How to Start a Non-Medical Home Health Care Business
We all want to age in a place that is comfortable and for most of us, that place is our home.
With more and more senior citizens desiring to age at home for as long as possible, there is an increase in demand for non-medical home care providers.
In recent years, non-medical home care has become one of the fastest growing businesses – but it is not to be confused with medical home care.
Medical home health providers provide licensed nursing and rehab services that are ordered by a physician with strict guidelines.
Non-medical home care services are more like a personal assistant and the services include meal preparation, daily errands, personal care assistance, assistance with daily living activities like functional mobility or bathing/showering, housekeeping, and transportation needs.
Non-medical home care service branch out beyond just senior citizens and can work with those with disabilities or perhaps those recovering from an injury.
The non-medical home care service industry branches out to all kinds of people who need at home assistance.
If non-medical home care sounds like a business you would be interested in, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article we are going to cover a few ways to start a business in non-medical health care and go over a few key steps to consider before taking on your first patient.
Start a Non-Medical Home Care Business Guide:
Choose a Business Model
- Start your own company from scratch – while this usually means lower startup costs, it also means you need to find patients to work with and build a reputation, which can take some time.
- Buy an existing non-medical home care business – if you know someone that already has a client base and is wanting to sell, this could be a great option if you have the initial capital to invest in buying the business.
- Franchise – there are franchises in this specific niche that already have a proven business model. Just be sure to do your research and make sure you understand the ins and outs because franchises usually require a large initial investment.
- Join a Membership Network – there are networks that you can subcribe to where you can connect with other professionals in the same industry and even connect with patients. Some network provide referrals as well but they do cost money, they are not free.
Form Your Business
Before getting your first customers, you will need to legally form your business.
If you choose to start your own company from scratch, then you will need to come up with a name for your business.
Once you have a name, you’ll need to decide on a business structure.
There are several business structures to choose from including sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), Corporation, etc.
We recommend setting up an LLC to get started and if necessary, you can change the LLC election (s-corp, etc) if needed.
Many small business owners choose and LLC because it provides limited liability protection to you as the owner and it benefits from pass-through taxation.
Here is a quick checklist of things you need to complete to form your business:
- Select a business entity type: Sole proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.
- Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS – once your application is complete, you will receive an EIN instantly.
- Register your business locally in the State in which you will be conducting business. This is done with the Secretary of State.
- Obtain any business licenses or permits required in your State to operate a personal care business. These can also be found at your local Secretary of State website.
Set up the Business
The following things will help you finish setting up your business:
- Open a business checking account (you will need an EIN to do this)
- Setup a way to manage your accounting whether it be a software program or spreadsheet to begin. This will help you track your income and expenses.
- Create a “media kit” that outlines your rates and services.
- If you plan on having employees work for you, setup a payroll system or a way to pay your 1099 contractors.
- Create your policies and procedures (more on this next)
Create your Businesses Policies and Procedures
Your business policies and procedures are like a drivers manual for your business.
They address certain policies and procedures that you want to maintain and keep consistent in order to run a smooth busines.
Here are some examples of what a good Policies and Procedures handbook should include:
- Company mission and values statements
- New client admissions process
- Care plans
- Scheduling guidelines and rules
- Time-sheet and employee expense reimbursement procedures and policies
- Hiring practices
- Training and Orientation
- Client rights and responsibilities
If you are just starting out, you may not need to hire employees quite yet.
Many non-medical home business start with one person until they gain more clientele.
So if you are not ready to hire staff, you can skip this section.
When hiring staff, you want to decide if you will hire employees on payroll or independent contractors who will receive a 1099 form.
Spending time interviewing potential candidates is important as well as doing extensive background checks.
Hiring a bad employee could be detrimental to your reputation and raises the concern for liability issues.
You can work with a recruitment agency to find qualified talent or perhaps even ask around in your network of friends, family and professional contacts for referrals.
Always ask for at least three professional references when possible.
Get Your Name Out there – Marketing
While word of mouth is a great way to gain new clients, sometimes it is not enough, especially when starting out.
You will want to tap into your local resources to get your name out there.
Consider dropping off marketing materials at senior centers, gyms, with local physicians, churches, and rehabilitation centers.
You can even put ads up on certain websites where people can go and look for caregivers.
Sometimes investing in a referral program where leads are sent your way can help you build your initial client list.
Have a website where people can go and learn more about your business, rates, and services.
The more you market and get your name out there, the faster you will grow.
Non-medical home care is a rewarding business that provides a services that is really needed to improve the quality of life for seniors who are trying to age in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
With the demand on the rise, this is a great time to get into this lucrative business.
If you set your non-medical home care business up correctly from the start, you are more likely to succeed and grow.
Do your research, follow the steps to correctly setup your business, and put some marketing efforts in and you will see the fruits of your labor!
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