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Last blog we discussed why it would be a good idea to start a non-medical home care business. This time we want to look into how you should go about starting that business. It may be easier than you think.
Over the last few years, non-medical home care has become one of the fastest-growing businesses in the United States. But don’t confuse non-medical home care with medical home care. What’s the difference? A licensed physician orders medical home care with strict guidelines. The provider issues licensed nurses and rehab services to carry out the doctor’s orders. For people on Medicare, some or all of these services can be paid for. Non-medical home care is care that is not ordered by a licensed professional and the caregiver does not need a medical license to care for the client. This care can include things like companionship, food prep, bathing and dressing, and many more daily tasks that someone may need help with.
Since a non-medical home care business doesn’t require skilled caregivers such as licensed nurses to provide care for their clients it has been a booming business in the past few years. Currently, 22 of the 50 states do not require a license or registration requirements to start a non-medical home care business.
How To Get You Business Started
1. Find out if your state requires a license to start a non-medical home business. If it does, then you need to register your business.
2. Choose a business model:
You can start your own business from scratch – lower startup cost, and slower growth as you build your business.
You can buy an existing non-medical home care business – that has a client base, and need capital to start.
You can buy a franchise-proven business model or a larger initial investment.
3. You need to form your own business:
Legally form your business and register the business name with your state.
Come up with a name for your business.
Decide on a business structure – sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, corporation, etc. You can consult an attorney if you are not sure which type of business would suit you best.
4. You need to obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. You can apply for your EIN online and receive it after completing the application.
5. You need to obtain a license or registration if required by your state. You can find out this information from your secretary of state.
6. You need to set up your non-medical home care business:
Open a business checking account.
Manage your accounting process – billing, payroll, expenses.
Create your policies and procedures – your mission statement, client admission process, care plans, hiring practices, training of caregivers, hiring practices, etc.
Decide on your rates for service – you may want to charge different rates for different services, or different rates for nights and weekends.
Scheduling your caregivers and client needs – you will need to invest in a program like Dwell at Home to keep up with your clients and caregiver schedules for services. Otherwise, you will have to do this by hand on a calendar.
7. Hire caregivers – you will need to hire caregivers to care for your clients. Treat your caregivers well and train them to provide the best care, because your clients deserve it.
Marketing Your Home Care Business
To get started, you need to tell everyone you know that you have started a non-medical home care business. Word of mouth is still a great way to gain clients. If you are computer savvy then create your own marketing materials, if not you can have them printed professionally. At the very least you will need to have professionally printed business cards. Marketing your business will take time but is well worth the shoe leather.
Tap into your local resources:
1. Drop off marketing materials at your local senior centers, doctor’s offices, and churches.
2. Get to know local case managers at rehab centers and hospitals. Make frequent visits with goodies and marketing materials and they will remember your name.
3. Join groups on social media for non-medical home care agencies and post frequently.
4. Create a blog with good information for seniors in your community.
5. Create a website that describes your business and what sets it apart from your competitors.
Place ads on social media. The more you market and get your name out there, the faster your business will grow. Find out what has worked for others in starting a non-medical home care business. Learn what was successful for them and what was not. Most people are happy to share their experiences with you. Successfully marketing your business is the key to growing your business.
I realize that we have given you a lot of information to consider when starting your own non-medical home care business, but I want to give you a little more homework. You will need to read all you can find on the topic of starting a business, especially if you have never owned a business before. The information that we have provided is by no means an exhaustive list but simply the first things you have to consider before getting started.
If you are willing to put in the work, starting a non-medical home care business is a very lucrative and rewarding career. You will be providing a service that is really needed to improve the lives of seniors that want to age in place as long as possible. If you set up your business correctly, to begin with, you will be more likely to succeed. Do the research, set up your business correctly, and have a good marketing plan, and you will soon see the fruits of your labor.