roadside assistance for wheelchairs?
An acquaintance of mine is wheelchair-bound. He uses a power chair to get around, and has adapted his vehicle such that he’s independently mobile. A few months back he posted a quick tale on his blog about how he was out by himself and got his chair hung up on the ramp of his vehicle. He had to violently rock back and forth to get off, which did the trick, but could have just as easily found him lying down in the mud. This got me thinking – would a roadside assistance-type service for wheelchair users be a viable business?
Full disclosure here, I have NO data on the number of wheelchair users in Canada – or anywhere else, for that matter. Until such a number can be quantified there is no hope of determining whether this could be a viable business or not. Regardless, I thought it an interesting idea, so I’m putting it out there to share. You want to have a go at making this a business? You have my blessing.
So the idea is to provide assistance to a wheelchair user on-demand. At first glance, this sounds pretty impossible on its own – how could you possibly afford to hire enough people to cover even a metropolitan service area? The idea came to me a few days later – outsource! What you’re aiming to do is dispatch someone on-demand to a known location… which is exactly what a taxicab service does. So instead of hiring your own service providers, you’d contract with cab companies to provide the service. All you have to do is provide the back end – the “emergency” number for members to call for assistance, a membership program, and the payment system (both from members and to the cab companies for supplying the manpower).
From here, there’s a lot more legwork to be done. What kind of membership model would customers prefer? Per use? Annual membership? I’d guess the latter… if you’re looking for peace of mind for your wheelchair use, chances are you’re in it for the rest of your life. What price point would someone pay for such a service? What amount of that will need to go to the cab companies for being at your beck-and-call? Lots of questions… that can be answered by someone wanting to have a go at this as a business.