How To Start an Elderly Homecare Business

by Temiloluwa Alagbe
203 views 5 minutes read
A nurse caring offering elderly homecare services

The demand for elderly homecare services increases with the population of seniors. Consequently, the elderly homecare business is in constant demand. We have discussed some of the most profitable businesses for nursing practitioners, let’s take a closer look at one that stands out among all of them: the elderly homecare business.

Overview of The Elderly Homecare Industry

The elderly home healthcare business is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries on a global scale. The elderly care business, worth approximately $2 billion as of 2022 globally, was projected to be worth $3 billion in 2030 with a growth rate of 6.8%. Many factors contribute to the success of the elderly care industry. The major factors, however, include an increased rate of age-related diseases and an increased awareness of the need for elderly care services.

The homecare sector of the elder care industry is particularly large because of the comfort it provides. It also makes it possible to care for the seniors in a familiar environment, erasing the need for adaptation. Home healthcare services, being the most preferred elderly care service, is one of the most profitable business sectors in the elderly care industry.

Why Start an Elderly Homecare Business?

There are many advantages to starting an elderly homecare business. Some of these benefits include:

  • It is in high demand
  • It provides a rewarding experience
  • Because of its high demand, it can prove to be very profitable
  • Flexible work structure
  • Relatively low start-up costs

Best Countries to Start an Elderly Homecare Business

1. The United States of America (U.S.A.)

The United States has a large and still growing population of old seniors and with the country’s business-friendly regulatory laws, it is one of the best places to start an elderly homecare business. These businesses have proven that the United States is an excellent country to start an elderly homecare business.

2. The United Kingdom (U.K.)

The United Kingdom is an excellent place to start an elderly homecare business as there is a high demand for elderly care services because of the growing population of seniors. There are also lots of partnership opportunities within the country. These businesses were able to leverage these factors and create a successful elderly homecare business.

3. Canada

Along with growing demand and a business-friendly environment, the Canadian government offers grants and incentives to elderly care business owners. Businesses like Bayshore Healthcare and VHA Home Healthcare have been able to succeed in Canada.

4. Australia

Australia is known for its stable economy and business-friendly environment and as such, it is an excellent place to start an elderly homecare business. These businesses were able to take advantage of the business-friendly environment and earn success:

5. Japan

Japan is another excellent place to start an elderly homecare business. With the increase in demand for elderly care services and its highly business-friendly environment, an elderly homecare business will thrive there. These businesses are a testimony to that fact:

Licenses Needed for a Home Healthcare Business

1. Business License

Every business owner needs a business license to prove that are capable of running a business. To apply for a business license:

  • You need to select a business name and register it with the state’s Secretary of State.
  • Next, you will need a tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Upon obtaining these, you can apply for a business license.
  • The processing period is usually between 10 – 20 days.

The total cost estimate of getting a business license is $100.

2. Home Service License

A homecare license gives the legal authority to render homecare services. Because the requirements for getting a home service license differ from state to state, you would first need to check with your preferred state’s license board to determine the procedures. However, we can provide a rough idea of what you will need to obtain a home service license.

  • After confirming the eligibility requirements and meeting all of them, you will need to pay an application fee to submit your application. The application fee will be communicated to you along with other requirements.
  • Once this process has been concluded, you will write a state exam
  • Next, you will need to obtain insurance to protect your business.
  • Now all you need to do is wait for your license. The processing period typically takes between 30 – 90 days, depending on your location.

3. Medicare Certification

A Medicare certificate is one issued by the Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in acknowledgement of your ability to offer healthcare services to seniors. Medicare is a federal health insurance put in place for people older than 65 years. To get a Medicare certificate:

  • You would need to enroll in a Medicare programme online using the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System ( PECOS).
  • Meet Medicare’s requirements.
  • Upon completion of the programme, a state surveyor will test your skills.
  • Once you have satisfied all these requirements, all you need to do is wait for your certificate. The processing period is between 2 – 4 months.

The total cost estimate for getting a Medicare certificate ranges from $2,000 – $5,000, depending on your business location.

