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Hire A Startup Expert Now Or You’ll Hate Yourself Later

If you’re considering starting a home care business or expanding the services you currently offer, there’s a lot you’ll want to know first. It’s often challenging to find the right resources and prepare for everything that’s likely to come your way.

You have two options when facing a business expansion or a startup. The first is to go it alone, digging deep until you’ve learned what you need to know. The second option is to work with a startup expert, someone who can guide you every step of the way and help you avoid costly errors.

startup expertWhat Happens Without a Startup Expert?

By choosing the first of these two options, you’re setting yourself up for a long, hard journey.

Let’s take a look at 10 issues that are probable when embarking on a homecare startup or expansion without the help of a qualified consultant.

1. Not Enough Market Research

When you don’t conduct enough—or the right kind of—research, you miss information that’s vital to your success. You may end up with services already saturating your market. Or worse, in a community where there aren’t enough potential clients needing your specific offerings.

2. Little to No Initial Revenue

Starting any business and turning a profit is always a challenge, but even more so for the homecare industry. Organizations must obtain their license, accreditation, or certification before they can charge clients or insurance companies for services rendered.

This process can take upwards of a year in some states. If you aren’t prepared with a cash reserve, your agency could quickly go under.

3. Regulatory Roadblocks

From OSHA and HIPPA to federal, state and accreditation requirements, there’s a lot to master before your homecare organization is up and running. Do you have the time and knowledge necessary to get to the finish line without the help of a startup expert?

4. Insufficient Resources

You will need lots of resources! These include employees, policy and procedure manuals, computer software, and education. Neglecting to prepare with adequate resources before launching is the fastest way to a disastrous startup.

5. Incomplete Processes

When embarking on a startup or business expansion, entrepreneurs must hone their processes for maximum efficiency. Staff orientation, client admissions, emergency preparedness, and quality improvement are areas that require specific attention and detailed processes.

6. Poor Referral Practices

Referrals, whether professional or client-based, are the lifeline of any homecare organization. The first step to starting or growing your agency is knowing where to look for referral sources. Without that, it’s nearly impossible to obtain a steady stream of new clients.

7. Inadequate Marketing Plan

Marketing is perhaps the most difficult task associated with being an entrepreneur. The wrong tactics can end up costing you significant time and money, without garnering any worthwhile results.

8. Insufficient Tools for New Business Lines

Maybe you’ve already stepped foot into the home care industry but now wish to expand your reach by offering a new business line or opening an additional location.

Do you have the ability required to plan, troubleshoot, communicate, and troubleshoot this new venture while keeping your current operation in growth mode?

9. Lack of Support

Support groups are essential to any startup founder’s success (and sanity). If you decide not to work with a startup expert, you won’t know where to turn. State and national industry associations and small business groups are examples of support resources.

Succeeding With a Startup Expert

If this all seems overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. Every entrepreneur has felt the startup stress at one point or another.

The good news is that hiring a startup expert will save you from most, if not all, of these issues. With the right consultant, expect to reap the following benefits:

  • Guidance on choosing a location and the right services
  • Help with obtaining the best resources for your specific agency type
  • Direction on how to obtain licensing and accreditation in your state
  • An effective plan for business growth, funds management, and in-house processes

Work with a startup expert at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting to avoid hating yourself because of the time and money lost by trying to do everything alone. Let our professionals point you toward success right from the beginning!

Contact us or call 206-721-5091 today for your 30 minute free consultation!

How To Get Startup Home Care Business Support

Start up Homecare Business

Whether you’re considering a startup home care business or you want to expand your current services, the road is often paved with speed bumps. You need the right support in order to see your dreams realized. In this article, we’ll discuss how getting help from a homecare expert is beneficial.

Support for Your Startup Home Care Business

Is it possible to succeed in the home care industry on your own? Sure, but there will be many obstacles along the way.

Working with a professional consultant is a sure-fire way to overcome those obstacles with ease and speed. Thereby helping your dreams become a reality faster with fewer expenses and less stress. Here’s how!

1. Help Getting the Required Tools

Yikes, startups must have employee handbooks, forms and the all important home care manuals. The amount of documents needed for running a thriving—and compliant—home care agency seems to be endless. Going it alone means you’re responsible for creating or compiling these documents, and for finding all the information required for each one.

Instead of spending hours upon hours researching, writing, and editing documents, consider purchasing customizable products from a trusted industry expert. A professional who know exactly what’s required for your business and has experience crafting the documents you need. This helps speed up the process for your startup or new business line so you can focus on other pressing matters.

