The demand for more senior care increases as more senior adults choose to grow old in the comfort of their homes.
Some need help with daily activities like preparing meals and bathing, while some need medical care.
By starting a home healthcare business, you are not just creating a business opportunity.
Your home health care services also deliver meaningful and memorable care for the elderly.
As long as you plan on giving them affordable and appropriate medical and non-medical care, you’ll succeed.
So if you like to know how to start a private home care business, the answer is to always start with a business plan.
This post has the right tips, from devising a business plan to finding your clients to prepare you for this business venture.
How to Start an Elderly Home Care Business
Now that you are familiar with the types of private home care services you can offer, it is time to start your business.
Like any other successful company, you need to follow specific steps to ensure that you’ll operate well.
Create a Business Plan
Every business starts with developing a business plan to help you draw a picture of what your business will be.
During the planning, you’ll understand the home care market and identify the needs you want to target.
It will also help you establish goals and create a structure for your business so you can lay out funds and steps before launching.
The business plan will also include your goals for the company after its launch so you can maintain your agency.
For private home care, you must understand that the primary goal is to help older people with their daily activities.
Additional services may require transportation, medical assistance, and handyman services.
You can consider their options to have a unique service niche within the home care industry.
You also have to decide the name and brand of your elderly home care business.
It would help if you went for something easy to remember, with a touch of your name or place, no one is using it yet.
Find a Location
It is time to decide where to set up your business location or office space.
Ideally, you’ll need a place where health care is affordable to the masses and has no saturated competition.
Avoid expensive commercial space in high-traffic areas as much as possible, and find a cheaper and more accessible one.
Not only will it help your staff report to work efficiently, but it can also help prospects to visit your site easily.
For medical home care, you may need to invest in some medical equipment.
In contrast, non-medical care may only need a marketing budget.
Choose Your Niche Services
Another essential step in starting your home healthcare business is choosing the services you’ll offer.
Consider what is in demand in your location to decide which will be your priority.
Before hiring professionals, see if you will provide housekeeping, run errands, administer medications, and more.
If you have already figured out what to offer, it is best to create a list that you can put in your marketing materials.
In the end, you may also include that you are accepting inquiries in case a specific service is not on the list and if you can offer it.
It can help clients know that you’re open to other services and can provide for their needs in case you miss them.
Pick a Business Structure
A business structure or entity depends on what best fits your company’s needs.
You can choose from sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).
Choosing a business structure determines your organizational structure, shares, taxes, and personal liabilities.
Get an Employer ID Number (EIN)
An employer identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit number provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Businesses that operate in the United States have to obtain this requirement for identification purposes.
Obtain Certificates and Permits
If you want to start a home care business, particularly medical care, you’ll need professionals to do the job.
You want the trust of your prospects, so you’ll get all the certifications and permits necessary to prove your legitimacy.
Because if you are in the client’s place, you don’t want to let some random person be in your home to “care” for you.
Your agency can apply for certifications for therapy, nursing care, and other services to present to your clients.
It may take a little cash, time, and seminars before you can get your accreditation, but it will be all worth it.
Furthermore, your permits will depend on your location’s rules and regulations when running a home care agency.
The fees differ from place to place, but it can take at least $1,000, so be ready for that.
There may also be additional charges when registering your business, so you must consider them.
Register with the Secretary of State
Before officially printing your business cards, posters, and logos, you must register with your Secretary of State.
It can help you determine if the name you chose for your company has no similar agencies or entities.
You can find them by typing the name, registered agent, EIN, or document number on the Secretary of State’s website.
It will also help you decide on your domain name for your website so register first before promoting.
Apply for a Business Insurance
By applying for business insurance, you protect yourself, the business owner, your employees, and your agency.
The liability coverage is responsible for paying any damages if a client gets harmed.
At the same time, in your care or a caregiver, break something.
With the right coverage, you can protect your agency from any lawsuit.
Some business insurance you can get is professional liability insurance, general liability insurance, and cybersecurity insurance.
