Starting a home business that cares for seniors can be a daunting task, just as in any entrepreneurial pursuit, but the number of baby boomers who require that type of attention has made agency health care very desirable and profitable.
Deciding whether you are going to offer a blend of various services or specialize in a particular area is up to you. Your personality may be the main factor in deciding a course of action. That is why the business structure you choose is so important. Will you offer skilled nursing, or non medical care, or both? If you want to offer specially skilled employees for clients, be aware of the formal training required for skilled nursing.
Various considerations are involved in your readiness for agency health care. Contemplate these issues very carefully as you plan your checklist prior to embarking upon any serious start-up business venture. The various do’s and don’ts may apply to other businesses, but please be certain that you dot all of the I’s and cross all of the T’s before starting a home business. It will benefit you down the road, especially regarding licensure and legalities.
More and more seniors prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible, so the home care industry has become the caregiver to tens of thousands of elder citizens. The feeling of independence and continued normalcy is very important to the overall long-term care of seniors. To enhance the quality of their lives, as well as to fulfill a need about which you may be passionate, some tips to assist you in a start-up are:
Do’s for New Home Care Entrepreneurs
1. Research insurance companies that offer home care insurance.
Be professional in financial matters and follow strict government guidelines, being certain that you provide worker’s compensation and any other benefits upon which you have agreed with your employee. Failure to withhold and pay appropriate taxes can cause problems in the future, so no matter how tempting it is to withhold those monies to use for other purposes, it is not worth an audit that will surely occur at some point.
2. Decide which services you will offer and include them in whatever marketing and networking you develop.
Some typical offerings include companionship, grooming, personal hygiene, and meal preparation. No special skills are required for these types of services; however, services that require formal training may include health evaluations, checking vital signs, assisting the individual with therapy that has been authorized by a therapist, and coordinating prescribed treatments with healthcare specialists. Allowing non-certified personnel to provide assistance to clients that require formal training will create more problems that you probably want.
3. Perform background checks on employees, train staff before you send them out and supervise them closely initially.
Ongoing training helps to legitimize your business as well as offers the client peace of mind about the quality of the care they are receiving. Your employees should be insured and bonded. Quality assurance keeps clients happy and helps your bottom line. Social workers will likely check each home regularly to ensure that you are meeting all government guidelines. Insist that employees keep a daily journal that is used in consultations with the client or the family. The peace of mind that this affords the client is immeasurable.
4. Create a plan of care that involves the client and any responsible family members.
5. Take classes or workshops to help understand the industry, and do not be afraid to let people know what you are planning.
You will find that referrals can be found anyplace. Attend conferences, meetings, and any organizations, such as Chamber of Commerce, and begin networking. Social media also provides a plethora of outlets for marketing and promoting yourself in the industry. Knowledge is power, and self-awareness fosters success.
Don’ts for New Home Care Entrepreneurs
1. Do not become so distracted with the business side of the company that you neglect interaction with your clients.
Be the face of the business, not just a voice on the telephone. Visit with them and let them know you have their best interests at heart. Perhaps bring them small gifts that show you are familiar with their likes and dislikes. Always smile and approach them with a soothing, comfortable presence. It pays to connect with clients on a personal level because everyone likes to feel that they matter.
2. Do not appear grumpy even if the client is.
Maintain a firm, but cordial, tone when dealing with an ill-tempered, complaining client. Your business structure can help here. If you have a partner, one of you may be better at personal contact with the client base while the other may be more proficient at office duties. Be careful; any unprofessionalism can spell the death of your business.
3. Do not set prices that are above the average for the area.
While you want to cover costs, as well as make a profit, outlandish rates will turn clients away. Do not overspend when you first start up. Try to keep the spending in check until you begin to show a profit. This type of business can start with a minimal investment. Showing restraint in business financial matters carries over to other areas of your life.
4. Do not try to steal clients from other businesses by making bogus claims about your service.
Honesty and integrity will always win out. Also, do not look for customers until you have your business up and running with everything in place. Otherwise, you risk looking inexperienced and incapable.
5. Do not skimp on services.
That is your best advertisement. Not only will you keep a full roster, but your marketing expenses are likely to diminish because word of mouth is the best marketing tool.
To plan business ideas for agency health care, business background checks for all employees is mandatory before you have established a client base. Provider management requires adhering to the exacting demands of government agencies, and providing worker’s compensation for employees is one of the top requirements.
Form 85, which is tantamount to business background checks, assures compliance with every aspect of what senior citizens need in order to feel protected. That involves completing a checklist for licensure and other pertinent information. Standard form 85 is a questionnaire for positions that are not sensitive. These can include duties involving non medical care, as opposed to those requiring skilled nursing, that many senior citizens need in order to carry on their daily routines.
To design and plan business concepts, especially where social workers will have input into the daily goings-on of the company, may be difficult for a provider management type of business, but if you are diligent, honest and trustworthy, you will have a successful home business that will serve you well for many years.