A medical courier service is a business tasked with transporting medical items, such as lab specimens. Medical offices tend to use couriers to transport medical specimens to laboratories for analysis. A medical courier service may also deliver medical supplies, transport prescription drugs, deliver blood and organs, and transport X-rays and medical notes.
Owning your own medical courier business and being able to work for yourself is quite rewarding. In the beginning, you can pick up as much work as you like, starting with minimal expense by doing everything yourself. But you could potentially grow the business to a significant size utilizing office space, with a fleet of employees and vehicles.
Being a medical courier is often a time sensitive occupation and you don’t want to let your clients down due to vehicles not being fit for the purpose. At the end of the financial year, you will need to complete your books to ensure you have paid the correct amount of tax and evaluate your spending.
If you’re starting a medical courier business, figuring out what to charge for each delivery job can be a challenge. You don’t want to overbid and lose potential customers. Underbid and you could get stuck with customers who expect cheap prices for every delivery. The aim is to price your jobs so you are paid what you need to stay in business. Indeed, you want to make a fair profit and add new customers.
Courier companies take into consideration a range of factors to price their deliveries. Speed and distance traveled play a primary role in determining the average cost of delivery. Other factors such as vehicle type and the size and weight of items are equally important for calculating an accurate courier delivery price.
Factors That Can Help You Determine What To Charge In Your Medical Courier Business
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What your competitors charge
Take your time to find out the rates of other medical courier and delivery services in your area. If there are several, use an average to determine a competitive rate. For instance, if there are 3 competing courier services in your area charging $16, $20, and $22 for the same delivery, the average is $19.33. This gives you a target rate to aim for. However, be wary of the temptation to charge less than everyone else to get an edge, as it can backfire.
Potential customers may wonder why you are so cheap, and be discouraged to hire you. Sometimes, you may have underestimated your overhead and find you are unable to make a decent profit at a low rate. If your competitors are charging $XX for delivery, customers are willingly paying that price. When you charge about the same price, you will be able to make a profit and grow your business.
Charging by the hour
To clearly quote a price to a customer, you will have to understand your hourly rate. Here’s how to determine an hourly rate. Let’s imagine the competition charges $15 for a cross-town pickup and delivery that takes 20 minutes. That is $45 an hour. Seek at least 3 rate quotes to verify that your hourly number is correct.
Now you can quote prices to customers, using an hourly rate. If you plan to charge $45 an hour, for instance, that is 75 cents per minute. If a delivery takes 30 minutes, your quote would be $22.50. A 15 minute delivery would be $11.25, and so on. However, most medical couriers charge by the job, it is not uncommon to charge by the mile, especially for longer deliveries.
Rush orders and after-hours orders
Although a good number of deliveries will be scheduled during the business day/week, you will get occasional jobs that require extra attention or speed, such as rush orders that are expected to be delivered right away, or after hours.
It is normal to charge extra for these deliveries. For instance, an after-hours delivery, such as after 5 p.m. or before 8 a.m. could carry a $15 surcharge. For a late-night delivery, between 8 p.m. and 5 am, an extra charge of $20 might be appropriate. Likewise on weekends and holidays, with a $15 surcharge!
What if you arrive to pick up a medical supply for delivery and have to wait because the customer does not have the supply ready? This slows you down and could put you off schedule. If you have to wait under 5 minutes, no surcharge! Over 5 minutes, consider charging your hourly rate, 75 cents per minute, for each additional minute.
Heavy or bulky Packages
In terms of size, a good number of courier services charge extra for heavy or bulky loads. An easy way to compute this charge is to have an overweight fee. For instance, your standard delivery charge would apply to items under 50 pounds, and items over that weight would pay 10 dollars per pound for items over 50 pounds.
Distance and time
Pricing among most courier delivery services is generally determined by one of two ways: distance traveled or time spent on the road. Distance traveled tends to be measured by the number of miles it takes for a courier vehicle to deliver from the pickup to drop off location.
For instance, a medical courier company may charge $1.50 per mile driven using a car, or $2.00 per mile driven using a pickup truck or cargo van. As such, your total cost of delivery will partially depend on the number of miles driven from project start to finish.
The speed of delivery will also have a significant impact on the average cost of a medical courier service. If one of your clients wants a time-sensitive delivery of medical supplies to his or her job site, it is essential to swiftly meet that request. Unlike on-demand apps, most traditional courier shipping services carry a $10 and over a surcharge for door-to-door delivery options like same-day delivery, after-hours delivery, or weekend and holiday delivery.
As a business owner, it is vital to find the most cost-effective delivery method for you and your customers. Optimizing operational efficiency through supply chain solutions like logistics technology and an affordable 3PL is the best way to fulfill their demands and meet your goals.
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