If you are venturing into the entrepreneurial territory by choosing to own and operate a home care agency, congratulations! The home care startup process is equal parts exciting and challenging, but your strong desire to serve seniors will assure you have the stamina to get through the tougher parts of owning a business. No matter where you are in the startup process, we have a few helpful hints that will help you overcome the most common home care startup challenges.
No Networking Connections
Your home care startup process begins with successful networking. You must become an integral part of the senior services industry and the community in order to forge partnerships that can lead to referrals in the future. If you aren’t sure where to start, or if you are having problems breaking into the senior services network in your area, begin by attending educational opportunities.
Look for workshops or CEU classes held over lunch in senior organizations throughout your community. If you can’t find any, try calling the senior services division of your Village or City to get started.
No Solid Business Plan
Your home care agency needs a solid business plan in order to keep you on track as you grow. If you haven’t written out your business goals and the plan to get there, including a timeline to gauge your success, now is the time to get it done. Begin with your agency mission statement and base all of your decisions on that foundation moving forward.
As you develop your business plan, be sure to include realistic goals for hiring your team and for onboarding new clients. Remember, a slow and steady plan works best, as growing too quickly can mean your services and reputation suffer.
No Staff Supports
You can’t run a successful home care agency without a team of dedicated professionals working for you. Unfortunately, most home care startups fail when it comes to staff support because they are too focused on getting new senior clients instead of creating an outstanding culture for their team. You can avoid this pitfall by choosing to focus on your staff support right from the beginning of your agency.
Get excellent plans for recruitment and retention in place, as well as developing training programs that will start all new team members on the right foot. Finally, be sure you have a reliable payroll system in place and make correct payroll a priority from the beginning.
No Social Media Tools
Thanks to technology, you can create an online presence for your home care startup long before you actively start signing up clients. It’s never too early to begin getting your name, logo, and mission statement for your agency out in the online world. Use social media to introduce yourself and your agency to your community by actively posting throughout the week and by interacting with community organizations online as well. You can also begin developing reliable and professional content for your agency website that will demonstrate you are a leader in the community for senior care services.
No Marketing Plan
It takes more than a social media presence to effectively market your home care agency. Unfortunately, many home care startups are not equipped with a short and long term marketing plan that incorporates digital and “in real life” strategies. Even if your home care agency is paired with a national franchise, it can still feel overwhelming to begin the marketing plan process.
If you don’t have a background in marketing or senior care, your first step should be hiring a consultant who does have those skills. Your consultant can provide you with advice and action steps to assure you are getting the most out of your marketing approaches. When working with a marketing professional, make sure your digital and print campaigns are tied together for a more cohesive approach.
Your home care startup can succeed, and we are here to guide you through the peaks and valleys of the experience. Be sure to check out our resource library for free downloads that provide you with the tools you need for every part of your business, from recruitment to retention to management. You’ve got this!
Written by Haley Burress
Hi, my name is Wendell Scott and I help Home Care Agencies who are experiencing high caregiver turnover rates, have trouble coordinating client care and feel frustrated with their team to easily increase efficiency and scale their Home Care business.
I’d like to share with you my Caregiver Recruitment Engine™ framework. In it, are the tools to help you develop a system to easily attract & hire caregivers (aka a repeatable system for recruiting quality staff), so you can organize your process, reliably recruit new caregivers and efficiently scale your home care team.