Do you have experience in the home care profession but feel like you could do it better? Many home care workers are unhappy with how their employer runs their services. But if you think that home care can be better, perhaps you’re the person who can deliver a more efficient and compassionate service. Starting a business is never an easy task, but if you have the requisite knowledge of the industry, you could soon have a flourishing company. There are lots of things to consider if you want to set up a home care agency, ranging from taking on employees to advertising your services. Before you set out and establish your business, think about these important tasks and necessities.
Skilled vs. Non-medical
The very first thing to consider is the difference between a skilled agency and a non-medical agency. A skilled home care agency provides services from licensed nurses and must follow strict guidelines. However, a non-medical agency provides services such as personal care, meal preparation and housekeeping. They offer non-medical services that are nevertheless vital to people’s day-to-day care. A medical home care agency requires that you have the correct licences and permissions. These include Medicaid and Medicare certifications. A non-medical agency is the most likely option for newcomers to the industry, as it has lower startup costs and is easier to set up.
Franchise or Go It Alone?
You can decide to either create your business from scratch or buy into a franchise. A franchise will have higher initial costs but will come with a ready-made business. You will have someone to guide you in launching your business to make sure it’s in line with their brand. However, starting out on your own will give you more independence than buying into a franchise. You will have more room to make decisions and won’t have to pay franchise fees, although you will have to create a business plan.
To start a non-medical home care agency, you may or may not need to apply for certain licences. The requirements vary from state to state, so it’s important that you check with your locality to find out what you need to do. Medical qualifications or experience aren’t required for owning and managing a non-medical home care agency. However, if you wish to start an agency offering nursing services, you will need to check the requirements for your state. You are sure to need to obtain certain licenses to practice.
Hiring and Training Staff
Hiring and training your staff is an important part of establishing your business, as your reputation relies on their standards of care. Spend time interviewing and referencing people to make sure they will provide the best standards of care. Once you have hired people, ensure they are trained to your specifications. Training your staff could involve anything from health and safety to lessons in using home health care software.
Advertising your business is also an important part of running a successful company. Once you have established your business, look at different channels for advertising locally.
Image from CQC Press Office on Flickr