HOW TO START A HOME CARE AGENCY
“The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first” – Sergey Brin, co-founder, Google.
How to Start A Home Care Agency
Map out the route before you start the journey
At Hellocare Consulting, we understand the task of starting a home care agency may be daunting with some many things to consider such as cash flow, starting capital, how to get registered with CQC, how to get clients. Instead of having to learn every business task yourself, why not focus on what you do best in your care agency and leave the rest to us?
We have a wide variety of trained professionals available through our consulting company who are happy to help take the load off your shoulders so you can focus on building the business.
In the UK, there are approximately 9,000 home care agencies registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). With the steadily ageing population and many people’s desire to stay in their own homes as they grow old, the domiciliary care industry is set to boom and it has never been a better time to start a home care agency.
Six tips to effectively grow your domiciliary care agency include:
- Diversify Marketing
- Existing Clients
When you start a home care agency, you would most likely have written a business plan. It is time to revisit that document as it could help you plan your expansion. Some of the questions to think about are have your original goals changed?. It is important that you brainstorm with your team on ideas for growth. It is helpful also to write these ideas down on paper and always keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and read advice from leading business experts; by allocating time to plan your care agency’s growth, you’re setting your business up to be profitable.
Finances is a very important part in expanding a domiciliary care agency, you will need to know the amount required to grow your care agency, as well as how much you will need to to cover the overheads, this should include all the costs associated with your business expansion. For example, marketing activity or employing staff. This final cost might be out of your budget, in which case you can remove or scale down some activity. The final cost, however, could be much less than you’re prepared to spend. If this is the case, then you can brainstorm more ideas or go bigger on some items.
Can you afford to pay for the expansion with the cash already in your business bank account? Or do you need to secure additional funding?; this could take the shape of a business loan from a bank or specialist provider. Alternatively, you could seek private investment or apply for a Government small business loan; ensuring your finances are in order will help you to grow your home care agency.
Building a name for home care agency in the local community that your business operates in will help to drive new business, also raising awareness of your care agency and its services at every opportunity helps with brand recall. When a potential new customer is considering home care services, your agency will come to mind. It is advisable to brand the company logo on t-shirts, phone number and website, wear it to volunteer at local events, such as summer fairs, or take part in charitable activities, for example fun runs. You can also join your local Chamber of Commerce, as well as other relevant business groups. It is also beneficial to network with those in the wider industry.
Many people use the internet to search for services, as well as research reviews and testimonials for specific companies. If you don’t have a website, or if your website is very basic, then it’s worth investing in improving your digital presence to help grow your home care agency. A strong digital presence also includes customer reviews. People search and read testimonials before they buy products and services. Consider including a testimonial page on your website and ask your happy customers to write a short paragraph or two about your service. When you start a home care agency, the ability to know your market is the key to business expansion; your primary audience might not be using Facebook, however their children and grandchildren might be. You can target them with advertising about home care for their elderly parents and relatives. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter are leading advertising platforms to promote your care agency.
You could run print advertising in local media including newspapers, magazines and community newsletters. Or, if you have been running print ads for a while, consider branching out to another location nearby with different newspapers and magazines. Alternatively, you could advertise on local news or listings websites.
Leaflet drops are also effective. Get a professional, eye-catching leaflet designed and printed and then post these by hand through the letterboxes of homes in your target area. If you know your community well, then you’ll know which cluster of roads or areas are heavily populated by elderly residents. If not, then do some research. Leaflets can also be left in appropriate shops, on community noticeboards as well as in waiting rooms of GP surgeries or local hospitals.
Most care providers underestimate their existing clients when it comes to growing a business. Word of mouth is a powerful tool to increase referrals and boost awareness about your domiciliary care agency. You can also ask new clients if they were referred to your business by anyone in particular. Then send that client a thank you note with flowers or chocolates to show your appreciation for their recommendation.
If you know that one of your clients has an active social life and is involved in numerous hobby groups, then you could ask them to distribute leaflets to their friends on your behalf.
Do you have a specific question on how to start a home care agency that is not mentioned on our website? Contact us today with your details and we’ll match you up with one of our highly-trained and experienced senior care consultants. We’ve handled many different business tasks over the years and are happy to help with yours. It all starts from that first business session with us.
Kemp House, 160 City Road
London EC1V 2NX
We are open Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. (appointment only)