2. Accreditation and State Licensure Preparedness

Before you can open the doors of your startup home care business, you must be licensed and, depending on your business plan, accredited. An experienced consultant leads you in the right direction, helping you with obtaining your license and becoming accredited.

Through policy revisions, on-site evaluations, and mock surveys, your home care consultant will guide you toward 100 percent preparedness for licensure and accreditation.

3. Industry Knowledge and Professionalism

A world of information is at your feet whether you’re brand new in the home care industry or attempting to grow or save your organization. But wading through all the available info is time-consuming and stressful.

Expert consultants gain extensive knowledge through working with startups and expansions of all sizes and types. They’re in the know about regulations for each type of agency and can steer you towards what works and away from what doesn’t.

4. Hiring and Orientation Assistance

One of the most stressful aspects of a startup home care business is finding the right team to support your goals. The hiring and training process is exhausting, but a trusted expert helps you streamline the process. Thus ensuring you hire people who truly fit your agency’s culture.

Once you’ve secured a team, it’s important to provide sufficient training and orientation. The right consultant offers guidance and tools for turning your employees into an elite staff.

5. Software Expertise

Selecting software that meets all the needs of your startup home care business is a crucial part of success. From client care to billing and scheduling, efficient software is paramount. It helps to keep your organization’s operations running smoothly with as little headache as possible.

When you partner with a knowledgeable home care expert, you receive advice and guidance on choosing the software that best fits your agency’s requirements.

6. Help with All Things Coding

Accurate and efficient coding is vital to the success of your startup home care business. When done correctly, it can mean higher reimbursement for your agency, but when coding falters, so does your revenue.

Obtaining a coding outsourcing partner is a great option for making sure there are minimal errors before billing or submitting claims. It prevents you from needing certified coders and provides documentation and coding education for staff. All while ensuring you receive maximum reimbursements!

7. Guidance for Staff Education

Many home care consulting firms, provide compliant, industry specific staff education and training. This education fulfills requirements, enhances client care, improves employee satisfaction, and sets you apart from the competition.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting and Your Startup Home Care Business

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer everything outlined here, and more. Our consultants are experienced, professional, and knowledgeable. And our Chronic Disease University program is the only online continuing education program of its kind.

Schedule an appointment now to speak with one of our experts!

10 Startup Home Care Fundamentals I Wish I’d Known

Whether you’re launching a new business line within your existing home care agency or initiating a startup home care, from scratch, it’s crucial to get all your ducks in a row beforehand. With that in mind, we’ve crafted a list of the ten most fundamentally important factors in pursuing your new endeavor.

Startup Home Care Fundamentals for Success

Startup home care fundamentals go beyond turning on your open sign. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your startup success.startup home care

1. Research

Before you can begin planning other aspects of the startup home care process, adequate research must be conducted.

This includes evaluating the competition in various locations, learning the needs of each community you consider, and settling on a final location(s). Doing this before moving forward ensures your organization is in a position to succeed.

2. Business Plan

This strategy maps out the path your agency will take in order to grow. It generally projects where you want to be in three to five years, as well as the steps and funds needed to get there.

Remember, it can take up to a year to secure your license, certification, and or accreditation. So, ensure your finances allow for this low-revenue period. The U.S. Small Business Association is a great resource for learning more about business plans.

3. Legal Requirements

Complying with regulations are a major part of any startup home care process. Obtaining licensure or certification is overwhelming and time consuming. Therefore, it’s always best to be familiar with and understand all federal and state requirements and if applicable, accreditation standards for your specific business type.

4. Resources

You may be surprised to discover how many resources are needed to adequately launch a new home care organization or service line. In addition to the obvious office space, you must also acquire the following:

5. Staff

A home care organization is only as successful as its staff. Consequently, that’s why it’s important to build an elite caregiver team from the beginning.

Before posting job openings, define the different positions you will needed, write a job description for each, and outline their responsibilities. Upon startup, it may be helpful to find employees who can take on multiple roles until you become more established.

6. Processes and Strategies

Don’t wait until you’re up and running before creating uniform processes for the many tasks happening on a regular basis. Part of startup home care fundamentals is establishing these strategies. Among others, you’ll need to plan for:

  • Staff orientation
  • Client admission and services
  • Billing
  • Personnel records
  • Client records

7. Employee Education

Educating team members is more than simply throwing a training manual at them and sending them into client homes. To really soar, your organization needs comprehensive ongoing training.

