You will have a clear, concise idea of what the business is about and how the founder and current president, [owner name], intends to start, grow and continue strong and steady growth.
The purpose of a business plan is to create a plan, a blueprint or roadmap on paper to follow. It’s for you to really think through how your business will operate and about areas of the business you haven’t thought about. You’ll be most successful when you put in the effort and really THINK about it. Your goal is to develop a fairly simple plan first to start your Home Care Agency which often is enough for most small businesses getting started using their own capital. If you’re seeking one or more investors, a different, more comprehensive plan will serve you better with much more consideration in which case.
The Executive Summary is a summary of the highlights of your business plan. While it appears first in the layout of your plan, most find it easiest to complete the Executive Summary last. It should be succinct and no more than 2 pages.
The Business Description provides a complete overview about your business idea/concept/ service/ etc. It differs from the Executive Summary in that it goes into detail about the description. Challenge to yourself to truly THINK about what you see your business described as. Your business should be unique, differing from your competition. Describe who, what, why, where and how it’s different. Use the example to help get you started.
Your Home Care
provides [medical / non-medical] care services to [elderly, disabled and people of all ages physical conditions and cognitive abilities] who would like to remain living at home, yet require assistance with certain daily or weekly activities. Working closely with clients and their families we provide personalized assistance in client’s own home, the hospital, long-term assisted living facilities and other places of residence with things like:
- Warm Companionship
- Meal Preparation
- Incidental Transportation
- Light Housekeeping
- Errands & Shopping
- Medication Reminders
- Laundry & Linen Washing
- Recreational Activities
- Personal Hygiene & Dressing Assistance
- Senior Information Resource
- Alzheimer’s care / Dementia care
- Respite Care
Home Health Care Services (Medical)
- Professional Nursing
- Personal care
- Senior care
- Pediatric nursing
- IV therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Alzheimer’s care / Dementia care
To be known as the crème-de-la-crème of home care providers in our market, providing the very best, first-rate care to clients in our geographical market by employing only proven, hard-working, professional, honest, compassionate and ethical home care providers in the market who are dedicated provide outstanding home care services and improving the quality of clients’ lives.
To assist every client with improving their quality of life, encouraging independence and allowing them to be comfortable with excellent care in their own homes by providing first-class, professional care with respect, dignity, compassion, the highest ethical standards and honor
What makes your home care agency services/products better than all the others? This shouldn’t be price – it will be difficult to defend and by differentiating yourself solely by price, it sets your business up as a commodity driven service – often suffering with poor service in lieu of charging a fair price for excellent services.
What does the home care industry look like? Are there trends in your geographic area? What do your target clients buy, eat, education, income, habits, health levels, lifestyles, etc. The more detail you have the better your chances of success. This is an opportunity to find a specific niche that may be present in your own backyard. No example is provided in this area because you should know this. If you don’t – you need to do the homework to know and understand your market and the industry if you plan to enter it.
Who are your competitors? Specifically, by name, location, age of the agency, what they specialize in and how they are different from you. What market share do they have? Are there any other service companies that could be considered competitors? (i/e: really inexpensive care homes, private caregiver market, etc). Even if there are no “direct” competitors, there will ALWAYS be some that are close
How will you get your product into the marketplace? Think of non-conventional (viral Marketing) methods that are cheaper than traditional (TV, radio, print) and have a higher Impact. Examples:
Networking –meeting people and creating the relationships with the many faces who refer clients to various home care service providers. By attending the opportunities for networking, meeting business leaders and more.
Website. Develop an informative website and will include the website address in all online and offline marketing collateral.
Press Releases. Work with online press release distribution firms to generate awareness of our services by issuing press releases to leading search engines and online news sites.
Social Media Marketing. Promote your agency on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels that may be frequented by your target market. All social sites will be used to generate a buzz about your services and build your agency’s image. The goal is solely to build connections with the health care industry and consumers and convince them to avail your services.
E-mail Marketing. Implement an e-mail marketing campaign to target local health care facilities and professionals that could provide client referrals to agency.
E-mail Program. Regularly distribute a newsletter to highlight new services, employees, agency certifications and home care industry news. Include links to lure subscribers to visit your website for further information.
- Cold Calls. Develop a list of local health care facilities, senior organizations and social centers to cold call in an effort to gain client referrals.
- Brochures/Flyers. Develop informational (postcard) brochures and flyers and distribute via a targeted direct mail campaign.
- Press Releases. Share press releases highlighting news about our agency to print news outlets in our target area.
- Business Cards. Distribute business cards in high-profile gatherings and share them indiscriminately to spread word of mouth regarding your services.
- Exhibitions. Participate in health care industry trade shows and events hosted by senior organizations and other relevant industry events, workshops and seminars to generate buzz about your agency.
- Organization Affiliation – Joining local and regional organizations like Health Care Industry Orgs, and Insurance company orgs.
- Public Speaking – By speaking to organizations, senior centers, doctor, nurse and discharge planner meetings, etc. we’ll become seen as experts in our given niche.
