As a home care provider, you run your business with compassion and knowledge of the job and the local community you work with. After you’ve learned more about how to become a caregiver and how to start a home care business, you’re ready to formalize your ideas with a business plan.
How to create a home care business plan
Your business plan is an essential part of the portfolio you’ll present to banks, investors, and partners before launching your company. Every entrepreneur can benefit from a business plan that helps you turn your vision into action and strategize for success. For home care professionals, there are unique additions and considerations for your business plan. From determining your core local clients to developing the marketing plan to reach them, this guide will walk you through nine sections for your home care business plan.
1. The executive summary
The executive summary kicks off your business plan and hooks whoever’s reading it to learn more about your company and your proposal. Think of it a little like a sales pitch for your business and a preview of everything you lay out in your business plan.
A home care business summary should include:
- Your mission and the populations your business will serve
- A list of your primary services
- The demand for these services in your community
- What sets your home care business apart from competitors
- Your vision
- A summary of funding needs
2. The company description
As a home care business working with clients in need, your professional background should be front and center. Your company description offers a snapshot of you and your business, and should include:
- The registered (or intended registered) name of your business
- The location of your company headquarters, and the neighborhoods, area, or city your business will reach
- Management, primary personnel, and their professional backgrounds
- Any licenses or certifications your staff has
Different types of home care services will need different certifications, like medical home care companies compared with senior transportation providers, for example. Make sure to research and include the requirements in your county, city, and state.
If you’re in the preliminary stages of creating your home care business and haven’t secured the required licenses yet, mention any certifications you’re pursuing in this description.
3. Your business mission and goals
The mission and goals section of a business plan outlines the primary objectives of your company and how you plan to achieve them.
As more Americans advance into the senior age bracket, demand for credible home care businesses is rising. This need can help position your business for success and give you more opportunities to refine your mission and select specific populations to focus on.
The need for home care help for senior relatives in particular has grown. As home care professional Christine Friedberg reflects, “I used to get on the phone and talk with clients about home care being an option for them or for their loved one, but it was like a new concept…For a long time, we were trying to educate the community about what home care was. Demand is greater than ever now.”
Medicare’s Triple Aim program may provide general inspiration for your own company goals. Their three pillars are:
- Centering and improving patients’ experience of care
- Improving health outcomes of patients served
- Mitigating the cost of care for individuals
From a business perspective, working with specific demographics may give you a leg up on funding. Based in Alexandria, VA, Griswold Home Care works with the area’s large population of aging veterans. To reach more of them, Griswold joined the cross-regional VA Community Care Network to provide in-home services to veterans needing extra support at home.
Not only was Griswold able to reach a specific community in need, but the program also helped this local home care business secure funding directly from the Department of Veterans Affairs. “We’ll see anywhere from 5 to 20 hours a week that the VA is covering, in terms of actually contracting with us directly. They pay us directly…so it’s very easy for the veteran to get in, take advantage of this program and take advantage of this care.”
In the home care industry, other demographics include:
- LGBTQ senior citizens
- People with Alzheimer’s
- People living with disabilities
- Non-seniors living with disabilities
- Adults whose first language isn’t English
Keep your demographic in mind as you refine your company’s identity and plan for growth. It will determine the steps you’ll take to fund your business and reach the neighbors who need you most.
4. Your services
The services section of your home care business plan sets the vision for what your business will specifically do. There are two main types of home care companies and services:
- Non-medical home care services – This type of home care business is not licensed to administer medical services or healthcare to its clients. Instead, they provide support, companionship, and home assistance. Services may include driving clients to doctor’s appointments, taking them to the park, or preparing meals.
- Medical home care services – Medical home care providers are staffed by nurses or other medical professionals licensed to administer medical care to their clients.
With the growing need for at-home healthcare businesses, some of the most common home care services include:
- Assistance with dressing, bathing, and using the toilet
- Companionship and diversion
- House cleaning and support with daily chores
- Pet care
- Hospice care
- Continued education for older adults
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescription fulfillment services
- Administering medication
- Tracking vital physical or psychological health
- Senior citizen relocation assistance
- Specialty nursing for a long-term illness or disability
- 24-hour emergency services
Get specific about what caregiver duties you’ll provide your clients, narrowing down your list with the most needed services in your local community. With 1 in 3 U.S. households on Nextdoor, you’ll be able to connect with neighbors, and your most important clients, with a free business page.
