There are over 1.5 million residential care facilities dotted across the U.S, which shows there is plenty of demand.
You know how rewarding caring for elderly and vulnerable people is. But you may want to go the extra mile by opening a facility where you can support and offer help to elderly residents. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you are looking for a little direction.
Hit the nail on the head? Luckily, we’re here to help. Read on to learn how to open a residential care facility in your area.
Research the Market
Like with any business venture, it’s important to conduct thorough market research. Figure out whether there is a high demand for residential care in your area, as that will determine if it’s the right career move. You should also work out your target market, so you know how to tailor your marketing campaign.
Receive Training in the Field
Before opening a senior living home, it’s important to have experience in the field. At the very least, you need 40 hours of training and a certificate to prove your credibility. Note, that this will vary between states, so make sure you research yours first.
For instance, if you’re in California, you need continuous training every two years, so factor this in too.
Find the Right Location and Property
Another important consideration is where you’ll open the assisted living facility. Make sure there is high demand in the area and avoid places where there is a range of established homes. Or, if you are set on a specific city, figure out how yours can stand out from the crowd, whether it’s offering a better medical team or healthier food.
Next, rent or buy a property that is large enough for your dream facility. You should also spend time renovating the space so it complies with the state’s health and safety laws. For instance, install grab-bars in the bathrooms and equip each bedroom with a bed, chair, closet space, and adequate lighting.
Plan Your Business
Spend time outlining a business plan for your retirement home. Work out the startup fees and ongoing expenses for the facility, such as your team’s wages, utilities, and medical requirements like supplies and ADL assessment software. Generally, each facility will spend a minimum of $3,000 on each resident, so make sure you have enough squirreled away for emergencies.
Then, once you understand how much it’ll cost, you can work out how much to charge customers and figure out your annual profit. Note, that it’s important to constantly refer to your business plan and update it to keep you on track.
Form a Legal Entity
Once you’ve covered your business plan, it’s time to form a legal entity. This means you’ll fall under an LLC or corporation, which protects you from being held personal responsibility if a resident sues you. If you’re unsure of which is the best option for you, hire a professional service to guide you through the process.
If you haven’t already, figure out how to secure funding. Luckily, you can show banks or investors your business plan, so they know you’re reliable. It’s no surprise that assisted living facilities have high startup costs, which means having a large amount of savings will work in your favor.
Then, open a business bank account and credit card as it protects your assets. Another advantage is it makes accounting and filing for taxes far easier, even without an accountant.
Apply for Licenses
Although this varies between states, applying for the necessary licenses is essential.
At the very least, you’ll need an operator’s license so you can legally open your doors. If you’re unsure, it’s wise to check out the licensing authorities in your state to know where to start. Or, if that still doesn’t help, hire a business attorney who has experience in the retirement home field.
Get Business Insurance
Anyone who runs an assisted living facility needs business insurance. This protects your company’s well-being if an accident or loss occurs. Most facilities have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation as basic coverage.
Build Your Team
Your staff is the face of your residential care facility, so it’s important to thoroughly vet each and ensure they’re the right fit for your business. Aside from the necessary qualifications, you want employees who are great with people and go the extra mile for residents.
It’s wise to start your search early, and it’ll give you more time to find the right individuals for the job. Note that your staffing needs will depend on your budget and your facility’s specifics. For instance, you may need administrative staff, nurses, and even nursing assistants.
Develop a Strong Brand Identity
Because your residential care facility is a business, it needs a strong brand identity. Make it clear why yours provides a better service compared to others in your area. You should also focus on a specific area of why yours is better than the rest. For instance, highlight how your medical team is the best in the country or how you keep residents engaged with an array of activities.
Open a Residential Care Facility Today
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re now ready to open the residential care facility of your dreams.
There are many factors to consider when opening a facility, such as understanding the market and finding the right location. You should also secure funding and spend time developing a strong brand identity. Good luck with your venture!
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