If you like taking care of others and would like to earn a living doing so, you could consider setting up a nursing home or care home. There are more than 400,000 British residents in residential and nursing care homes today, making it a sixteen-billion-pound industry. The demand for skilled care is certain to grow, too, given our aging population. That has created an excellent opportunity for new players in the industry. Here’s how to start a care home business.
Do Your Research
Care homes are heavily regulated since you’re providing care for a vulnerable population. Understand the rules and regulations you’re required to abide by before you start planning on opening a facility. Furthermore, nursing homes, like other businesses, are subject to supply and demand. Understand the demand for care homes in a given area and the existing care homes in the area you’d be competing against. What services do they provide beyond basic care? Some get by with providing the minimum level of care for the lowest possible price, while others advertise their premium amenities. Others offer secondary services such as sending nursing assistants to visit those who are homebound or provide adult day-care.
There are a number of factors that increase the rates you can charge because they increase operating expenses. For example, you can charge more for those who are frail, have dementia or require more extensive nursing care.
Create a Carefully Considered Business Plan
Care homes have high start-up expenses. One industry expert said that it takes at least £2,000,000 to start one. The biggest expenses are the building and equipment, though the industry also has high labour costs. Know, however, that you can do quite a bit to bring down expenses. For example, you have online suppliers like medical-supermarket.com that sell everything from patient hoists to toilet aids. Determine what services you’re going to offer. Will you just provide residential care or residential care with nursing? Will you offer sheltered housing or assisted living? These choices affect the number and type of staff you’ll need as well as the equipment.
Determine how much you’ll be paid for providing care. If you’re going to rely on local authority funding, it will be means-tested. In that case, locate the facility where most people are eligible for state funding. If you locate it in a wealthy area, many potential residents can pay for it out of savings or insurance policies. The population you serve will determine everything from marketing to the level of service you’ll have to provide. Alternatively, you could specialise in treating people with a particular condition or supervising those with learning difficulties.
Pick the Right Facility
If you’re going to buy an existing nursing home, do your homework before you offer to buy it. First, check their rating with the CQC.
A green star means it is outstanding, while a red dot means it is inadequate. A grey dot indicates that it has had its rating suspended or their rating is under appeal. What kind of reputation does the facility have? Are there allegations of abuse or neglect? Avoid facilities with bad ratings, because potential residents and their families will avoid them and you need high occupancy rates to earn a profit.
Choose a location where you can tap into a large labour pool as well. Nursing homes require a large number of unskilled people to provide proper care for your clients. Also, try to find a location that lets people walk a short distance to work or visit family at the facility or one that can be accessed by public transport.
Average life expectancy is increasing, which presents tons of opportunities. This is increasing the number of people dependent on care, and explains why the care home industry is booming, which makes it a great time to enter into it.