As you probably already know, with an aging population there will continue to be a demand for services designed specifically for seniors. This is why a senior home care business will be successful – there is currently a need for such a service in today’s economy and there is potential of long-term business spanning several years if you do it right at the very beginning.
In order to be successful at any business these days, you need to have a few insider tips that can assist you in getting a leg up on competition. Yes, there will be competition in any kind of service designed for seniors. This would include a senior home care business. However, you can get a bit of a kick start if you take advantage of my six insider secrets.
1 – What’s In A Name?
When it comes to any kind of business, the way in which you identify yourself will have a great deal to do with the level of success you will experience. For example, if I were to start a senior home care service I would try to find a name that said a lot without saying it with a lot of words. I doubt I’d see a lot of business if I called it ‘Craig’s Service’ because that says nothing about the kind of service I am providing. The same goes for ‘Craig’s Home Service.’ Sure, it tells you something but not nearly enough.
The business name requires the following elements: it needs to have warmth, compassion, display dependability and describe the actual type of business. It might be a good idea to tack on the name of your city or region as well. So, I would use something like ‘Craig’s Classic Senior Home Care Service of (City)’ or ‘(City’s) Reliable Home Care Service For Seniors.’ You get the idea. Also, before you start major promotion of your business, be sure the name you choose is not already in use or trademarked.
2 – Should You Specialize?
While there is a lot of common sense in providing just a single type of service, it doesn’t hurt to have a variety of extras available. For example, the average burger joint sells more than just burgers. They usually have fries, drinks and some offer meals other than burgers. The reason is that if all they did was sell burgers and only burgers it cuts down on the number of potential customers. You need to think of that as well. In addition to home care you may want to add on senior’s errand service, house sitting, evening home checks, etc. Plus, if you provide additional services it not only increases the potential client base, it makes your business look like one that can do a lot more than one specific job which makes it attractive to customers trying to not have to use multiple services for various tasks.
3 – Can You Promote Yourself?
Once you get yourself set up in business you need to let people know. You can’t expect a lineup of customers banging on your door just because you told the folks at City Hall what you are doing when you went to purchase a business license. This is where you will need to get to know your marketing options. In no particular order, you will need to consider such things as advertising – both in traditional and non-traditional sources – promotional programs and how to reach the media.
Advertising can be in various forms with newspapers, radio, television and flyers being the most common of the traditional forms. Non-traditional advertising is primarily digital so online advertising, such as Google Places, and social media would be the most common. Promotional programs can be such things as signage, program sponsorship within your community to get your name out and giveaways with your name on them such as pens, coffee mugs, etc. Local media could provide coverage of your business start up and that could be a huge help providing exposure at no cost.
4 – Should You Wrap It Up In A Package?
Back to the burger joint example. Why do you think they ‘super size’ or ‘combo’ everything on the menu? That’s for two main reasons. First, it brings a number of items together at a slightly reduced price making them look attractive to customers. Secondly, the extra money spent on a combo is more than what could have been spent on a non-combo meal which puts more cash in the till behind the burger joint front counter and that is the point.
So, with this in mind, I strongly suggest you combine or package services that complement each other and promote them as part of your ‘menu’ of senior home care services. It may mean having to reduce the price a bit to make them look attractive, but it will return dividends in the long run. The way to build you packages are up to you but if you charge an hourly rate, maybe consider offering an extra hour at a reduced rate when so many are purchased at a time or use some other bonus as an incentive.
5 – Will You Sign It?
I mentioned signs as being a promotional tool. When you start putting together your initial advertising and promotion budget one of the top priorities you need to include is vehicle signage. Your vehicle will be your moving billboard wherever you park it so you need to use it like a mobile business card. Go with magnetic signs on the doors – a very affordable option – announcing to the world the name of your business, what the main service of your senior home care business is and contact info such as a phone number and e-mail address. It will bring you business and reach people you may not otherwise through your other promotional activities.
6 – Can You Check This Out?
Further to my suggestion of adding additional services to your senior home care business, one very profitable service is home checks. While you can provide nightly or weekly check-ins on your existing clients, there is a whole different season where this is even better for you and your clients. For seniors who go away for vacation, whether it’s the two week variety or those who disappear all winter to somewhere warm, you can provide a completely different home check service. It can include video surveillance, if you are equipped for that, or just regular physical drive by’s and drop ins to check doors and windows. Regardless of what kind of home check service you decide to offer, it will expand your business in a very good way.
There you have it! My 6 insider secrets to making your senior home care business a success. Good luck. You have found a niche that is going to be very satisfying for you. However, if done right, it will also be very profitable. Plus, I should point out that you will also find a great deal of personal satisfaction in providing services for those who may not be able to do some of these things anymore. While it will generate an income, you also have to realize that starting up a business for local seniors will have a good effect on you as well, regardless of your age as you will be doing something good for someone in need.