3. Commercial Driver’s License

Considering the nature of an elderly homecare business, it makes sense that you will need a commercial driver’s license. Here’s an overview of the procedure you will need to follow to get one:

  • You need to meet the basic requirements like age, residency permit, and a regular driver’s license.
  • Apply for a commercial learner’s permit first. The cost of doing this is about $70.
  • After getting your learner’s permit, you will need to complete an entry-level driver training programme.
  • Upon completing this programme, you will need to pass a commercial driving test
  • After passing the test, you will pay a fee to get your license. The fee is about $75.

The overall cost of getting a commercial driver’s license ranges from $100 – $500.

4. Other Licenses and Permits

Depending on your location, there will be other licenses and permits that you will need. The cost of getting these licenses is heavily dependent on your location, the size of your business, and your business structure. Because of this, we cannot give you a cost estimate or provide the licensing procedure.

Start-up Cost for an Elderly Homecare Business

1. Legal costs

An important part of starting a business is licensing. An unlicensed business will not be operational for long and the owner will risk jail time. For this reason, it is important to get licensed before beginning operations in your business. We have provided a summary of the necessary licenses along with their cost estimates and procedures in earlier parts of this article.

2. Office space and utility costs

As long as you are financially capable of getting an office space, we recommend that you get one. Although you may not need an office space right off the bat, as your business grows, you will need one. The cost estimate for getting an office space along with utility costs ranges from $15,000 – $30,000.

3. Equipment and supplies costs

There are some basic equipment you need to run an elderly homecare business. Some of them include:

  • Protective equipment like gloves, masks, aprons, and eyewear.
  • Mobile aid equipment like wheelchairs, scooters, canes, and walkers.
  • Bathroom equipment like raised toilet seats, shower chairs, bath mats, and grab bars.
  • Communication equipment like hearing aids, speech amplifiers, writing tabs, dry erase boards.

The cost estimate for these equipment ranges from $1,000 – $5,000.

4. Transportation costs

Because your business requires you to move from place to place, you will need to spend some money on transportation arrangements. The best vehicle for running a home healthcare business is a van or a minivan. The cost of getting a van ranges from $32,000 – $80,000 while the cost estimate for a minivan is $35,000 – $50,000. Maintenance costs are between $2,000 – $5,000 annually. Please note that maintenance costs are subject to change at any point.

5. Homecare management software costs

To make things easier for you and to maintain orderliness, we suggest you get homecare management software. Homecare management software eases the stress and makes your workflow faster. The cost of getting a software system for your elderly homecare business ranges from $500 – $2,000.

6. Staffing costs

You can decide to run your home healthcare business alone. However, we recommend that you hire staff because there’s only so much a person can do. If you are starting on a small scale, you may not need any assistance, but as your business grows, you will certainly need help. Hiring and staffing costs range from $20,000 – $40,000 annually as it is a recurring expense.

7. Promotion and marketing costs

It is possible to promote your business without incurring any expenses. However, the best and most effective marketing strategies require some money. The cost estimate for promotion and marketing ranges from $3,000 – $10,000. Remember that for you to effectively market your business, you need to constantly showcase it. This implies that, for the best results, promotion and marketing costs will recur.

How To Start an Elderly Homecare Business

1. Conduct market research

The first step to running a successful elderly homecare business is to conduct thorough market research. Market research will help you understand what your target audience is looking for. Identifying what your target market needs and providing is paramount to operating a successful business.

2. Create a brand identity

After thorough market research, it is time to begin the first phase of starting your business which is creating your brand. Creating a brand identity involves selecting a business name, a business logo, and a business slogan. Overall, it involves distinguishing yourself from other businesses.

3. Select a business structure

After creating your brand identity, you need to choose a business structure that works for you. You can decide to be the sole operator of your business (a sole proprietorship business), run the business with a few close friends and family members (a private limited liability company) or make your business shares available to the general public (a public limited liability company). Whatever your choice is, ensure it aligns with your business goals.

4. Draft a business plan

Creating an excellent business plan is as important as conducting market research because a business plan is a detailed document of what you want for your business. It is a compact document that contains your target market details, their needs, and a very detailed description of how you plan to meet these needs. It also contains risk and risk management plans. A business plan is the basis of success for any business. Click here to find examples of what a business plan should look like.

5. Register your business

At this point, you have the blueprints for your business. Now, you need to get those blueprints legally approved. Government approval is important for long-term business success and besides, it is always better to be on the right side of the law.

