have a fleet of vehicles, you will need some form of fleet management software to help with things like maintenance schedules and GPS tracking.
9. Market Your Ambulance 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 ambulance 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. Ambulance businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Create a website that showcases the many benefits of using an ambulance business.
- Use social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to market your ambulance business.
- Connect with other ambulance businesses and collaborate on marketing initiatives.
- Develop marketing materials like videos, infographics and case studies to attract attention to your ambulance business.
- Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure your website appears as the top result for relevant keywords.
- Advertise your ambulance business in local publications and on websites frequented by potential customers.
- Sponsor community events or donate services to charitable organizations to get your brand in front of a wider audience.
- Give potential customers a reason to choose your ambulance business over the competition by offering unique services or discounts.
- Stay top of mind with potential customers by sending them helpful information or reminders about when they might need your services.
Read our article about how to market your ambulance 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 ambulance business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your ambulance business to learn more.
Starting an Ambulance Business FAQs
There are many reasons to start an ambulance business. Some people are drawn to the industry because they want to help people in their time of need. Others see it as a way to make a difference in their community. And still, others view it as a business opportunity with great growth potential. Whatever your reason, starting an ambulance business can be a very rewarding experience.
Tips for starting an ambulance business are:
- Define your niche: There are many different types of ambulance businesses, so it's important to define your target market.
- Develop a business plan: This will help you map out your goals, strategies and the resources you'll need to get started.
- Secure financing: You'll need to secure the necessary financing to get your business off the ground.
- Find the right location: Choose a location that is convenient for your target market.
- Invest in marketing: Promote your business through a website, social media, and other marketing channels.
- Train your staff: Be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your ambulance business.
A simple checklist to use when starting an ambulance business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Ambulance 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 Ambulance 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 Ambulance Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write an Ambulance 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 Ambulance 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 an ambulance company can be a great way to help people in need and make a profit. To get started, you’ll need to invest in some basic marketing materials, find the right location, and train your staff. You’ll also need to secure financing and apply for the necessary permits and licenses. Be sure to market your business effectively to attract the right customers. You can grow your business and make it a success.