Determine what your staff needs to know for certifications and professional licenses, what competencies you’ll test for, and who will be charged with managing the education process.

8. Referral Sources

Referral sources are the lifeline of any successful home care organization. So, your startup process should include learning about all potential sources and determining how you can best meet their needs. Consider the following steps:

  • Understand who they are
  • Learn their service needs
  • Brainstorm how the referral source and your agency can partner
  • Set up recurrent meetings
  • Develop services around their needs

9. Marketing

Marketing is a vital part of any startup regardless of industry, including home care. Develop goals and a plan to meet those goals. Implement all avenues – radio, TV, social media and written materials.

When marketing, consider your services, what sets you apart, and what your referral sources need. It’s often best to bring in a marketing expert to get you started.

10. Professional Consulting

A professional home care consultant is helpful in many areas, from guiding the startup process to helping you maneuver through legalities. Look for a consultant who has abundant experience in all aspects of home care, can provide necessary resources, and is conscientious of your goals.

Startup Home Care Fundamentals and Kenyon HomeCare Consulting

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting is your one-stop shop for all your startup home care needs. Our services include everything from interim management to marketing to policy manuals. Give us a call to learn more.

6 Comparisons: Startup Experts And Successful Television Producers

When we think of the world of television producers, we think glitz, glamour, Hollywood parties, and movie stars. These people are really living the life! We often admire them, and we may even occasionally envy them. But, just like with any career, TV producers don’t experience success without a lot of hard work, plenty of perseverance, and the right skill set.

Comparing Television Producers to Startup Experts

Many of the talents and qualities successful television producers possess can be easily transferred to other industries, especially healthcare. Often, what it takes to make it in the prized world of TV production is similar to what it takes to achieve your goals as a homecare professional. And with years of successful homecare leadership experience, startup experts know the ends and outs of opening an agency or expanding your current operation!startup experts

The Skills of a Successful Television Producer

In television creation as with startup experts, only those who have these skills and the right approach—either naturally or through trial and error—will experience success.

1. Leadership

It takes a lot of people to produce a TV show. As part of this huge team, producers are charged with leading staff and employees in the process and encouraging them to work together toward common goals. If leadership fails during production, the entire project falls apart.

2. Communication

Producers do a lot of communicating, especially writing. They’re able to write quickly and concisely. These are people who can easily command language and relay information to a variety of audiences.

3. Multitasking

When you produce major shows, you’re in charge of a wide variety of tasks. These can vary from small, repetitive assignments to important obligations. Being able to juggle all the undertakings required in a single day makes TV producers experts at multitasking.

4. Big-Picture Planning

Each television episode has lots of moving parts that must work in perfect harmony for a show to come together. But above all these small moving parts, is the big picture. Successful television producers have the ability to see how each piece of the puzzle fits into the finished product.

5. Troubleshooting

TV producers cover all sorts of topics, ranging from wars and disasters to reality shows gone wrong. Successful producers know the importance of staying calm under pressure and how to identify the solution instead of adding to the problem. They’re always prepared with a plan and ready with a workable backup strategy if needed.

6. Marketing Networking

When producers aren’t producing, they’re selling ideas to their bosses. The pitches they make have to be short, sweet, and strong. They can persuasively describe a concept in 30 seconds or less, and because of all their connections, they know when and how to talk the right people.

The Skills of Startup Experts

Like television producers, startup experts are responsible for the success or failure of a group effort. Let’s take a look at how the skills of TV producers compare to a startup professional when helping to launch your new homecare agency or adding a new business line.

1. Leadership

A startup expert possesses leadership skills that allows him or her to guide clients in the right direction without overstepping any boundaries.

2. Communication

When launching a new organization or business line, communication is key. Communicating with agency leadership, your employees, and other community professionals is crucial. The right startup expert can help you learn to communicate effectively.

3. Multitasking

Starting a homecare agency involves juggling many balls at once. Since an industry expert has lots of experience and knowledge, they are very startup proficient.

4. Big-Picture Planning

All the little puzzle pieces of starting a home health care organization can become overwhelming. Startup experts know how to manage all pieces—federal and state regulations, gathering resources, strategy planning—all with your big picture in mind.

5. Troubleshooting

Unexpected issues and delays come up often when you’re in the middle of a home care startup. Startup experts not only prepare for these problems ahead of time, but manage plan B or C if necessary.

