Starting a medical courier service can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful medical courier service.
Importantly, a critical step in starting a medical courier service is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.
14 Steps To Start a Medical Courier Service:
- Choose the Name for Your Medical Courier Service
- Develop Your Medical Courier Service Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Medical Courier Service
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Medical Courier Service (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Medical Courier Service with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Medical Courier Service
- Buy or Lease the Right Medical Courier Service Equipment
- Develop Your Medical Courier Service Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Medical Courier Service
- Open for Business
1. Choose the Name for Your Medical Courier Service
The first step to starting a medical courier service is to choose your business’ name.
This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your own medical courier service:
- Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
- Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
- Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your own business.
2. Develop Your Medical Courier Service Business Plan
One of the most important steps in starting a medical courier service is to develop your business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.
Your business plan should include the following sections:
- Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your medical courier company.
- Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your own courier business and what type of medical courier service you operate. For example, are you a ground courier service, air courier service, local courier service, or a specialty courier service?
- Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the medical courier industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
- Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target customers are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing services like the ones you will offer?
- Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
- Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
- Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer
- Prices: Document the prices of your products/services
- Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
- Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your medical courier service? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
- Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
- Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
- Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
- What startup costs will you incur?
- How will your medical courier service make money?
- What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
- Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?
3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Medical Courier Service
Next you need to choose a legal structure for your medical courier service and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.
Below are the five most common legal structures:
1) Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the medical courier service and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a medical courier service together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business.
The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.
3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a medical courier service include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.
4) C Corporation
A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a medical courier service is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.
5) S Corporation
An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.
Once you register your medical courier service, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.
4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Medical Courier Service (If Needed)
In developing your medical courier service business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business.
If so, the main sources of funding for a medical courier service to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a medical courier service that they believe has high potential for growth.
5. Secure a Location for Your Business
Some things to consider when choosing a location for your medical courier service include:
- Near to healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and medical offices
- The availability of parking
- The ease of access to the location
- The amount of foot traffic in the area
- Cost of rent or commercial space
6. Register Your Medical Courier Service with the IRS
Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.
Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
It is important to establish a bank account in your medical courier company’s name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Identify and contact the bank you want to use
- Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, valid driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
- Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
- Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
8. Get a Business Credit Card
You should get a business credit card for your medical courier service to help you separate personal and business expenses.
You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.
When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.
9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
There are a few licenses and permits you will need to launch a medical courier service. You will need a business license, a permit to operate a commercial vehicle, and a permit to transport medical specimens. Contact your state’s Department of Transportation or Business Licensing Agency for more information on how to obtain these licenses and permits.
10. Get Business Insurance for Your Medical Courier Service
The type of insurance you need to operate a medical courier service will vary by state.
Some business insurance policies you should consider for your medical courier service include:
- General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
- Auto insurance: This type of insurance will cover if a vehicle used for your business is damaged or stolen.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
- Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Business interruption insurance: This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
- Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.
Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.
11. Buy or Lease the Right Medical Courier Service Equipment
You will need a reliable vehicle and medical equipment to deliver medical supplies, medical items, medical records and diagnostic test results. You will also need a computer, a printer, a scanner, and a fax machine.
12. Develop Your Medical Courier Service Marketing Materials
Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your medical courier service.
The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:
- Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your medical courier service. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
- Website: Likewise, a professional medical courier service website provides potential customers with information about the services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
- Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your medical delivery business.
13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Medical Courier Service
The most important software for a medical courier service is an inventory management system. This system will help keep track of what products are being shipped and when they are scheduled to be delivered. Other software that may be useful includes a customer relationship management (CRM) system and a transportation management system.
14. Open for Business
You are now ready to open your own medical courier business. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.
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How to Start a Medical Courier Service FAQs
Is it hard to start a medical courier service?
No, it is not hard. In fact, starting a medical courier service is relatively easy. There are a few key things to keep in mind, such as developing a strong business plan and marketing strategy. It is possible to start a successful medical courier service with the right planning and execution.
How can I start a medical courier service with no experience?
There are a few things you can do to get started in the medical courier industry with no experience. First, research the industry and learn as much as you can about it. This will help you understand the basics of what the industry entails and what is required of medical couriers. Additionally, look for online resources or even courses that can teach you the necessary skills to work in this field. Finally, find a mentor or someone in the industry who can provide you with guidance and advice as you get started.
What type of medical courier service is most profitable?
The most profitable type of medical courier service is one that specializes in the delivery of sensitive or time-sensitive medical specimens. This type of service can charge a premium for its specialized services, and can be more reliable than other types of courier services.
How much does it cost to start a medical courier service?
The cost to launch a medical courier service can vary depending on the size of your business and the services you offer. However, you can expect to spend anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 to get started. This includes costs for the purchase of a vehicle, equipment, marketing, and hiring staff.
What are the ongoing expenses for a medical courier service?
The ongoing expenses for a medical courier service may include the following:
- Vehicle and fuel costs
- Maintenance and repair costs for vehicles
- Phone and internet bills
- Office supplies and utilities
- Advertising and promotions
- Cost of hiring and training employees (delivery driver and medical staff)
How does a medical courier service make money?
Medical courier services make money by charging a fee for each delivery that they make. This fee generally depends on the size and weight of the package, as well as the distance that it needs to be transported.
Is owning a medical courier service profitable?
Yes, medical courier service can be profitable because they are essential for transporting medical items, documents, and specimens quickly and securely. As the population continues to age, the demand for quality medical courier services will likely continue to grow.
Why do medical courier services fail?
One reason medical courier services fail is because they are not properly staffed. They may also not have the right equipment or the correct training to handle sensitive medical information and products. Furthermore, a failure to properly plan and execute can also lead to shipments not arriving on time or even being lost altogether.