A medical courier business is a great way to make money while also helping your community. As a courier, you’ll be responsible for transferring lab specimens, delivering prescriptions to the sick and elderly, transporting medical supplies, and more.
But how exactly do you start a medical courier service? Keep reading to find out!
Setting Up Your Office
While there are larger – and even national – medical courier services, like HCLM, that offer multiple locations, you’re not quite there yet.
But you will need some kind of office space so that you can manage accounts, handle pick-ups and deliveries, and all of the other administrative tasks that come with running a business. This could be as simple as a spare room in your home, when you’re just starting out – or renting an actual office space, which is a must-have for more established services.
Using the Right Vehicles
You can’t be a medical courier without vehicles. But the vehicles you choose will depend on what kind of things you’re transporting.
Smaller cars are fine for most things, from lab specimens to prescriptions; but larger equipment, like wheelchairs, will require a larger vehicle.
Finding and Hiring Drivers
When you’re just getting started, you might be making deliveries yourself in your personal automobile, but a full-fledged courier service will eventually require both vehicles and the drivers to operate them.
You’ll want to make sure the drivers you hire have clean background checks and driving records. Medical experience is another plus, since they’ll already be familiar with a lot of the equipment and supplies they’ll be working with, though it’s not a necessity. Try looking over examples of medical courier job listings to get a feel for the normal requirements and average salaries.
There’s also the choice of full-time vs. part-time (or on-call) drivers. Hiring full-time drivers will give you greater control over your business, but it’ll increase your overhead. Part-time drivers are more affordable, but they may detract from your ability to provide the highest level of professionalism and service.
Regardless of what kind of drivers you use, you’ll want to ensure a proper dress code, which includes a uniform with your company logo as well as proper hygiene. Properly dressed and groomed staff not only look more professional, it protects them, your clients, and medical supplies from contamination or harm.
Getting the Proper Insurance and Certifications
Next, you’ll need insurance for your vehicles and drivers. That means commercial auto insurance, since your normal insurance doesn’t cover using your car for business-related activities. You can read more about determining what kind of insurance you’ll need for your courier service here.
Now, onto certifications. While these certifications may not be necessary, depending on your local regulations, they can reduce your liability and improve your marketing. Simply put, both medical-related businesses and private clients will trust you more if you have the proper certifications.
The two main certifications are for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Integrity Medical Courier Training can help your employees get certified through live training, online classes, and even webinars. They also have a great FAQ to help you understand why your drivers should be certified.
Marketing Your Service to Clients
Marketing is one of the most important parts of building a successful business – and a medical courier service is no different.
Your marketing will ideally come from a combination of direct and indirect marketing, along with referrals or “word of mouth” marketing. Indirect marketing would be things like ads in the local paper that let people know about your medical courier service.
But most of your business, at least initially, will likely come from directly contacting hospitals, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, medical labs, elderly care homes, and other medical-related businesses to see if they require your services. Remember, popping in for a visit is a lot more effective than cold calling or snail mail.
You should also consider marketing to private individuals, along with businesses, especially if you’re a smaller courier service.
Had a good experience with a client? Always ask for a referral from satisfied customers. They’ll often know other businesses that might need your services, and it’ll turn your “cold” pitches into “warm” ones.
There you have it, the basics of starting a medical courier service, including tips for hiring drivers, what kind of vehicles and insurance you need, and how to market to potential clients.
Of course, you’ll still need to do a little more research into the specifics, but at least now you have a template for moving forward. You’ll be handling your first clients in no time!