6. Marketing and Networking

No startup is complete without the right promotion. Startup experts have the experience and know how to design a marketing plan, create referral contacts and promote your new business.

Startup Experts: Kenyon HomeCare Consulting

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we turn your home care startup visions into reality. Our experienced experts and plethora of resources allows us to take your ideas from start to finish efficiently, so you’re left with a compliant, successful agency.

Reach out to us today and learn more about our startup experts!

Can You Imagine Life Without A Remarkable Startup Consultant?

You’ve taken the plunge and made the decision to expand your homecare organization—or maybe to launch a brand new one. You’ve done your research, chosen a location, and made all the plans. Now the real fun begins!

What is a Startup Consultant?

As a business owner, you know that even the best laid plans fail without proper execution. You understand that having a dream and turning that dream into reality are two completely different things. A lot of people are dreamers but very few are doers. A startup consultant thrives on helping you jump from that first category of people to the second…seamlessly.startup consultant

How exactly does this startup consultant achieve such a tremendous feat? By showing you the ropes, educating you on best practices, and allowing you to learn from his or her past mistakes. But most importantly, by guiding you every step of the way until your journey is complete.

Working with a Startup Consultant to Achieve Success

Humans aren’t meant to always work alone. That’s why throughout history, we’ve formed families, communities, and teams. It’s in our nature to work together and partake in group activities. And for good reason.

You may be perfectly capable of getting your new homecare startup off the ground running on your own, but at what cost? How many hours of sleep will you lose, and how many frustrations will you endure trying to do it alone? How many times will you need to fail before finally realizing the necessity of working with a reliable, qualified startup consultant?

In case that doesn’t convince you, here are three specific reasons to consider bringing in some outside help.

Industry Experience

The best consultants have extensive knowledge of the homecare industry because they’ve completed numerous startups. They work with different sized and types of agencies in varying phases of growth. They know the ins and outs of homecare, from best marketing practices to employee hiring.

This kind of wisdom is crucial to the success of your agency and comes only from working with someone who’s been there and done that.

Expertise in Startups

In addition to understanding the general homecare industry, a good consultant knows how to build a firm foundation for new business. You could consider this person an organizational engineer, designing and planning every last detail necessary for constructing a solid structure.

The best part? Not only does an extraordinary startup consultant plan for the obvious steps, but he or she also plans for the unexpected, advising you on what to avoid as well as what to do during the startup phase.

Familiarity with Regulations

Nothing good comes from misunderstanding the importance of government homecare regulations. Unfortunately, wading through the jargon and the mounds of documents associated with those regulations is often confusing and very time-consuming. Working with a qualified homecare consultant saves you the headache of dealing alone with these requirements.

Also the right consultant is not only knowledgeable about state and federal requirements, but accreditation standards. With their thorough understanding of surveys, consultants can conduct an onsite mock accreditation or state licensing surveys. This helps you be compliant and continue to succeed.

Why Choose a Kenyon HomeCare Startup Consultant?

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, our professionals are well-versed in new agency startups and expansions. We offer a full range of support services to keep your organization moving and growing, including but not limited to:

  • Software selection assistance;
  • Administrative policy and procedure manuals;
  • Community assessment assistance;
  • Recruitment and retention strategies.

Schedule a consultation today to get started on your path to success!

9 Homecare Hacks: An Informative Cheat Sheet For Startups

Embarking on a new adventure in life is always exciting—and usually challenging. You’ll likely need a little help along the way whether you’re starting a new career, getting married, or going down a new path for your existing homecare organization.This article is full of recommendations including a cheat sheet for startups.startups

How to Secure Successful Homecare Startups

Successful homecare startups don’t often come easily. To be sure you’re headed in the right direction, you need several tools. Among those tools? A handy-dandy cheat sheet. Below are 9 hacks you can use to create your own homecare startup cheat sheet.

1. Start with Research

Before you can make plans to move forward with your homecare organization, you should know what you’re getting into. First, consider your location. Is it ideal for the services your agency will offer? Do the clients in the chosen area need those services? Who is your competition? What services and rates do they offer?

In addition to location, research what it takes to run a successful homecare organization. Reaching out to knowledgeable industry experts is often your best resource.

2. Design a Business Plan

Operational systems, policies and procedures, hiring goals—these necessities and more need to be determined before you open your doors or launch a new business line. There are numerous groups and organizations you can join for inspiration and support.

