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Is it time for your home care agency to have a business plan? If you’ve started your business and want to assess progress or forecast for the future, yes, this is the right time to create your plan. In this article, we put forth a few steps for creating a business plan for a home care agency.
Why Is a Business Plan So Important?
A business plan covers the full scope of your business. This includes your marketing strategies, financial projections, mission and objectives, operations plan, assessment of competitors, and other key elements.
With this completed plan in place, you can present it to lenders, investors, banks, and financial institutions. It will help you obtain funding or loans for your new business. So, yes, this document is crucial to the growth of your business and overall success. Let’s get to the steps.
Step 1: Define the Services Your Home Care Agency Offers
There are varying levels of care associated with the term “home health care.” For example, does your agency provide medical home health care with regular physician oversight and attendance? Or do your offer “home care,” which is centered around a professional caregiver who tends to the daily needs of the individual. This can include help with dressing, bathing, preparing meals, and driving individuals as needed.
In this article we are looking at the latter category, the professional home care agency model.
Step 2: Craft the Mission and State the Objectives of Your Agency
Many home care agencies operate out of concern for the well-being of elderly or disabled individuals. It is important to define the “why” of your business and the objectives you have toward making your business a success. You’ll only need two or three sentences to express these thoughts. However, you’ll refer to them many times in the coming years.
Step 3: Define the Clients Who Will Come to Your Home Care Agency
Every home care agency has certain parameters defined by the owners of the agency. For example, will your home house only those with limited cognitive abilities? Or will your home serve those with medical limitations? Decisions regarding your target audience will affect the tone and atmosphere of your home. Therefore, you’ll want to consider your answers carefully.
Next, examine the advantages of Medicare and Medicaid. This is important because these federal agencies will pay your business to provide nursing care and physical therapy to patients with such benefits. It is an important feature to consider and one that will also define your clientele.
Step 4: Prepare Your Home Environment
The size and accommodations within your home or other residential building will inform the number of individuals you can safely house on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. Often, there are three to four bedrooms with three of those occupied by individuals needing care. Meanwhile, the owner/operator has a bedroom, an office, and other areas set aside for administration and private space.
Moreover, homes should have plenty of mobility, access space, and several configurations specifically measured for wheelchairs. Additionally, floors should be even, with no steps, and other physical accommodations must be in place. Depending on the state in which you live, you’ll also note the full list of requirements within the licensing information.
Step 5: Obtain Licensing and Certifications for Your Home Care Agency
Also depending on the state in which you live, you’ll need to obtain certification and licenses to provide home care services. Medicare and Medicaid require certain certifications, for example, and some states require licenses for establishing a business, providing care, and operating a kitchen to serve business clients.
The process of obtaining licensing and certifications can be a lengthy one. Therefore, be prepared to wait as long as a year for the process to be completed.
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Step 6: Set Up an Operations Plan
Even if your home or residential building has limited capacity, you’ll need an operations plan. Such a plan will enable you to effectively schedule employees, prepare meals, and oversee cleaning and other care as well as housekeeping tasks.
Ensure each employee is aware of the responsibilities within their role, and be clear in communicating all house rules and safety protocols. Make sure all employees have proper training, with references and certifications presented during interviews.
Schedule and manage any state visits, and maintain excellent communication with the family or friends who care for the individuals within your home.
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Each of these steps will help propel your business toward long-term growth and success. However, the most important first step is to complete your business plan. It is the gateway to funding, coordination, forecasting, and more. We wish you every success.
For more ideas and helpful suggestions for starting and running your own business—regardless of its size or the industry you’re working in—be sure to browse our blog often. We post new articles almost every day.