The Complete Guide to Starting a Home Care Business

Aug 2022

Home care is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, and it’s easy to see why. Starting a home care business is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs to make a real difference in the lives of others while also building a rewarding and profitable business.

While starting a home care business can be a very rewarding experience, both personally and financially, it is essential to do your research before starting out.

This guide will give you all the information you need to start a successful home care business. We’ll discuss the different business models available, how to find clients, what services to offer, and much more! Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for more information on home care franchise opportunities, this guide has everything you need!

What is Home Care?

First, let’s make sure we clearly define what home care is.

Broadly, home care refers to any assisted living service provided in a patient’s home. 

Home care can include a wide range of services, from skilled nursing care to companion care for elder persons.

Home Care Services Industry Overview

If you’re planning on starting a home care business, it’s essential for you to understand the two main types of care in the home care services industry. 

The home care industry, in general, is split into two categories. Medical, also known as home health care, and non-medical, sometimes referred to as companion care. We’ll look at both categories in detail further down the page to help determine which home care business is right for you.

In addition to understanding how the home care industry is structured, there are two primary factors that affect the home care services industry right now. Those being the growth of an aging population in America and the increased popularity of the industry as an alternative to live-in care facilities.

These factors will continue to significantly impact the industry in the years to come.

The Aging Population

The aging population is one of the most significant factors that impact the home care industry.

In the United States alone, there are more than 54 million senior citizens–about 16% of the population! And with 25% of the U.S. population being baby boomers, about 73 million people, and expecting all of them to be over 65 years old by 2030, the need for home care businesses will only increase.

The Growth of the Home Care Industry

Needless to say, the aging population is growing at an unprecedented rate, and their need for home care services is growing too.

Even though the National Association for Home Care and Hospice reports about 33,000 home care and hospice agencies in the United States, the demand is still higher than the supply.

Another major factor contributing to the demand for home care services is the mass adoption of the concept as a better alternative to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In short, people have realized that providing affordable care for their loved ones in the comfort of their own home is more dignified and less of a risk than the alternatives.

If you’re considering starting a home care business or owning a home care franchise, now is a great time to get started!

Why Start a Home Care Business?

Whether starting a home care business from scratch or considering investing in a home care franchise, providing home care services is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs because it can be a lucrative and financially rewarding endeavor that has a significantly positive impact on society.

A Profitable & Sustainable Business Model

Demand is a great reason to start a home care business. The aging population is growing, and people are living longer. And with advances in medicine and technology, people can age in place and receive the care they need at home.

Today, 90% of senior citizens plan to live at home even as they age. As demand continues to increase, more and more well-run home care businesses will capitalize on the opportunity.

The Potential to Make a Difference in People’s Lives

Another reason to start a home care business is the positive impact home care has on society. 

If you are passionate about helping people, this business allows you to help those who need it most with dignity and grace from the comfort of their homes.

Choosing The Right Business Model

Once you’ve decided that starting a home care business is right for you, the next step is deciding which business model is suitable.

Franchise or Independent?

There are two main types of home care businesses: franchises and independents.

Independent home care businesses are just that–independent. This means that the business is not part of a larger company, and the owner will have to do the research, marketing, and business management themselves.

Home care franchises are businesses that are part of a larger company, such as Briggs Home Care but are run independently by individual entrepreneurs or franchise investors under a franchise license. Franchises offer franchisees support and resources, including marketing, accounting, and business management assistance.

Not to mention that a report cited by USA Today claimed that franchises for home care businesses are one of the top five most profitable franchises available.

If you are considering starting your own home care business, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of each option, but buying a franchise with a solid brand and business model takes out so much of the guesswork vs. starting from scratch.

Understanding the Difference Between Non-Medical Home Care and Home Health Care

If you’re considering starting a home care business, it’s essential to understand the difference between non-medical home care and home health care.

Home health care businesses provide medical services, like skilled nursing care, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. These businesses require staff with specific medical certifications and licenses. While this may be a good option for some, generally, you’ll need a lot of experience in the healthcare industry and will take on more risk due to the laws and regulations concerning healthcare.

Non-medical home care businesses provide companionship, light housekeeping, transportation, and meal preparation services, just to name a few. 

In the non-medical home care business, care is customized. You can tailor it to fit the client’s needs. For example, it may include companion care. Or it may include personal care, such as grooming, bathing, toileting, or dressing.

Other non-medical home care services you might supply include (but are not limited to):

  • Assistance with transferring
  • Grocery shopping
  • Theaters
  • Cooking
  • Medical assistance
  • Meal preparation
  • Hair appointments
  • Companionship to doctor’s appointments
  • Social engagements
  • Churches
  • and more

The recent growth of companion care businesses is partially driven by the ability to offer a wide variety of services to those in need without the additional risks and costs associated with traditional home health care.

