The improvements in standards of living over recent decades have combined with advances in healthcare to mean that we can expect to live longer than any generation in the history of mankind. In fact, babies born today will have an average life expectancy of 100 or more.
That’s great news for everyone, but it does mean an increased tax burden and has given birth to the sandwich generation. Pensions currently account for around 20 percent of government spending, with healthcare not far behind at 18 percent.
Increased life expectancy also means that the private care sector is booming. If you want to start a business that is hugely rewarding, gives something back to the community and will also be highly profitable, running a care home ticks all the boxes.
More than just business sense
Anyone who has watched the classic comedy Waiting for God will have seen just what can happen when someone tries to approach an enterprise like this from a purely business perspective. Of course you will need to have a business head on your shoulders and be able to produce a sound business plan and so on. But it is also important to have a good grounding in a caring profession.
If you’ve never worked in the sector before, it pays to take some time at the coal face first. Cygnet Jobs has a good selection of opportunities that will provide the experience and exposure you need before you think about starting off on your own.
Meeting the regulations
The wellbeing of residents needs to be the top priority for both you and your staff, so it should come as little surprise that this is a heavily regulated sector. At the centre of the plethora of regulations lies the Care Quality Commission. You will need to register with this body before you do anything else. They will assess whether you are a “fit and proper person” to run a care home by looking at a number of factors. These include your qualifications, capability, physical and mental health, financial stability and any prior convictions.
Once registered, the CQC will be a useful ally and resource in meeting the other regulatory requirements to get up and running.
What’s in a name?
The private care sector is competitive, so you will need to think about brand marketing as much here as you would with any other business. Central to this is coming up with a name that projects the image you want your care home to convey. Consider including a word like “house,” “lodge” or “court” into the name to convey a more homely and less clinical image.
Deciding on your target market is also important. Will you market directly to potential residents who might be finding it difficult to manage at home? Perhaps part of your strategy will be to reach out to those in their 60s who are thinking ahead and want to ensure their later years will be comfortable. Or, of course, many care homes market to decision makers who are looking for the best care for their parents and grandparents.
Each of these is a distinct segment that will need its own marketing strategy.
*This is a collaborative post