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Start a Home Care Business
The biggest fear in starting any new business venture is that it will take considerable time to recover your initial costs and or you won’t be able to draw a salary for a long time. That’s the concern whether you invested a significant amount of money in buying an established home care business or franchise, or started a business from scratch.
It’s also the biggest reason why many people who have become dependent on their regular salaries while working for others are hesitant to go out on their own. The mind and heart say yes, but the bank account (and paying off the mortgage, the student loans, the car payments) say no. The truth of it is that, if you’re like most, you simply can’t afford to have your income drop precipitously for several years – even if the business eventually becomes successful.
While no business opportunity promises a quick hit – or everyone would be doing it – certain ones do have a track record for minimizing upfront costs and maximizing early profitability. Starting a non-medical home care business is one of the better ones.
What is non-medical home care? It’s the business of placing caregivers or companions in the homes of mostly elderly and fragile seniors. These are mostly people who need help with their activities of daily living – toileting, bathing, grooming, cleaning, being taken to the doctor – and could benefit from having someone around to keep them safe and provide companionship.
While there is no question that the need for such services is in high demand – after all, there are expected to be 72 million Americans 65 and over within the next decade, many of whom won’t have relatives living nearby willing or able to care for them – what makes this field particularly attractive are the following:
Initial investment is low. The cost of joining a non-medical home care membership organization is about $20,000 – a fraction of what it costs to open a franchise in this field. The right membership organization will provide the intensive training and the tools that will enable you to hit the ground running.
Operating costs are low. Owners don’t need to pay their caregivers until they have clients to service. Most start out working from their home and require minimal overhead.
The home care business is straight forward. There is no steep learning curve. Although there are some states that have recently added regulations, in most cases the business is very straight forward. You identify caregivers you have confidence and trust in, you market your services to families and referral sources (geriatric social workers, hospital discharge planners, administrators at rehab and senior living communities), you match caregiver with client, and you schedule and bill accordingly.
Little time is needed to build an infrastructure. Most new owners of non-medical home care agencies can start marketing their services once they have completed their training and recruited their caregivers.
While competition can be stiff, there are no recognizable brand names in senior care. Unlike in other industries where there are well-known players with high name recognition and credibility – from office supplies to consulting firms – there are none in the non-medical home care field.
Organizations can become profitable very quickly. There are many stories of entrepreneurs in the home care industry who have generated revenues of seven figures within a few years – including those who have started and sold their businesses for tidy profits during this time.
While there are always uncertainties in starting a new home care business, there are opportunities to minimize your risks and get out of the gate quickly.