6. Get an office space

You can either rent an office space or build one. Either way, your elderly homecare business will need a headquarters where equipment and service providers are dispatched. The size of your office space is dependent on your business size.

7. Purchase equipment and supplies

You will need to purchase the necessary equipment for eldercare and some office supplies like office furniture, stationery, and computers. The cost of getting these equipment is heavily dependent on your business location.

8. Get insurance

Protect your business and customers from unforeseen circumstances by getting insurance. Getting insurance ensures that your business doesn’t take much damage if anything were to go wrong. Insurance costs range from $100 – $300 monthly.

9. Hire staff

As we have stated earlier, this step may not be necessary if you want to start a small-scale business. However, with the growth of your business and customer base, you will need some extra hands.

10. Implement promotional and marketing strategies

Now that you have succeeded in starting your elderly homecare business, it is time to let people know about it. This is where the results from your market research and your business plan prove useful. The best promotional strategies to implement will be determined from your target market’s demographics.

Tips on Marketing Your Business to Older People

Marketing for older people takes on a slightly different approach. Here are a few marketing tips you can use for your elderly homecare business.

1. Understand your target market

Understanding your target market’s demographics like age, income, and even hobbies preferences will help you choose the right promotional strategy. The result of your market research will prove useful here too.

2. Use online and offline promotional strategies

You may think that seniors don’t have access to the online world and as such, you should stick to offline advertisement methods. This may not be the best line of thought as seniors are in fact, a part of the online world. They may not be as present as younger people but they are certainly present. Combining digital marketing strategies like email marketing, Google and Facebook ads, and video content with offline marketing strategies like direct mail, TV and radio ads, and print advertising will prove effective.

3. Avoid slangs

As much as seniors are present online, you don’t want to go overboard. Most seniors are not familiar with trendy slang and phrases and as such, you may confuse them if you try to use internet slang. Keep your ads simple and easy to understand.

4. Don’t oversimplify

Yes, I know we just told you to use simple language but moderation is important in everything. You don’t want to insult your target market’s intelligence by addressing them like children. Remember that although they may be a little behind the times, they are not foolish. Keep in mind that you are speaking to intelligent adults when crafting your promotional videos or writeups.

5. Appeal to their nostalgic side

There’s nothing seniors love more than reminiscing about their youth. Leverage that. Tailor your ads and promotional pieces to trigger nostalgia. Incorporate an old slang into your written ad or an old song into your video ad and you will find your target market drawn to your ads.

6. Offer educational content

Nobody is as enthusiastic about learning as seniors. Creating informative ads can also produce excellent results. You can include a “Did you know?” section in your written ad or a random piece of information in you video ad. A “Did you know?” section will be most effective if it introduces your elderly homecare business as it implies that your business will enable them to practice or see first-hand what they have just learnt.

Grants for Starting an Elderly Homecare Business

There are many different ways to get funding for your elderly homecare business. Countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia offer grants to elderly homecare business owners. Some of these grants include:

1. Commonwealth Home Support Programme

This is a grant programme offered in Australia to support home healthcare service providers. To qualify for this grant, you will need to provide an application that details how you would use the grant money to provide home healthcare services to seniors.

2. Homecare Support Services Grant

This grant programme is similar to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme as they share the same goals and application process. The difference lies in the fact that this grant is, however, offered by the government of New Zealand.

3. Home Healthcare Investment Fund

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the United States offers this grant to support the expansion of home healthcare services. All you need to do to qualify for a grant is to send an application that thoroughly explains what you intend to use the grant money for.

4. Innovation in Homecare Grant

The Innovation in Homecare Grant (IHCG) is a grant offered by the Canadian government to support the introduction of new technology and innovative ideas in the home healthcare service industry, To qualify for the grant, you need to submit an application of the state or province you intend to develop with your innovative ideas and how useful your innovations can be.

It is important to note that we have only provided a summary of each grant, and a summary is not enough to win a grant. Identify the grant that piques your interest and thoroughly research its nature and application process to help you write a winning grant proposal.

Conclusion

The elderly home healthcare business is a lucrative business venture and with this all-inclusive guide to starting the business, your success is assured. All you need to do is put what you have learnt from this article to good use and watch your elderly homecare business soar to the top.

Image Credits: All images on this website are sources from Getty Images, Pexels and Unsplash.

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