The Marketplace for Home Care

As we discussed earlier, there is rapid growth in demand for home care services, which makes starting a home care business an extremely attractive option for entrepreneurs. As with any successful business, you’ll want to understand the market you’re serving when you decide to start your home care business.

Who Is Your Target Market?

A target market is a specific group of people you want to reach with your product or service. When starting a home care business, your target market could be seniors, people with disabilities, families with young children, or anyone who needs assistance with activities of daily living.

It’s essential to choose a target market that you’re passionate about serving. Also, each type of client will have different needs, so be sure to choose a market you feel confident you can serve well.

This will not only help you build a successful business, but it’ll also make the day-to-day work more enjoyable.

What Is the Competition Like?

The home care industry may be growing rapidly, but that doesn’t mean starting a home care business is extremely easy. There will be plenty of competition, so you need to make sure you’re offering something unique and valuable that sets you apart from the rest.

One way to stand out from the competition is to focus on a niche market. This is the target market we discussed earlier. By focusing on a specific group of people, you can better understand their needs and offer services that meet them.

Another way to differentiate yourself from the competition is to offer unique services. This could be anything from specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s to transportation services for people with disabilities.

The key is finding a way to stand out from the competition so potential clients will choose your business over others. If you are thinking about going independent, starting off with a niche or focusing on a specific type of service may be the fastest way to build a customer base. 

A major benefit to investing in a home care franchise is that brand building, operations, marketing, and services are turn-key.

At Briggs Home Care, our franchisees benefit from a proven business model backed by an experienced support team. Everything you need to start a successful home care business is part of becoming a franchisee, including training & support.

The Operational Side of Starting a Home Care Business

As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to wear many hats when starting your home care business. In addition to being the face of your business and responsible for marketing and sales, you’ll also need to handle the operational side.

This includes everything from developing policies and procedures to managing finances and ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations.

Finding Clients

When setting up the operational side of your business, the first thing to do is find clients. You’ll need to identify potential customers and reach out to them to market your services.

There are several ways to find clients, including online research, networking, and even word-of-mouth marketing. Once you’ve identified the proper channels, it’s time to start marketing.

You can market your home care business in many ways, including online advertising, social media, and traditional print and television advertising. Whatever market methods you choose, be sure to understand your target audience.

For example, if you’re targeting seniors, you’ll want to focus on promoting your services to help them age in place. If you’re targeting busy families, on the other hand, you’ll want to focus on how your services can help them free up time and give them peace of mind.

Hiring and Managing Caregivers

Make no mistake about it, the home care business is a people business. You’ll need to hire caregivers to staff your business. This process starts with finding qualified candidates, which can be done through online job boards, word-of-mouth referrals, and networking.

After you’ve found some qualified candidates, it’s time to start the interviewing process. Ask each candidate about their experience, availability, and qualifications relevant to the position they are being interviewed for.

Once you’ve hired your caregivers, managing them effectively is essential. This includes setting clear expectations, providing feedback on their performance, and ensuring they follow all policies and procedures.

This is another area where buying a home care franchise has a huge advantage. At Briggs Home Care, our franchise owners have a proven playbook to hire, manage and retain valuable employees. Creating that process from scratch takes a lot of experience, trial and error.

The Financial Side of Starting a Home Care Business

The investment required to start a home care business depends on many different variables.

Here are a few things to consider when planning the financial side of your business.

Start-Up Costs

The start-up costs for a non-medical home care business are typically lower than a medical home care business.

For example, you do not need to obtain all the same equipment. You will also likely not need to hire staff with specific medical training. However, if you need special equipment, such as a chairlift van or medical equipment and staff, it’ll cost you much more to start your business. 

We recommend putting together a budget for start-up costs, including financial projections and break-even analysis.

Pricing Your Services

Your pricing will vary depending on the services you provide, your geographical location, and the competition in your area.

It is important to remember that your prices need to be competitive but also high enough to cover your costs and allow you to make a profit. You must determine the right price for your business and your market. 

This is one area where partnering with a home care franchise has an advantage. The franchise model will typically have a proven system, including recommendations on how to price your services.

The Benefits of Starting a Home Care Business

The Potential to Make a Difference in People’s Lives

Starting a home care business means providing compassionate care to those needing it most. In doing so, you’ll give your client’s family and loved ones freedom, flexibility, and peace of mind. Finally, you’ll play a significant role in creating jobs, commerce, and revenue for your community.

A Brighter Future

In addition to positively impacting your community, owning a successful home care business can be financially rewarding and provide you personally the same freedom, flexibility, and peace of mind you give your clients.

Take The Next Step – Start Your Home Care Business Today

A home care business can be a very rewarding experience, both personally and financially. If you’re excited about starting your own business but don’t want to do it alone, consider buying a home care franchise. Briggs Home Care is a proven model with over 75 years of experience in the industry. Our franchisees receive world-class support every step of the way, from choosing the right location to marketing and selling services.

If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us today to learn more about franchise opportunities and starting your own home care business.