The majority of start-up NEMT businesses are taxi services to help the elderly and disabled gain their independence. This often means traveling to friends’ houses, going to restaurants, and taking care of themselves by reaching monthly medical checkups.
Although it might seem easy to create a non-emergency medical transportation business, there are some key factors you need to consider before committing.
- Get Organized
This tip goes to any new starting business, but organization, especially around your taxes and legalities, will save you from a lot of hassle in the future.
Hire a good accountant to keep on top of your staff and bills, and be sure to speak to a legal team about business laws. Depending on your state, you may need a specific license for your NEMT, so make sure you don’t miss these important details.
- Consider Multiple Operating Possibilities
Making sure your operating system is flexible is extremely important, especially at the beginning of your business. For example, you may find that the majority of your customers are elderly, and so don’t know how to operate a smartphone without anxiety.
With these needs in mind, you may need to set up a company phone to communicate with your customers. Alternatively, most of your customers may be deaf or blind, so sign language and text relay systems might become a priority.
- Consider Hiring Or Buying Your Vehicles
Buying a wheelchair and mobility-accessible vehicle means understanding how the machine works and knowing which vehicle will work best for which client. For example, an autistic wheelchair user might be more comfortable in a car you know has soundproofing.
Once you become familiar with your clients, you can learn which vehicles suit each person.
However, there may be times when you’ve overbooked or a vehicle needs maintenance, so cannot be used. At this time, knowing a good vehicle hire business can keep your company moving.
- Hire Appropriate Staff
Remember who your customers are. When you hire staff, you need a collection of workers that are empathetic, medically trained, calm, and proactive.
Should something go wrong, you will need your staff member to know how to respond. Perhaps an autistic customer has a meltdown – in this instance, autistic social training can teach your staff member how to reassure the customer.
- Consider A Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan should target the demographic you hope to obtain. This means shaping your advertisements to find the demographic and using relevant media to grab their attention.
For example, if your main customer is likely to be the elderly, you shouldn’t be advertising geo-tagged videos on TikTok. Instead, use newspapers or large print flyers.
- Create A Partnership
A great way to network and ensure you’re creating a large reach of customers is to partner up with another business. This business should be doing well, and fits your standards.
Once partnered, you can recommend the partner and vice versa. For example, if you are a taxi service for disabled people, you may partner up with a “meals on wheels” company, which creates microwave meals that are healthy, fresh, and local.
This creates a community of businesses to help spread the word about your and their services.
- Consider Your Location
Rural locations are likely to have the most need for a taxi service aimed at the disabled, as there will be less infrastructure for public services.
However, being out in the sticks often means greater mileage. In the current gas economy, you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of long-distance destinations.
- Keep Your Bank Balance On Your Mind
You can expect to make a loss in the first couple of years of service. In the beginning, you’ll be making big purchases that’ll take years to pay off, while also having a low customer count.
But you should be aware of how long you can keep a low balance. Your capital should be growing with every month, and knowing when you’ve reached the “break-even” point can stop you from crawling into large debts.
- Communicate With Your Customers
To understand how your business is doing, you need to look at it from the outside. Ask your customers what they enjoy and what needs to change. Then ask your staff the same thing. Taking in everyone’s perspective can ensure success.
- Be On Social Media
Although your main audience might be elderly, that doesn’t mean other people aren’t helping them. To make sure you’re found by anyone looking, you need to be visible. Joining Instagram and Facebook means being reachable.
Once you’ve secured these key factors, you’ll create a successful business.