Six Steps to Starting a Sustainable Care Business
Elderly care is a sector that has seen immense growth over the last financial year. It is now an incredibly hot topic and with so many more people reaching an age where they require greater access to and use of Medicare, how the elderly live and are cared for is big business and will be, for the foreseeable future.
By 2030, the US Census Bureau notes that 1 in 5 Americans will be of retirement age and by 2035, 78 million people will be over 65, several million more than are under 18 years of age. This is a massive demographic shift and will in turn create an ongoing demand for elderly care and the associated living options.
The demand has thus far been highest on the West Coast and as such, this article will focus on what you will need in the Golden State (South Cali to Oregon). It would seem that this geographic area has overtaken Florida as one of the best places to retire in the US and as such the demand for live-in care facilities, as well as community living, and retirement villages is at an all-time high. Although the steps provided are generic in nature, some of the specific information is thus for this area.
This article will provide six simple steps that you will need to do to partake in this growth and enter the elderly care sector as a care provider.
Develop a Business Plan
This is the first step, and the plan itself will also include a number of processes that will come together to produce a clear direction for the business. Describe the business, and provide a clear market analysis of both the sector and the geographic area that you would like to start in. There are a number of simple templates available online for this; find one that you can follow and simply gather the relevant information and complete the sections as required. The result should be a very clear blueprint for how to start the business as well as how the business intends to operate and at what levels of profitability.
One of the things that you will have to consider at this point is where to go. The statistics show that the West Coast of the country has seen the biggest demand. This is quite simply because for many it is seen as the best weather in the country for the longest periods of time, and if you’re retired, then this is what you want.
Lastly, your business plan must include a detailed financial plan as well as the possible sources of finance. The business of business is business, and this can only be realized through the financial analysis. Regardless of how much need has been identified and how you feel your business meets this need, if you cannot prove financial viability on paper at this stage, then it is worth a re-think.
Register in the State
As a business, you will need to register with the state business chamber as a legal entity. Registration will also be required with the specific industry body (healthcare in this case, or more specifically the California Department of Social Services) and ensure that you also have a license to provide care. You will have to plan on obtaining an assisted living license in California that will cover you to practice and open the business in the state as a whole. Aside from this, your business will also need the requisite Medicaid and Medicare certifications.
Determining whether you will offer medical care or non-medical care will affect both what training you need, and the staff that will be required.
This aspect would have necessarily been included in your business plan, but the actual process of finding suitably trained, qualified and experienced staff is a lengthy one and must be done as a separate step in the overall process prior to accepting any clients. Many startups don’t realize how important the right staff are and when it comes to the care or customer service sectors, who you have working for you can make or break the business.
Training and Development
A successful business must have a clear training and development plan for the staff that are hired. This is the only way to ensure that your business stays ahead of your competitors, but also keeps abreast of the latest developments in what is a fast-developing field. It is also best to have such a plan from the outset based on the existing skills and experience of the staff you have taken on board.
Once you have completed the aforementioned steps it is paramount for the business to find a stream of clients. Marketing and sales are the only way you will be able to generate business, and as such, must be an integral part of the business initiation process. Be sure to develop a clear brand and focus on the unique selling points that your care business has.
The blend of living arrangements or care arrangements will be key to meeting the needs of a diverse population. There will also need to be some thought put into the activities that may be on offer. Outings and activities are proven to be important aspects in making a decision of where seniors want to live.
The key to a good business is a plan for the future – from the outset it is essential to develop a sustainability plan. If the business is to succeed, you need to be clear about how it will affect the environment and stakeholders. This way you’ll foster financial longevity and stability. Your business will need to be at the forefront of any changes in the industry, use cutting-edge technology as well as be able to determine trends in aging and plan for these in advance.
These are six simple startup tips for the elderly care and assisted-living industry and should provide great preparatory points should you have any designs on starting an elderly care business.