What is non-medical in-home care?
Non-medical in-home care should not be confused with medical in-home care. While the latter involves the care of elderly individuals in their own home by medically trained staff such as physicians and nurses, the former encompasses tasks that are performed by a trained and background-checked carer such as cooking and cleaning, administering medication, assisting with grocery shopping, transportation, and other aspects that maintain the dignity and well-being of the client. If you feel that this is something you could explore further, you may wish to know more about how to start a home care business. The following section offers a few steps to help you get started.
Starting a home care business – The steps explained
Starting a home care business involves several important steps. None of these steps should be ignored or omitted and they should be looked at in a holistic light so as to ensure your business gets started on the right foot. Wondering what it takes in starting a non-medical senior care business? Let’s find out.
Do your due diligence and research: Doing research will be crucial for your business venture before you even get started. As part of the due diligence process, you may wish to see which areas near you contain the right combination and density of the demographic you intend to serve. The lower the target density, the harder you’ll find it to operate in that area. The converse is also true. The higher the density, the more potential for high returns on investment. But bear in mind that you may also face stiff competition in that area, too. You therefore need to consider ways in which you can outlast and outperform your competitors so that you can succeed.
Select whether you’ll be a part of a franchise network or go independent: An important question that an entrepreneur should ask themselves is whether they should go independent or become a part of a wider franchise network. To give you some perspective, it has been established that most independent start-ups fail in the first couple of years of operation. Meanwhile, choosing to become a franchisee means that you can take advantage of a proven business model, you’ll be able to capitalise on the franchisor’s established trade name in the industry, your marketing and advertising are likely to be taken care of for you, and you’ll also be a part of a wider support network of other franchisees. This can help you as you also benefit from training and ongoing support. In essence, you’ll never be alone. You’ll be in business for yourself but not by yourself.
Shortlist potential franchisors and visit them: When you have decided that you want to be part of a franchise network, it’s important to select several different franchisors and study them closely. What sort of ROI are they expecting you to reach in your first year of operation? What about the second, third and so on? How solid is their business model and is it recession-proof? You can get the answers to these questions and more when you get in touch with a franchisor and attend what is called a discovery day at their head office.
Plan your business: Once you’ve narrowed down potential franchisors and you’ve decided on one, it’s time to create your business plan. This is a very detailed document that you will present to investors and lenders to help you with your financing (for more on this, see the next step). This business plan should include aspects such as your business’ mission, vision and values as well as objectives and goals. Other elements it must include can range from your target market, the service rates you will charge, the costs involved with licensing and certification, what your monthly budget and break-even rate will be, expansion plans, hiring practices as well as policies and procedures. Regarding the latter, you may wish to consider the admissions process for new clients, care plans, scheduling guidelines and rules, time sheets, employee expenses, reimbursement procedures, training and orientation and client rights and responsibilities.
Get your finances in order: Although there are many low-cost and affordable franchises, the fact of the matter is that you’ll still be required to pay a franchise fee and make ongoing royalty payments and cover costs for marketing and advertising. This is why you need a strong financial plan to help see you through the first couple of months before you start breaking even and then earning profits. Some of the costs associated with your franchise business could include: your website, legal costs of incorporating your business, software costs, marketing, licensing and certification, payroll, office equipment and supplies, a branded vehicle, rent, insurance, and others.
Identify a location for your office and hire a Registered Manager: If the franchise option you’ve chosen enables you to work from home, that’s great. You will cut down on rental expenses in the long run. However, in most cases, non-medical home care franchise businesses require you to run your operation from an office. This will mean careful selection of the location. And once this has been identified, you’re still not done. This is because you’ll need to hire a Registered Manager if you don’t plan on taking on this role yourself. Remember that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has certain requirements in place for the qualifications of these Managers and, therefore, you may need to appoint someone to oversee your business while you take a step back and play a more supportive role.
Get insured: Since you’ll be dealing with frail people, you should be prepared for accidents to happen. The best way to guard against being sued or to cover any potential issues that may arise means the need to get insurance. This insurance can be personal liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and more.
Plan for marketing, advertising and recruitment: Although your franchisor is likely to take care of marketing and advertising, you still need to both contribute to the marketing budget on a monthly basis and you’ll be required to know your franchisor’s marketing and brand guidelines inside out. The purpose of the latter is to ensure that there is brand consistency across the entire franchise network. Recruitment is another aspect you have to consider. Hiring the right staff, who have been background checked, and are reliable and trustworthy to carry out the levels of care required by your clients will be essential.
Prepare for the CQC inspection: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) in the UK has strict regulations and requirements for running a non-medical home health care business. Once your entire operation is set up, you need to be inspected by the CQC to give you the go-ahead so that you can proceed to provide your services.
You’re ready! It’s time to deliver: By this stage, you should feel proud of yourself at what you’ve accomplished. You’ve laid a strong foundation for your home care business. But that’s when the work is about to begin and you shouldn’t rest on your laurels thinking that the hard part is behind you. Home care work can be rewarding but challenging at times, too. So, you need to be prepared to give your best to your clients every single day..
Start your non-medical home health care business today!
If you’re looking for a care business for sale or a care franchise for sale, you’ve come to the right place. Walfinch is an industry leader, perfectly positioned to give its franchisees all the support and tools they need to help them get their business off the ground to run a successful operation. Ready to take the process one step further? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.