The assisted living or home care business is considered one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. This is because for the next decade, millions of baby boomers will be crossing the 65-year-old mark, and there will be plenty of seniors and elderly who might need care.
At the same time, the pandemic has shown us the many cracks in our healthcare industry, and more and more Americans are seeing the benefits of opting for assisted living services for their elderly or terminally ill loved ones. If you have a nurturing spirit and the necessary credentials, starting a business in this industry might be a profitable venture in the next few years. Here are some tips for you to get started.
Formulate a plan
There are a few questions you need to answer if you truly want to explore the idea of starting this type of business:
- Do you want to open your own agency or do you want to partner with a franchise? There are pros and cons to both—starting your own may entail more independence and freedom, but going with a franchise might mean more start-up guidance and an established business model, as well as ongoing support. Decide what’s more valuable to you and go from there.
- Do you have the necessary training and medical background? As of 2019, there are 33 states that require some type of licensure for those who want to operate this type of business. No two states have the exact same requirements, so you might want to check with your state to ensure constant compliance.
- Is there a need in your area for this type of service? Who are your customers and direct competitors? How will you market your home care services? Starting this type of agency is not just about caring for people; you will also need to stretch your entrepreneurial muscles as the business owner. Do you have what it takes to run this business?
The questions above will you develop a detailed business plan, so make sure to do the necessary research as you map out your dreams and vision for the agency.
Fund the business
Now that you’ve established a plan for the business, now is the time to find ways to fund it. Apply for a business checking account and a credit card account. Check your finances and identify if you need to apply for business loans to be able to meet the required start-up costs and other expenses, both expected and unexpected. You can go the traditional route of finding investors or choose to self-fund, but regardless of how you choose to fund the start-up, remember that it will affect the structure of your business and how you run it.
File the necessary paperwork
Here is a list of the basic paperwork you need to file:
- Set up a business entity to ensure that the business is its own thing and that all the financial aspects are above board.
- Get a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS (IRS form SS-4) to help protect the business from tax liability.
- Register your business with the state and make sure your business name is available.
- Double-check if you’re able to submit all the license requirements.
- Draft a policy and procedures manual and make sure it details how you plan to admit clients, what kind of care you will provide, employee records, client billing, and others.
Once again, the requirements vary from state to state, but they exist to ensure that there are standards to these agencies and that they are upheld. We are, after all, called to care for people who deserve it, and we need to bestow upon them as much dignity and honor as we can, and that can only happen if the business is run by people with integrity, compassion, and efficiency.
Find the team members
They need to be efficient, compassionate, and resourceful. Find staff members who are looking for a steady gig. Here are some types of professionals you want to look for to be part of your team:
- Nurse’s aids
- Food workers
- Home care aids
- Maintenance and facilities staff
You need professionals of all kinds, from medical to support staff, to ensure that your facility runs as smoothly as possible and that there are qualified individuals who can help you in your endeavor to help your patients.
Running an assisted living facility is a noble task and one that you should pursue if you feel like you have the drive, qualifications, and means to do it. Good luck