Maybe you're considering opening a home care business because you truly care about helping seniors. Or maybe you're considering it because you want to secure your financial future. It's no secret that the health care industry is booming as the senior population grows every day. In fact, one estimate shows that the percentage of the population aged 65 years and older will make up 17% of Americans by 2020.
Whatever your reasons for opening a home care franchise, you should be aware of some of the common challenges that home care business owners face. Here's a look at some of the top challenges you'll face throughout the life of your business.
Hiring and maintaining a reasonable level of staffing is one of the greatest challenges for a home care business. It's a constant scramble to hire well-qualified candidates and cover staff members who miss a shift for some reason.
Here are some of the common staffing issues:
- Unqualified applicants
- Failure to show up for interviews without a call
- Calling in sick or for another reason at the last minute
- Leaving suddenly without notice
- Quitting after a couple of months
It's a good idea to constantly be on the lookout for new, qualified employees from the day you open your doors. On a good note, however, home care is a growing career field. In fact, there was an expected 50% growth of people qualified to work in this field in 2018. This indicates that, while there may be difficulties staffing, there is a large pool of applicants to choose from.
Obtaining New Senior Clients
Another struggle for a home care business is finding new clients. Even as the senior population grows, it's a constant hustle to find new clients. And unfortunately, senior clients may pass away. It's a good idea to hire a field marketer to do personal visits to local hospitals, nursing homes, and even hospice to educate them about the benefits of non-medical home care. After all, home care can helps seniors remain at home instead of being admitted to the hospital or making a move to a nursing home. These in-person visits will hopefully lead to new business and additional referrals.
When you start planning to open a home care business, you will want to tap into the resources that your franchisor has. You want to effectively market your business to find enough clients and also exceed the number you want to grow your business into a successful venture.
In this day and age, social media provides you with new outlets for marketing on a budget. It's beneficial to make sure that you're targeting the right demographics, including seniors and adults with senior loved ones who may need home care in the place of hospitalization or placement in a nursing home.
In 2017, Lucintel estimated that the global market for tech devices for home care hit a stunning $29 billion. This includes products such as monitoring systems that sync up to the hospital system and mobile pharmacies to better monitor a senior's overall health and well being.
With technological advances, you may feel like your business model is being threatened or that you need to invest in the latest technologies. However, seniors will continue to need and want the personal touch that comes from having a caregiver in the home. Technology can't replace the relationships that seniors and their caregivers can build.
When it comes to investing in new technologies, discuss your options with your franchisor. They may have suggestions and be able to point you in the right direction.
It's no secret that health care and insurance in the United States is a hot button topic. As the politicians and insurance money men search for an alternative to expensive hospital stays, they're looking more and more at the value of home care. Some states are even pushing to have seniors with non-life threatening injury and illnesses removed from long-term hospital care and back home with the care of a professional.
Additionally, talk of raising minimum wage can have a huge impact on the home care industry as it would impact the budget and pricing of home care businesses across the country. However, amid political talks, it's important to focus on what you do: helping seniors. Changes may come and, inevitably, more changes will come. The constant will be your devotion to your business.
Whether you decide to accept private insurance or only work with seniors who pay upfront, you'll always spend time chasing payments. You need to have a water-tight contract that outlines your services and the payment schedule. It's essential that you stay on top of billing and receiving payments. This can be a full-time job, and you might consider hiring an accounts receivable specialist to ensure that your clients are paying on time.
Your contract needs to outline the steps you will take if payments aren't received on time. You don't want to leave a senior without care but you also want to make sure that you're getting paid for the work that you do. It's a delicate balance.
State and Federal Rules and Regulations
No matter where you choose to open your home care business, there will be rules and regulations that govern your company and how you care for the seniors you work for. These rules and regulation are also regularly under review, changing, and being replaced by new ones.
It's up to you to make sure that your company is compliant in all rules and regulations at the state and federal level at any given time. One area that's lacking in the regulation is the certification of home aids. In many cases, these aren't registered nurses but individuals who've taken courses to work as an aid. However, there aren't any rules in place across the country to ensure the level learning and information learned, leaving the qualified pool a little questionable as to existing skills and knowledge.
At Caring Senior Service, we understand the challenges that new business owners face in our industry. We work closely with new franchise owners to help ensure their success. From finding the right employees to understanding the current regulations, we can help get you started. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help start a thriving business.