The Home Care Business: People Helping People

David Goodman
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While people live longer today – the average life expectancy is nearly 80 today, compared to less than 70 in 1947 – many seniors face significant health challenges as they age. That’s why the demand for local home care businesses has grown so dramatically in recent years.

Many elderly people will require personal, non medical home care rather than medical home care. This typically includes providing assistance with bathing and grooming; light housekeeping and laundry; shopping and cooking; and transportation to doctors’ appointments. A home health aide business or companion caregiver agency can provide this kind of support.

So, what should you – the home care business owner – be prepared to help families with?

What kind of personal situations does a senior home care business provide its services?

Here are some scenarios that you will encounter as a home care business owner and will need to provide caregiver services for:

  • Seniors experiencing the beginning of cognitive problems. This is more than forgetting where they left the car keys. It may mean getting lost in the neighborhood they’ve lived in for years, or forgetting things they’ve just been told.
  • Seniors who are no longer being safe at home. Are they in jeopardy of falling? Is the oven being left on or the front door left open?
  • Seniors with signs of depression or anxiety. Do they seem down or are they experiencing anxiety? This can come after the death of a loved one or a change in their health status.
  • Seniors living in a disorganized home. This can be a sign that they no longer have the energy to clean or do laundry, or are too depressed to do much of anything.
  • Seniors losing weight or who have a lack of care about their appearance. This may indicate they can no longer care for themselves.

Many elderly people, even if they know something is not right, will fight against any changes in their lives. That’s why it’s often left to the family caregiver to make the first move. Your job as the home care business owner and operator is to promote your services to these families and ultimately deliver your services to their loved ones.

Starting and running a successful senior home care business offers many rewards. Though the financial returns can be significant, the fact that you are helping others to improve their lives is a big perk that draws many to this field. After all, the home care business is about people helping people.

Lack Of Sales Training Is No Deterrent to Home Care Start Ups

David Goodman
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For many “would be” entrepreneurs, it’s the biggest reason why they never get out of the proverbial starting gate. All too often, accomplished people who have been successful in other fields and have a burning desire to start their own business never do because of one fear: they are not “sales people.” The good news about the home care business, is that your natural compassion will do the selling for you.  

 

I had one home care business prospect – let’s call him Sam – who was intrigued about starting a non-medical home care agency. Sam had been successful working in corporate America for many years and had tired of the rat race. Having elderly and infirm parents, he had personally struggled with finding a way to care for them and realized there was a tremendous demand out there for this kind of service. In our discussions, Sam had a good grasp of the business and was onboard with the start-up and operating costs for opening such an agency. He was very direct and honest with me, however, about the one thing that held him back: “I’ve never sold anything in my life. I’m not sure I would know how.”

 

This is something that occurs all too often – whether or not most people are prepared to verbalize it. I told Sam that even if he never held the job title of “sales person,” he had in fact been in the selling business for years. “Obviously, you never would have become a vice president if you couldn’t sell yourself to your bosses,” I told him. “If you could do this successfully in a cutthroat company like yours, don’t you think you can sell a service to people like yourself who have a great need for finding good home care?”

 

I went on to tell him that if he couldn’t see himself as a sales person, he should view himself as a problem solver. “As you know personally, there are people who struggle with this problem,” I told him. “And if you truly believe you have the best answer for their dilemma, you’ll be solving it.”

 

I created Companion Connection Senior Care as a way to support people like Sam. As a membership organization, we spend a considerable amount of time – whether it’s in a live classroom setting or through online courses – giving members the background and the materials they will need to sell their home care service both to the end user (or, more specifically, their adult children) and referral sources (discharge planners, geriatric social workers, administrators at senior living communities). We also provide them with support moving forward should they have any questions. And, should they need our help in the future in effectively selling their audiences, we are prepared to work with them on a one-to-one basis over the telephone.

 

I eventually convinced Sam by telling him how personal a business non-medical home care truly is. He had always felt comfortable in what he personally had to offer and had taken considerable pride in his own reputation, so it was not a difficult bridge for him to cross. It was not, he realized, about selling widgets or used cars. After all, home care is a business where your customer needs to trust that you will put the right caregivers in the homes of their loved ones. You’re the face of the company, the CEO, the individual people need to believe in.

 

It’s been several years now and Sam has annually been one of our most successful home care agency members, regularly grossing more than $1 million a year. He laughs about his newly found success as a “sales person.” “If I knew what a natural I was. I would have done this years ago.”