Starting a Home Care Business

Introduction to Non-Medical Home Care

Man helping senior in assisted living home
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There is a difference keep in mind between medical and non-medical home care. Non-medical home care services include personal care, assistance with daily living activities, meal preparation, housekeeping and transportation. Medical skilled home health agencies administer skilled licensed nursing and rehab services under physician's orders with strict guidelines.

Where to Start

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So how do you enter this business?

  1. Start a company from scratch.
  2. Buy an existing company.
  3. Buy a franchise.
  4. Join a network.

There are good and bad points to all of these models.

Start Your Own: lower start-up costs but more risk.

  • You should have business experience.
  • You have researched the industry.

Buy existing: higher cost for a mature business, less risk, high due diligence required.

Franchise: higher entry fees but proven business model.

  • Work with a business broker and lawyer who specialize in franchise work.

Join a Network: membership networks provide initial training and ongoing support, a bit of a hybrid between owning and franchising.

Incorporate Your Business

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  1. Consult with an attorney to set up the business that will best suit your needs. Business structure can affect a variety of issues so commit wisely.
  2. Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
  3. Register your business with the Secretary of State in your state. You may want to work backwards checking domain names to make sure something you want it not taken. When you have decided on a business name and cleared availability, have letterhead, business cards, brochures printed.
  4. Check to see if your state requires a license to operate a personal care business.
  5. Check on requirements for city or county business licenses.

Set Up the Business

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  • Establish a business checking account and credit card account.
  • Set up computerized accounting, billing, scheduling systems.
  • Have three months operating capital in reserve.
  • Determine your rates.
  • Set up your payroll systems.
  • Find a location where care is affordable to the population and without excessive competition.

Write or Purchase Policies and Procedures


Address the following:

  • new client admissions
  • plans of care
  • scheduling
  • employee and payroll records
  • hiring practices
  • orientation
  • training
  • client billing
  • client rights and responsibilities

Hiring Staff

staff evaluations
Hire for fit and reduce turnover. Consistently evaluate and keep good people. Getty Images

  1. Hire your support staff first.
  2. Hire the best caregivers available as your company's reputation depends on it. Spend time interviewing prospects and conduct reference checks and background checks.

Marketing and Sales

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Literally we could write reams of information in this area and our marketing and sales category will become a great resource to you.

  • Your best marketing comes from word of mouth and word of mouth spreads when people have a great experience.
  • Determine the best sources for referrals in your area - local physicians, senior centers and rehabilitation centers, churches, discharge planners, medical home care companies, existing client recommendations, elder law attorneys, estate planners, bank trust officers, geriatric care managers, among others.
  • Create your website.
  • Create your collateral materials.
  • Learn sales techniques specifically for home care.
  • Become involved in the community. Adopt causes strategically.

Home Care is Fulfilling but It is a Business

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Home care can be a rewarding business to operate both financially and emotionally. Helping and giving back to our seniors can bring great fulfillment and purpose in your life. But remember this is a business. So do your homework. Let this serve as a start. Explore your options and make the best choices for you, your family, your goals and your lifestyle.

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