- MemberMarch 26, 2020 at 7:44 pm
I want to start a Wheelchair & other medical equipment rental business in Spain, focusing on tourists with special needs.
I’m trying to nail the customer segment before actually starting the business.
At first, I thought that tourists with mobility disabilities would be the focus, but after doing some research I’ve come to realize that this type of tourist travels with their own equipment. It would be like renting shoes or underwear.
My plan is to have a great (exceptional) & personalized service online, to attract customers who search on Google for these services.
I’m only worried about the potential demand might be too small.
Tourism in Spain is the country’s first economical activity, that’s why I think it is promising.
I hope I can start a discussion around this topic and get some interesting insights. Thanks a lot!
- MemberMarch 30, 2020 at 10:35 am
I run a website called Accessible Japan and we offer rentals.
As a power wheelchair user, I didn’t realize the importance of rentals because I always take my wheelchair rental. However, after a lot of requests, we have started taking requests and referring people to providers.
There seem to be two groups of users:
1) Elderly, injury, pregnant
These people are not regular wheelchair users at home (and therefore don’t have a wheelchair of their own), but have difficulties with mobility on their trip. For those with injuries, the requests are often urgent (ie broke leg skiing). For the elderly, and those who are pregnant, they tend to be OK on their home ground, but the extra distances when sightseeing make it hard to manage and a wheelchair helps them get around.
2) Disabled and cannot take extra equipment
These customers generally use their own custom wheelchair but need extra equipment like hoists, shower chairs, commodes, etc. These are essential items but become a huge amount of luggage and cannot easily be taken on planes or trains due to the size, therefore it is easier / preferable to rent on site.
This is an interesting discussion, lets keep it going!
Also, thank you for considering this business – it will help so many more people enjoy travel!
- MemberMarch 30, 2020 at 6:46 pm
Thanks a lot for your reply @JoshGrisdale
I’m also curious to know how the 2 user segments that you mention usually search for these services. I want to base my business on Internet searches.
Would these users expect delivery?
Would they expect to get brand new equipment or would they understand that the equipment is used as the business rents it constantly?
I already run a wheelchair rental business in Venezuela, but the focus is not on tourists but 100% on locals who need the equipment temporarily. http://silladeruedas.com.ve is my web site (only in Spanish, sorry)
- MemberMarch 30, 2020 at 7:03 pm
As an electric wheelchair user, I think that it is very important to be able to find equipment to rent when traveling.
I for example always rent a hoist, as it is difficult to carry one with me. I know also people who rent for example (electric) wheelchairs when they travel, as they are afraid that during a flight, theirs might be damaged. I also try to find rental companies in case my wheelchair get damaged during a trip. Therefore, I think that there is demand for companies which rent equipment for disabled travelers.
I am not sure what exactly you mean, when you say that you plan a “great (exceptional) & personalized service online”. Do you still intend to rent equipment, but only after getting requests to do so? I am not an expert in this field, and I have not yet rented something in Spain, and thus I don’t know if there are already enough companies which rent such equipment, but I know that there are many disabled travelers who rent their wheelchairs, hoists etc.
Either way, I wish you good luck with your attempt
- MemberMarch 31, 2020 at 9:17 pm
Those are excellent points @maria – especially about repairs!
The delivery would likely depend on the equipment. Hoists are best done at the hotel, but most people wanting wheelchairs need them right from the airport.
I think everyone would expect the equipment is used. After all, they are renting it, not buying it.
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