Old age is a challenge, and growing old comes with its own challenges. Considering that India and Nigeria rank among the countries with the highest number of old people, you could build a profitable business around growing old. One of such is starting a transportation business for the elderly.
India has about 1.366 billion people according to 2019 statistics, and Nigeria has 201 million people according to the same Worldometer statistics – with nearly 20% of the population being above the age of 60.
This statistic provides a lot of business opportunities a business-minded person can venture into which is transporting senior citizens .
Senior citizens are usually old folks above the age of 60 who are retired and dependent on their children and family for support. They usually suffer age-related illnesses such as blindness, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive impairment, strokes, and paralysis among others. These diseases make them depend on family and friends for doctors’ visits and personal care.
Transporting elderly folks for doctors’ visits, social engagements, post offices, and grocery stores is a transportation niche that is very profitable and often overlooked in Nigeria and India. But you could explore the business opportunity after learning the rudiments and requirements of the transportation service in this extensive article.
So sit back to learn how to start a transportation business for the elderly with proven profitability in other parts of the world as well:
Choose A Service Niche
It is true that you want to make a business out of transporting old people to various places, but you would beat the competition if you specialize in a given niche. These are –
- Transport wealthy seniors to social engagements
- Transport disabled seniors for doctors’ visits
- Transport old folks to pick up the mail
- Transport senior folks to tourist attractions
- Transport old people to shop for groceries
- Run an ambulance service for old people
Although there are hospitals that provide ambulatory services, there are communities where old people use hospitals that are outside their locality, therefore requiring urgent ambulance services in cases of emergencies.
Choose A Suitable Vehicle
The type of vehicle you choose for this business is very crucial. It must be determined by your chosen niche and factors such as the social status, physical conditions, medical needs, and personal preferences of the target clientele. Your vehicle must also be specially rigged to accommodate the transportation needs of your customers. You must purchase new vehicles or convert used models to your special use to suit the mobility of aged people.
In this regard, old people using wheelchairs and motor scooters must be able to embark and disembark from your transportation system with ease. You can also rig it for rear-load accessibility or side-load accessibility – meaning that people using wheelchairs or motorized scooters can enter it easily from the side or rear. You must also install safety measures to keep the passengers in place so they do not rock and roll during transit, and the same goes for old people who have to lie down during the journey.
Get Licensed With Relevant Agencies
There are countries where pretty anything goes, but you must seek to protect yourself and your business by registering with relevant agencies. You must acquire the necessary licenses for your transportation vehicle, register your senior citizen’s transportation service business, and obtain necessary permits and licensing from local or state agencies.
Your driver’s license must be up-to-date if you are driving your vehicle yourself and starting out with only one vehicle, but you must also ensure that any hired drivers have valid licenses if they have to be assigned to any vehicles in your fleet.
And need we mention insurance? Yes. There must be a vehicle and medical insurance for your business in case anything happens while transporting senior citizens for medical visits, social events, or vacation tours. The insurance policies must cover injuries and accidents or any claims arising from the discharge of your business.
Get Trained In Emergency Care And First Aid
This is not a necessity, but it helps to have your bases covered and to have an edge over your competitors. A basic certificate in First Aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and other medical emergencies would be to your own advantage; anything to get you ready and prepared to care for your passengers en route to their destinations would be helpful to your business.
It is also wise to get your hired hands to undergo special trainings that will enable them to help their passengers during any trip. And it is advisable to have emergency numbers at hand so that paramedics could be summoned to help when emergencies arise during any transportation service to a destination.
Market Your Transportation Service For The Elderly
You wouldn’t be in business if there were no customers. You must market your services in your community and local government area by engaging in radio and TV ads, posters and billboards, and giving out flyers to residences in your area.
The more people are aware of your services, the more they will want you to transport their aged ones to various places. Although senior citizens rarely use the internet, you can still do Internet advertising and blog posts to promote your services since younger people who see them will contact you to transport their family members who will need the service.
Do not forget to highlight the merits of your service as they relate to First Aid and emergency care treatments, specialized vehicles for easier accessibility, government licensing and permits, and 24-hour service at cheaper costs which is where branding comes in.
Your business will grow into greater expansions when you market it effectively and strive for excellence. This is largely because people want to live long to a grey old age, and younger people want to care for the elderly ones in their family to the best of their abilities.
Matured children do not mind spending lavishly on their aged parents and uncles, so you can never run out of clients if you are properly positioned to service this niche.
Photo by Tristan Le