Professional liability insurance will keep your company safe from claims of malpractice, negligence, or errors.
General liability insurance covers you from claims about bodily injury or property damage during your service.
Lastly, cybersecurity insurance protects your business from lawsuits and HIPAA penalties in case of a breach that leaks customers’ information.
Operating a home healthcare business can be expensive and may take five digits or more.
Some agencies fail as soon as they start because they lack capital during their start-up period.
You don’t want it to happen, so you can secure your funds by getting a personal loan to help you kickstart.
However, you need to establish an accounting system, including a business bank account, to organize your cash flow better.
With this system, you can easily track your expenses and avoid being short on budget.
The starting capital for this business will vary depending on your location and the services you’ll offer.
You can prepare at least $40,000, but if you have more services and a bigger office, you’ll have to add more.
A solid financial plan is essential at this point so you know where to allocate your funds appropriately.
Hiring multiple employees may not be necessary if your agency is new and small.
It can help you with the cost you are not yet ready to pay, so you can pulse the demand for service.
Some successful private home care companies started with only one staff until they got more clients.
However, if you feel you’ll need more hands on deck, consider hiring staff to help you grow.
Depending on your budget, you can hire staff on payroll or have an on-call caregiver.
As an agency, it will be your duty to screen candidates.
Hence, you get the best, most well-experienced, and most professional caregiver.
Suppose you let a bad employee get through.
In that case, it can damage your company’s reputation and lose the trust of potential patients.
You can hire a recruitment agency to find your employees to ensure that you only have qualified caregivers.
But if you have family, friends, and other networks of people, you can ask them for referrals so they can vouch.
Purchase Equipment and Supplies
You don’t have to buy many supplies for an elderly home care business, but you can invest in a few things.
Some of the things you’ll need for daily operations will be gloves, a uniform, alcohol or hand sanitizer, a name tag, a computer, a printer, and paper.
You can also prepare a name tag and a few chairs for waiting for customers if you have multiple employees.
Fix Your Pricing
Some home healthcare businesses tend to make the wrong prices for their services that they barely have funds to operate.
If you are not charging enough, you won’t be able to afford licenses, taxes, maintenance, insurance, and admin fees.
These little things are essential but overlooked in running the company regarding pricing.
So it is best to put at least 30% to the wages you’ll give to yourself and establish a reasonable rate for your services.
It should be enough to profit from your business while providing quality care for your clients.
Set Up Back Office Operations
An extensive home healthcare business may need back-office operations for a smooth business operation.
You can set up a system where there will be staff to handle emails and calls for appointments.
It may also include the accounting system, where you process payments, track expenses, analyze sales, and report taxes.
If you expand from a single-person business to a full-blown office, you’ll need more employees to manage these systems.
Market Your Business
Marketing is essential for growth, so you need a good marketing strategy.
With more technology available, traditional TV, newspaper, and radio advertising will not be enough.
You may use the internet and social media to introduce your business to more people.
You can talk about what services you offer, how your business started, and what you will contribute to the community.
Even if your target market is elderly adults, you can also market your business to adult children.
It is because some senior citizens are not tech-savvy, and many adult children recognize the value of hiring an in-home caregiver.
To maximize your resources, print out brochures, advertise in media, and create a website to boost your presence.
After you accomplish the steps above, you can start finding clients through referrals or ads on online marketplaces.
The high caregiver demand will allow you to find and pick your clients.
You can also engage with senior service providers who can give you several referrals, so find one near you.
Ask For Feedback and Referrals
Once you find your first client by providing them with the utmost care and service, you may ask them for feedback and referrals.
At a start-up phase of a business, reviews and ratings are vital to earn the trust of more potential customers.
If you consistently give good service, they’ll even initiate referring more clients to you.
You may also work with a reward system where a past client brings in a new client, and this past client can receive a discount.
Related Reading: The Top Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs- Get The Full List Here.
How To Start A Private Home Care Business – FAQs
Private home care is health support you can hire for your home and pay privately.
