A young woman in navy blue scrubs and a white lab coat helps a bald elderly man out of bed. The elderly man's room is well-lit with floor-to-ceiling windows next to the bed, and a wrapped mosquito net hangs from the ceiling.
Home care covers several different parts of the health care industry, including elder care and at-home occupational therapy. — Getty Images/FG Trade

Home care businesses provide a valuable service to the community, which is why the industry is expected to double in size over the next 15 years. But the job is demanding, and it’s essential to perform your due diligence before getting started.

What is a home care business?

Home care businesses offer home health and medical services to aging or sick individuals. It’s an umbrella term used to refer to multiple types of services.

A home care business could provide the following services:

  • Companionship to seniors.
  • Assisting clients with daily activities like housekeeping and cooking.
  • Home therapy services, like physical and occupational therapy.
  • Hospice care.

7 tips to starting a home care business

Find out what certifications you need

Before starting a home care business, you must certify your business through the state and obtain a license. It’s also a good idea to check your local health department to find out if you need any additional licenses. This is not an overnight process and could take as long as a year to complete.

Decide what services you’ll offer

Home care businesses can cover a wide variety of services. You want to decide which type of services you will provide based on your experience and your staff.

If you’re not sure what service you want to offer, spend some time researching the top growing trends in the health care field. This can be an excellent way to match your skills with the current market demand.

As a home care worker, you cannot discuss health records with family or friends.

Identify your target market

Next, you’ll want to spend some time thinking about your target market. This is not necessarily the clients you’ll be serving, but the individuals who will be hiring you. For instance, if you offer hospice services, your target market is the adult children who will hire you to care for their parents.

Create a business plan

The best way to set yourself up for success is by coming up with a detailed business plan. A business plan will outline your target market, your financial plan and how you plan to market your business.

Having a business plan can make it easier to qualify for a small business loan. A loan can help you get your business off the ground faster and let you avoid having to dip into your savings.

[Read more: How to Write a One-Page Business Plan in a Hurry]

Make sure you understand HIPAA laws

HIPAA compliance can be one of the most challenging aspects of starting a home care business. HIPAA laws protect the patient's privacy and ensure that third parties can’t access their records without their consent.

As a home care worker, you cannot discuss health records with family or friends. This could frustrate some family members and friends and make it harder for you to do your job. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of HIPAA laws before starting your business.

Come up with a marketing plan

Once you have your business set up and have applied for the appropriate licenses, you should begin marketing your business. You can promote your business on social media and invest in local advertising.

And don’t forget to ask current clients for referrals. Referrals are an excellent―and free―way to grow your business.

[Read more: The Difference Between Sales and Marketing]

Hire your staff

If you want to grow your home care business, then at some point you’ll have to bring on staff. You should choose your employees carefully since they directly represent the quality care you will provide.

Conduct a thorough interview process and run background checks on all employees. You can find potential employees through a staffing agency or through personal recommendations.

[Read more: The Best Interview Questions to Ask, According to Franchise Owners]

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