3. Create a Budget

When launching homecare startups, it usually takes six months to a year before you start seeing a profit. Be sure to budget for this time, not only with funds for your personal needs but also money for business expenses. Think overhead, costs to hire staff, business equipment, and required employee education.

4. Get the Word Out

Marketing early and often shouldn’t ever be put on the back burner. It’s recommended to begin your marketing efforts and promote well before the grand opening. Again, seek out industry experts for great ideas on how to most effectively market your new services.

5. Secure Resources

Most successful homecare startups complete this step well before launch day. What do we mean by resources? Mainly, documents needed to run a smooth, competent operation. Everything from aide competency testing kits to policy and procedure manuals should be purchased and customized early to save time and hassle in the long-run.

6. Prepare Your Workforce

Start by hiring the right people, which is much easier once you’ve obtained the best aide competency testing kit. Then provide advanced education for the elite staff who make the cut. This type of training goes beyond the basics and ensures your employees are a step above the pack when providing client care.

7. Form Partnerships

Starting a community business makes you an integral part of said community. As such, it’s important to build relationships with other professionals in your area. Not only does this show that you’re invested in the town, but also benefits your bottom line. For example, in homecare, forging partnerships with doctors, rehab centers and hospitals leads to client referrals.

8. Join an Association of Homecare Professionals

It’s crucial to stay up to date on industry happenings, trends, and news to remain current and compliant. Joining a professional homecare state or national association is a good way to stay knowledgeable and relevant in the industry.

9. Work with an Industry Expert

In homecare, just like as in life, you sometimes need advice and encouragement. Whether you’re expanding your services, it’s your first time launching homecare startups, or you’re opening a new location, support is essential. Working with an industry expert helps you stay on track and experience success.

Finding an Expert in Homecare Startups

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we know what it takes to succeed as a homecare organization in today’s marketplace. From researching a location, to hiring, and acquiring needed resources, we can help with all the steps along the way. Reach out to us to learn how we’ve assisted with numerous successful startups and what we can do for you!



7 Deadly Sins Of Starting Homecare Without Professional Help

Starting a new homecare agency or launching a new business line in your existing organization can be a tricky process. There are layers upon layers of details to handle, and going about it on your own leads to frustration and, oftentimes, failure. In this article, we’ll focus on seven deadly sins of starting homecare without professional help. Many homecare owners unknowingly commit these mistakes when attempting to start a new organization or business line alone.starting homecare

 of Starting Homecare Without Help

No one ever means to sin—it’s simply human nature. But when it comes to launching a new homecare agency or business line, there’s something you can do about it. Here are the seven deadly sins that a professional consultant helps you avoid.

1. Failing to Establish Effective Processes

Without the right procedures in place and easily accessible to all staff, situations can quickly turn into chaos. Start your agency off on the right foot by establishing detailed processes for every aspect of your business.

An experienced homecare professional guides you in the right direction to define and refine which processes will work best for your particular agency type or new business line.

2. Ignoring the Needs of Your Community

Your efforts will be wasted if no one in the community benefits from your services. But it’s not always easy to know exactly what your neighbors need or want. Working with an expert familiar with your area’s demographics and the homecare industry gives a better understanding of which services to offer.

3. Stealing Your Staff’s Future

Of course you don’t intend to steal the hopes and dreams of your team members. But that’s exactly what happens when you fail to provide the best training and education needed to provide excellent care while advancing their careers. To give your staff unsurpassed knowledge, consider an online education program run by industry experts.

4. Breaking the Policies and Procedures Commandments

Part of creating a successful homecare organization is obtaining complete up to date policies and procedures manuals. These manuals must include federal and state regulations and accreditation standards necessary for compliance and superb client care. If you’re not sure of all that must be included to be industry compliant, work with a professional to customize manuals for your agency.

5. Disobeying the Law

Legal regulations are a source of irritation for most of the homecare industry. But they are absolutely necessary to ensure quality care, to weed out any “bad apples,” and to continue to grow your business.

Unfortunately, this is no easy task since each state has different regulations. A homecare consultant knows what’s required in your state and is able to help your agency be compliant.

6. Practicing Poor Ethics

Being ethical in business is always important, but it’s even more crucial when you work with the sick and elderly. Making sure your staff knows the correct principled way to provide client care and what’s improper is vital. An industry expert understands how to help your agency avoid unwanted ethical issues.

