How to start a respite care business?

Respite care in the UK refers to a caregiver who replaces a primary caregiver in a home health care setting. If an adult child is looking after their elderly parent(s) but they need a break to perform other activities, the person who takes over is a respite carer and their duties can last from a few hours a day to several consecutive days or even weeks, as demand dictates. If you’re interested in starting a respite care business but are unsure of where to start, here are some useful guidelines to help you.

Starting a respite care business? Follow These Steps:


1. Choose your business structure

If you’d like to offer In home respite care as a business, you first need to choose your business structure. This could mean either operating as a limited company or as a franchisor. There are several care franchises for sale for you to choose from and they offer a variety of benefits, not least of which is that you’ll be working with a profitable and proven business model, you will not be starting from scratch, your clients will be waiting for you and you will not have to canvass from door to door or send out flyers in the post to market your business and so much more.


2. Create your business plan

As a next step after choosing your business structure, you’ll want to create your business plan. This will include the name of your business, an overview of the types of services your respite care for elderly business will offer, your financial projections in terms of income and expenses, assets and liabilities, your marketing and advertising, your employment policy, training and certifications for your staff and more to ensure you’re able to provide your bank or lending institution with all the information they need to determine the viability of your business idea and to grant you funding to set it up.

3. Get insurance

Insurance is a vital part of a respite care business because you’re dealing with the elderly and the vulnerable and an accident may sometimes happen for which you need to be covered. This is where personal liability insurance, employers’ insurance, medical malpractice insurance and others come in. However, although insurance is crucial, see if you can obtain a group package on each of the various insurance covers offered instead of paying for them individually. This will save you costs.

4. Funding and financing

If you choose to go the franchise route, the chances are that obtaining funding and financing for your business idea will be easier when compared with a business that you’d like to establish from scratch. This is because franchises are typically more stable in a business sense and they work on profitable business models, which lenders generally trust more. 

5. Expenses

You will also need to be prepared for the expenses of setting up your business. Once again, if you start out with franchising, you will need to pay the franchise fee and continuing royalty fees as your business progresses. You will also need to factor in fees such as vehicle costs, rent and office space, uniforms for your staff, hardware and software to run your business smoothly, salaries, etc.

6. Hiring staff

Hiring staff is another step you’ll need to take as you will not be able to run your respite care business on your own, especially if you have more than one client. You cannot spread yourself too thin and expect to be productive. This is why you need to rely on other qualified and trained individuals who will be a part of your workforce.

7.  Marketing and advertising

Marketing and advertising will also need to be carried out if you start from scratch as no one will be familiar with your business yet and you’ll need to invest a significant amount of resources into ensuring that your brand name gets out there and is well-known among the population you’re serving.

8. Registering with the authorities

And last but not least, you need to register with the right authorities to ensure your respite care business gets off the ground in a legal, safe and proper manner. The relevant authority for this type of business is the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and they have various requirements for starting a care business and offering care services including a DBS check, ensuring the Registered Manager is appropriately qualified, providing references from previous employers and a GP to show that you are fit and physically healthy to do the job and others.

Start your respite care business today!

When looking at a care business for sale, the first question you should ask yourself is “is this a franchise business or a standalone business?” If it’s a franchise, you’re already one up on the competition because you’ll be working with an established brand and won’t have as serious marketing and advertising expenses as you would if you were starting from the beginning, and you’ll also be working with a proven business model all while you get continuous and ongoing support for your daily work.

Get started with your very own franchise business!

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