The self-employment recession has created an environment for a new economy in senior care, especially in the rapidly growing in-home care space.
Given the low cost to entry into starting your own or franchising a in home care agency, they are the ideal organizations to start for those with experience and some good old fashion ambition.
While there are many examples of successful senior home care entrepreneurs, there are many traps that you can fall into along the way. We have collected information from senior home care business owners, and the following are some of the most common mistakes they share.
1. Not Getting Enough Information About Services Provided
Providing home care with in-home companionship is not the same as providing care in a long-term care facility.
The biggest difference is that in-home care providers work as individuals while working in a care facility generally work with others in a team like unit. This means that it’s very important to have standard operating procedures in place with enough experience and detail in the services you’ll be providing.
As you can imagine, one of the primary reasons why caregivers quit their jobs is feeling ill prepared and trained for the more uncomfortable tasks of caregiving.
As you can image, the most successful business owners in this industry tend come from a background of geriatric caregiving in the medical field and who have a heart for seniors. With the average salary of a owner barely reaching 6 figures, the in-home care business isn’t for those looking to become rich quickly.
2. Being Inexperienced
When working with seniors, it is important to make sure that you are a suitable match for the rough road ahead.
Senior care is messy and the topic of talking about it can even be seen as taboo. Nobody should be in this line of work unless they genuinely care and there’s no better way to know for sure than to work in it, sufficiently.
A senior home care business owner needs to be patient and nurturing. Many senior clients are dealing with infirmities and are going through the grief process. So the more you get to know the seniors, their family, and their needs, the better you will be able to provide the best possible care services.
You need to be flexible and be able to work with a variety of personalities in order to thrive in this opportunity. If you’re simply looking to start a business, there are so many other paths you can take that will be easier and more lucrative.
3. Viewing Caregivers as Replaceable Commodities
No sugar coating here, if you want a successful business, you need a rock solid employee appreciation strategy and company culture.
Starting out, if your employees aren’t seen as an extension of your own family you’re going to run into problems.
Over time, it is likely that your caregiver or companionship staff will need to take time off for vacation or other personal reasons. Until you have an adequate backup, you need to be available to fill in.
Be flexible and approach each day with an open mind, as you never know what’s in store.
A caregiving business is unique in that good people, treated well, can be with you for an extended period of time, and you need to create a loving, trusting relationship with them and invest in them as an individual.
One of our favorite examples of amazing company culture is ACLS in Medford, OR. Their motto is literally “Caregivers Are Our Company”.
4. Not Having a Marketing Plan
Many senior home care business owners miss out on the opportunity to provide services to new clients because they are not out in their communities promoting their business.
A good marketing plan can consist of networking, attending community events, speaking with community groups, and word of mouth and a strong digital marketing strategy. You need to let people know that you are available.
It can be hard to break into local networking circles as this business is very heavy on referrals but with consistent effort and bettering yourself through practice you can start to snowball your incoming leads.
Leveraging digital tactics work to accelerate this process. Check out some helpful tips about getting more leads digitally: 5 Ways to Market a Home Care Business Online to Gain More Clients
5. Lacking Professional Insurance Coverage
Home care agencies can help minimize the risk of liability by choosing insurance that is designed for the home-based business.
A business owner needs to carry professional liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect themselves against potential claims that say they have caused injury to their clients.
Additionally, certain states require different types of insurance to operate.
Insurance will help you to sleep better at night and make sure that you are covered in case of an accident or claims of negligence.
6. Underestimating the Internet
Although the senior care industry is firmly rooted in more traditional forms of marketing, such as word-of-mouth, owners should never underestimate what internet visibility can do for them.
In this day and age, the internet is an invaluable tool for building your senior home care business. You can advertise on social networking sites and have an easy way to spread the word about your business.
At Greatness Digital, we often recommend a full holistic approach to long-term growth. Make sure that you don’t skimp on your most important digital assets such as your website, Google Business Profile and social accounts.
There is a lot of competition in the senior home care industry, and no matter how good your service, you need to stand out.
A home care owner must be an educator, a coach, a financial advisor, a marketing strategist, and an adviser. They must have the ability to listen and to gain the trust and confidence of their clients, as well as their families, to be successful in this business.
Knowing what common mistakes to avoid allows you to focus on what’s important, and that is providing high-quality services to seniors in need.
If you want to start your own senior home care business, you need to start thinking about how you’re going to market it.
This is where Greatness Digital can help you. We provide digital marketing services to senior care and senior living companies by helping them unleash their greatness. Our web design, SEO, and PPC services are designed to help promote your business and stand out from your competitors. Invest in in-home care digital marketing today by reaching out to us!