Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Fleet.
Laura, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Several years ago, I had an extensive back surgery. After recovering for a month and relying on friends and family to help me get around I was determined to make it to my physical therapy appointments on my own.
The first day of my physical therapy, I called a typical ride-share company. They arrived in my driveway and when they didn’t see me, they canceled the ride, charged me $5 and left. Meanwhile, I was still hobbling to get to the front door.
The second day of my physical therapy I called a taxi. The taxi arrived in my driveway and waited for me to slowly make my way to the car. During the ride I wondered about my safety, being alone in a car and not knowing how well the driver was background screened. Would anyone know if I didn’t make it to physical therapy? Upon arriving at the appointment, the taxi driver announced “we are here” and remained in his seat. I needed assistance getting out of the car, getting up the curb and into the building but wasn’t offered any assistance or even compassion.
The third day of my physical therapy, I looked for another option. There wasn’t one. The next level of transportation was a wheelchair accessible van and I didn’t want to take that vehicle out of service when a wheelchair-bound person needed it.
So, I created SendaRide.
My team and I spent months designing technology that would help the driver find the rider. We created a hiring process that would help a rider or their family feel at ease that the driver was properly background checked. We created safety and security features to help the rider and their family know where the vehicle was during the ride at all times. We created features that allowed the driver, the rider and the family to be in contact before and during the ride. And, we created a feature to ensure our drivers could always contact us for any help before, during or after the ride.
We didn’t create a transportation service for the general public to use to get home from the airport, movies or a restaurant. We created a transportation service centered around “Care Partners” as drivers that help the frail, vulnerable, elderly and those people, like myself, who need just a little more attention, compassion and assistance.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a business is never a smooth road. Rather, it is similar to a rollercoaster, as each day as great highs and incredible lows. In the beginning, you think your idea solves a problem and will help people every day. Then, as you begin to build the company, you question your own sanity for leaving your career and putting all of your money into the company. However, once you hear the first testimonials from those that have benefited from your service you feel such elation and pride.
As a new company and a new concept, one of our biggest challenges is getting the word out about our company. Limited resources keep us from hiring as many people as we need and creating a robust marketing campaign. In the beginning, entrepreneurs often have to do every job within the company.
We’d love to hear more about your company.
SendaRide provides customized, concierge transportation. Our company culture is: Every Experience Matters.
While we specialize in getting people to and from medical appointments, we’ve learned along the way that the service we provide is especially helpful for the frail, elderly and vulnerable populations. We offer an app in the App Store, a 1-800 customer service number and a website to allow people to easily book rides for their loved ones.
We built our service to be customizable, to meet the needs of each rider. We also built it to be very safe and trustworthy, performing extensive background investigations on our Drivers. We offer a concierge service because our drivers provide a door-to-door service, ensuring that their rider is picked up and dropped off in the right location, even when the rider doesn’t know their way around a large hospital campus.
We also enabled the rider’s family to follow the ride in realtime and receive text alerts of the ride’s progress. This allows the rider to feel safer and the rider’s family – even when out of state – to feel confident their family member’s transportation needs are met.
Lastly, we built HIPAA-compliant technology to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. This allows hospitals and physician offices to quickly and easily log into a customized dashboard and book rides for their patients.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was always a “problem solver”. I’ve practiced health care law for over twenty years, solving problems for hospitals, physicians and health plans. It wasn’t until I had extensive back surgery and required transportation to and from physical therapy though that I began to solve a problem for myself.
During that process, I realized there were many people, just like me, that needed extra assistance, time and compassion from others to get to or from a medical appointment.
- Website: www.SendaRide.com
- Phone: 1-800-731-1885
- Email: info@SendaRide.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sendaridenow/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SendaRide/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/sendaridenow
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sendaride
SendaRide photos, Getty Images