Business & Health Fairs – Attending and showing the presence at these shows brings more
Barriers to Entry
What will stop you from entering your market place? Regulations, competition, cost of entry, monopoly, syndication? Also, how will your setup your own barriers to entry for other potential entrants into the marketplace?
State and county laws can thwart certain services from being provided by increasing the requirements and certification levels. Are there any present in your area? Maybe it’s obtaining the State Survey sign off or Medicare certification. List the obstacles that could keep you from getting started and growing.
How will you get your services/product to your market? For example – if you cover 3 counties – how will you manage logistics? Who will provide the care? Who will do the follow up visits and ensure care quality? Will you team with another company that provides a complimentary business where you can team with one another?
Often this can be the most important part of your business plan. Who else believes in the idea of you entering the home care industry and the experience of your team in the various areas? (Technical, business, marketing, operations, HR, etc.)
You will initially hire four staff members to manage the agency’s operations. Each hired staff member will meet the state of Colorado educational and training requirements. Additional recruiting will occur as the agency enters the expansion phase.
Organizational Hierarchy (example):
- CEO/ Administrative Director
- Administrative Assistant
- Home Care Aide
The Administrative Director will be responsible for planning, implementing, organizing, and developing in-home care services. This work includes, but is not limited to: operations administration, community/client education and staff supervision. This individual also will assume all social work services during the agency’s initial phase.
The Administrative Assistant will perform routine clerical and organizational tasks. This individual will organize files, draft messages, schedule in-home care appointments and support other staff.
Home Care Aides will administer in-home client services. These individuals will assist with activities such as bathing and dressing, and will provide services such as light housekeeping, errand services, personal care and companionship.
Insert all the financial projections and forecasts here. Cash flow, income statements, balance sheet, as well as start-up income required. This is arguably the most important part of your business plan, spend plenty of time on this and be able to justify any assumptions.
Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
Consider the conditions in which your service business will operate. What are your Strengths and Weaknesses? These are internal (team, company, service). Opportunities and threats are external (local, regional and national market place, trends, etc.)
- Comprehensive Home Care and Geriatric Services. Custom home care and geriatric services aimed at enabling staff to deliver reliable, responsive care.
- Experienced, Well-Trained Staff. Staff members will undergo initial and continuing education and training programs required by the home care industry.
- Long Operational Hours. Provide service during normal business hours and also will be available for on-call emergencies 24 hours, seven days a week.
- Lack of Brand Identity and Image. As a start-up business, currently lack a brand identity and image. Will need adequate time to create awareness of your agency.
- Low Staffing Numbers. Professionals hired to manage the agency’s initial operations will be experienced, yet you may not have enough staff to effectively cover the needs of the market. This could cause slow growth of your operation, which management could not afford.
- Small Marketing Budget. A sizable marketing budget is required to get the most out of the agency’s initial launch. Anticipate needing a larger budget to make a substantial impact on the market.
- Growing Market. The home care market is rapidly increasing which presents extensive opportunities for new agencies entering the sector.
- Aging Population. As the U.S. population continues to age, the demand for personal home care and companionship is expected to significantly increase.
- Affordability and Comfort. Home care services are less expensive than nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Studies show that most people would prefer to receive care in their own homes versus a facility or hospital.
- Expandable Business Model. Home care agencies have the ability to expand into other markets as consumer needs grow.
- v Local Competition. Several local competitors have national, well-recognized and trusted brands.
- v Professional Staff. Recruiting, hiring and retaining quality, professional staff pose substantial risks. You will conduct extensive candidate research and background checks to eliminate some of the risks associated with employee recruitment and retention. Because studies predict patients will outnumber caregivers in the near future, you will need to position the agency as an attractive place to work with competitive and fair pay and benefits.
- v Business Cash Flow and Funding. While the owner is using personal cash flow to cover start-up expenses, continuing to maintain adequate cash flow and solicit funding from outside sources presents a challenge you must overcome to succeed.
- v Regulatory Changes. Federal health care laws like the Affordable Health Care Act and changes to Medicare and Medicaid payments can greatly affect your agency. In addition, state home care aide certification laws also could impact your business.
Goals and Objectives
What are your overall business goals? Your financials should include a lot of the income and expense goals. These goals/objectives are about identifying what you plan to accomplish with your business. It could be as simple as create a new career of owning a business or more in depth like using 10% of net profits going to a certain cause you believe in. The possibility of these things
Critical Success Factors
What needs to be achieved that will enhance chances of your agency’s success? Identify what the possibility of these things happening are.
How will you (or any investors) exit out of this project (if you want to) and make excellent return or to move onto your next “big idea”?
What future plans do you have for your services (and products, if any)? As your company grows, what other plans do you have for your services? Do you want to grow into a regional or state-wide provider? Maybe you want to expand into medical and non-medical. The sky is the limit to what you’d like to do.
Add any additional information here that may not fit into the sections above (quotes, Recommendations, statistics, etc.). Your completed financials & projections should be included in the Financial Projections, however, you could place them in this section.