Their services include professional care for health issues and any daily household activities.
You can choose a private home care company from the government, a private charity, or an independent caregiver.
Providing private home care allows elderly adults to live safely and at ease because they have someone to assist them.
Private home care businesses can offer either medical or non-medical home care services.
From the bare thought of these two, medical home care involves medical attention.
In contrast, non-medical care aids with daily needs.
You’ll need medical professionals when you provide a medical home care service.
They need to know at least general nursing services like checking blood pressure, blood sugar, mental state, injuries, etc.
Usually, senior citizens with disabilities and chronic illnesses who recently got out of the hospital need this service.
Non-medical care includes services that most elder adults need in their day-to-day lives.
For example, caregivers will bathe the client, wash them, dress them, prepare meals, clean their house, or drive them to appointments.
Depending on the scope of their services, home care aides are free to entertain their clients to help their mental state.
These caregivers may or may not be licensed non-medical personnel as long as they have the general skills of a caregiver.
Medical and non-medical services also have types that can help you know which specific care you need.
They include full-service, nursing, essential assistance, hospice, therapy, or personal care.
Full-service home care is usually non-medical assistance that includes aid in essential daily activities.
It may include housekeeping, keeping the elder company, bathing, cooking, and driving them to doctor appointments.
If the patient has dementia or similar cases, they can hire a full-service home care provider.
Nursing care is the most common type of private home care that senior citizens avail.
Home health care attends to a client’s medical needs like wound dressing, outpatient care, or IV therapy.
Caregivers may need to monitor the general health of their clients, administer medications, and be their health support.
Basic Assistance Care
Sometimes, when patients need help with their daily chores because of medical treatment, they hire essential assistance caregivers.
They only need to do the essentials like preparing food, laundry, buying groceries, and cleaning the house.
Some patients who suffer from a medical condition that needs therapy will need a therapy caregiver.
These home care aides will assist patients in regaining their abilities, depending on their condition.
There can be cases where patients need help with their muscles and joints, speech, mental state, communication, and more.
Therapists vary in their services as some focus on physical, developmental, social, and emotional disabilities.
Ultimately, they aim to help patients relearn or improve these disabilities so they can perform daily functions.
Hospice care is a particular type of health care that focuses on providing comfort and support to terminally ill patients.
When patients no longer respond to their medical treatments, caregivers help reduce the suffering and pain of the patient and their families.
Clients can choose to avail themselves of it at the hospital or at home, depending on where the patient prefers to rest.
Since hospice care is a unique service, it covers different areas like mental and spiritual advice.
Senior citizens can receive services from either private home care agencies or independent caregivers.
It may depend on their preferences, budget, and the care they need, but which of the two is better?
The answer is up to how you want your caregivers to be because both have different rates, backgrounds, and skill levels.
Caregivers from home healthcare businesses usually have licenses, insurance, and bonds because it is a requirement for some.
The agencies are the ones who will do the background check, medical testing, and verification of their certificates.
As a client, it is a big deal because you can achieve peace of mind knowing that your caregiver underwent a thorough screening.
However, clients and families can also hire independent professional caregivers if they want, but they must do the screening themselves.
It may cause hassle, stress, and effort before settling on the best caregiver.
Independent caregivers are significantly cheaper to hire than home healthcare agencies, but it may soon be a financial liability.
For example, suppose these health care workers don’t have insurance.
In that case, the client will pay for any injury they get while working.
But in the end, it will still depend on who the client and family trust more because what’s most important is the care.
Related Reading: Start Your Own Home Healthcare Business Today – Click Here To Find Out How
The demand for private home care continues to rise, so it is the best time to start your home health care agency.
Some people are natural when caring for people and making a difference in their lives.
It can be a meaningful reason for you to start a home healthcare business for older people and meet today’s demands.
So if caring for people is something you love doing, then private home care can be the right path for you.
Not only are you creating a profitable business opportunity for yourself, but you are also contributing to your community.