Chatting with home healthcare guru Pamela Taylor got me thinking. What does it actually take to start your own private duty nursing business? In our chat, Pam compares and contrasts private duty nursing with home health businesses. While each business model differs, Pamela helps her clients at NorthStar Medical Consulting figure out which business model suits their needs best and gives them a blueprint to success.
If you’re thinking about starting a private duty nursing business, then take heed of this step-by-step process that will help you build a profitable home healthcare business.
- Do your research.
Psychographics and demographics play a crucial role in your success. Who’s hiring private duty nurses in your area? Is there a need for reliable home care services? Are there any substantial competitors that would make breaking into the business a challenge?
- Figure out your niche.
While your private duty business should offer general services, there are many niches that you can focus on, depending on demand and preferences. Some of these niches include:
- In-Home Medical Care
- 24-Hour Home Care
- Homemaker/Companion Services
- Therapy (Speech, PT, etc.)
- In-Home Nutrition
- Know the competition
Unless you live on a deserted island, I’m willing to bet that you probably have a little bit of competition. Whether it’s Hospice or another small business you should have an understanding of standards of care for your competitors. This can also help you with budgeting.
A lot of entrepreneurs decide to affiliate with a well-known franchise. This has pros and cons. On the one hand, you’ll have brand recognition, on the other, franchises are extremely expensive, and you don’t have the freedom to do everything the way you want. I recommend starting from scratch, even though it might take more effort in the beginning.
- Be realistic about challenges.
There are many challenges that new business owners face. Some of these challenges include competition, expenses, marketing, government policies, and more.
- Choose the right legal entity.
From LLCs, C Corps, S Corps, etc. there are several routes you can take that can impact future growth. Do your own research and if you’re still not sure, it may be beneficial to get some legal device.
- Brand development.
Once you’ve got your business model mapped out, it’s time to start laying the groundwork to grow your brand. This can include logo creation, website development, social media marketing, and other brand development services. Note that it’s a good idea to hire a professional(s) to help with brand development.
- Protecting your intellectual property.
Do you need a patent? What about trademarks or copyrights? Protect your brand by protecting your intellectual property first. Not sure where to start? Hire a lawyer or consultant to give you a hand.
- Professional certifications.
If you’re starting your own private duty nursing business then you need to arm yourself with the appropriate professional certifications. Failure to procure the proper certifications can result in criminal charges. Applicable certifications may include:
- Registered nurse and Licensed practical nurse certificate
- AADNS Certification
- QAPI Certified Professional (QCP)
- Director of Nursing Services–Certified (DNS-CT)
- Legal documents
You cannot start a legal and functional business without the proper legal documentation. This included a business license, business plan, state permit, and a range of other necessary documents that ensure your company is legal and ready to operate.
- Get the capital you need to succeed.
Much like any other startup, private duty nursing businesses are an expensive venture. But to make, you’ve got to have the capital. Whether it’s through loans, grants, or savings, you need to make a financial investment in your own business before getting up and running.
- Finding the right location.
Are you looking for an office to act as headquarters? Maybe your community doesn’t have the right demographics to provide you with business? Location is important and starting your business in the right geographical area can make or break your business in those early months/years.
- Get some manpower.
If you’re not a one-man/woman operation, then take some time to find the right employees. Don’t rush into hiring someone just because you need the numbers. A lot of time and consideration should go into finding the right workers– your business is only as successful as your weakest link!
- Create a solid marketing plan.
Creativity is key when it comes to developing a successful marketing plan. From digital marketing, social media content, networking, and more, set aside some of your budget and time for marketing your new business.
- Develop a corporate identity.
This last and final step may take some time. But as you continue to market your business and win clients, you’ll find that your brand will start growing on its own.
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