5. Your management structure
This section of your business plan establishes the legal status of your company, which affects other details, from the extent of your liability as the owner to how you’ll file taxes.
The most common business structures for home care providers are:
- Limited liability company (LLC)
- Sole proprietorship
To choose the right business structure for you, consider:
- Liability – Every business is financially and legally liable to compensate for injuries committed on their watch. Consult with an accountant to take stock of your personal assets to choose a framework that gives you adequate protection.
- Taxes – Your home healthcare business structure will determine how the profits you earn are taxed, whether through your business, on your individual tax returns, or a hybrid of both. As a general rule, the larger your company is, or the more shareholders it has, the more complex the tax process will be.
- Growth expectations – Whether your home care company will focus on your neighborhood or expand nationwide, your business structure should reflect your desired administrative capacity and set the stage for investors who want to scale alongside you.
While S corporations and C corporations are often better suited for larger-scale companies, it’s possible to change the legal structure of your organization as it grows. Consider hiring experts, like a lawyer and an accountant, to help you with this stage of the process, especially if they have advised other local businesses in your area.
6. Your marketing plan
Show potential funding partners you know the modern home care market and set your local business up for success with marketing goals that cover the following bases:
- Digital marketing - In a job as intimate as home care, any new caregiver business begins on the local level. Sign up for a free business page with Nextdoor to instantly unlock a network of verified neighbors near you. Keep your business page updated with your story, photos, and contact information so local clients can find you and easily get in touch. Introduce yourself, share job listings, and keep neighbors updated on your business with free posts or hyperlocal advertising tools to reach more clients in specific ZIP codes you want to grow your business in.
- Partnerships – Qualified home care providers may be eligible to partner with care networks already plugged into local consumer demand. If properly licensed, apply to enroll as a Medicaid or Medicare partner.
- Word-of-mouth marketing – Since home care professionals are a part of their clients’ and families’ lives, your local reputation will be important. Build trust in you and your services with testimonials on your website and recommendations on Nextdoor. 72% of neighbors there have been influenced by a business recommendation and 71% have shared one. Consider sharing your website and Nextdoor page with former clients to ask them for a recommendation.
Anything that makes your home care business unique, include in this section of your business plan. With a growing population of aging Americans, entrepreneurs are getting creative about the types of care they offer to suit different lifestyles.
Take Dr. Bill Thomas. He thought there should be a senior care option in place of the traditional nursing home so he created Minka, a company that builds small dwellings tailormade for seniors who want extra assistance, community, and autonomy in their advanced years. Says Thomas, “I think there will continue to be congregate housing, but the more choices people find in front of them, the more they’ll find something that suits them best.”
7. Your core financials
The next two sections cover your financial history with projections for your home care business’s future. This will be important for your business strategy, as well as for potential lenders, investors, or partners.
The finance section of your home care business plan should include:
- Income statement
- Cash flow
- Balance sheet
- Expected revenue
- A list of your assets and debts
- A summary of company expenses
- Desired loans
If you plan to enroll as a provider through a network like Medicare, mention in this section of your business plan.
8. Financial projections
This section of your home care business plan is important if you’re asking for an investment of any kind as it covers the funding you’re requesting, what you’ll use it for, and your plan to pay it back.
Financial projections should cover at least three years. Fortunately, the home care industry is slated for financial growth in the coming years. In the U.S. alone, the compound annual growth rate for home health care is projected to be 14.2% between 2021 and 2027.
However you plan to grow your company, speak with your local bank to discuss the full spectrum of financial options before finalizing your business plan.
You can also connect with fellow home care professionals through Nextdoor for more information on the local home care industry in and around your neighborhood. This will help you get a realistic sense of your financial plan and the next few years operating your business.
Your business plan’s appendix is where you’ll include any supporting or miscellaneous information for your business goals that didn’t have a place in the earlier sections.
- The resumes or educational and professional backgrounds of you, the owner, and your core staff
- Medical or non-medical licensing, or the licenses you plan to secure
- Any legal permits your business needs or the ones you plan to secure
- Bank statements, loans, and personal or professional credit history
- Real estate information about your business’ headquarters, if applicable
Make local connections through Nextdoor
As more Americans age, local caregivers are increasingly integral to the health of their communities. An effective home care business plan should tell this compelling narrative, sharing why there’s a need for your services and what you’ll do to fulfill them in your area.
If you’re just building your local home care business, start close to home with a Nextdoor Business Page. Signing up is free, takes just a few minutes, and will help you spread the word, turning your neighbors into your first clients.