7. Being Stuck in Your Old Ways

Probably one of the biggest reasons for homecare failure is the lack of willingness to change. When starting homecare or a new business line, your consultant will guide your decisions, encourages you to be flexible and helps you see how change leads to new opportunities.

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we will support every aspect of your starting homecare journey. From marketing to policies and procedures, we have the experience necessary to prevent you from committing any of these seven deadly sins of starting homecare without professional help. Reach out to us to schedule a time to learn more!

Who, What, When, Where, Why & How Of An Excellent Homecare Startup

Imagine embarking on a homecare startup and not hitting a single bump in the road. Or expanding your services and growing your business to a level of success you never dreamed possible. While it’s nearly impossible not to encounter any issues during a startup or growth process, there are ways to help things run more smoothly.homecare startup

Six Crucial Factors of a Successful Homecare Startup

Whether you’re starting from scratch, adding a location, or expanding your services, to-do lists can quickly become overwhelming. And when that happens, progress falters. Consider the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of an excellent homecare startup, and you’ll be on your way.

The Who

Any successful entrepreneur knows a big part of achieving your dreams is surrounding yourself with the right people. These friends, colleagues or experts encourage, provide advice, guide, and point out when you’re headed in the wrong direction.

How does that relate to a homecare startup? You need a support system to get through the road bumps of this tedious process. Here are a few people to include in that support system:

  • An experienced consultant. Someone who knows the homecare industry inside and out. Assists with planning, marketing, hiring, setting realistic goals and more.
  • Professional referral sources. Medical professionals who provide knowledge, advice and become excellent sources for future referrals. Get to know them by networking.
  • An elite staff. A must have for any leader— a productive, knowledgeable, efficient team.

The What

Now that you know who you need for a successful homecare startup, it’s time to discuss what you need. This is a line of attack— a business plan, a marketing plan, and an operational plan. Let’s break that down a bit.

Getting started on the right foot is all about strategic planning and developing. Begin with market research to determine how you should go about getting ready to launch. Next, create a business plan and include the following:

  • Operational and systems development
  • Methods for staff recruitment, training, development, and retention
  • Marketing plan, support and analysis
  • Branding, website development, logo design, etc.
  • Funding details

The When

When do you start each step of the homecare startup process? The simple answer is now! But to be more specific, start getting the word out about your homecare agency, new services, or new location as soon as you set a launch date. It’s important to get people in your community excited about what you’ll be offering so they can brainstorm ways to get involved.

Next, firm up the specifics of your business plan. Do your research, lay out details, and set precise time frames. The more structure you establish upfront the better. With your plan in place, you can begin looking for experienced staff.

The Where

Determining where your new agency will be located may be tough. You want to make sure the demographics are right and that there’s a legitimate need for your services in the chosen area.

To help with this decision, conduct a competitive analysis to evaluate the competition. Always investigate industry trends and learn what services are needed in your market.

The Why

Remember your “why.” What’s the motivation behind starting a homecare organization, expanding your reach, or adding specialized services? Remind yourself daily of the reasons you’re working hard to reach your goals. Doing this gives the push you need to get a running start and the confidence you need to grow your organization.

The How

The details that could be included with the “how” are vast. But when learning how to complete a successful homecare startup, the key is to take the process one step at a time. Plan thoroughly, spread the word, grow your support system, seek expert advice and then get to work!

Experienced Consultants and Your Homecare Startup

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we know all about the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of a homecare startup or expansion project. We go beyond the basics to give the kind of service that drives your agency toward success, including experience in:

Reach out to us today, and let’s see what we can accomplish together!

3 Pieces Of Home Care Software You Need

A lot of the readers of this blog are starting home care agencies for the first time and have questions about what they need to be successful.  To be candid, home care software is not the first thing that you need.  What’s more important for a start-up is to have passion for home care, authorization to run your business (which varies by state), great care giving skills, and the ability to market and sell your services. If you have these items, you’re on the right track.home care software

Once you’ve made the commitment to get your business going, you need to think about home care software and there are three primary pieces that you need to get in place to run your business effectively.  They are 1) a website, 2) agency management software, and 3) accounting software.  Each of these are described in further detail below:

  • Home Care Agency Website: Your website does several things for you. First and foremost, it helps people find you when they are shopping for a home care service.  Second, it gives you a chance to establish your “brand.”  Once people know about your agency, they will look through your website to learn why you are in the business and to think about whether they should choose you versus a competitor.  Lastly, your website is a two-way communication tool.  In addition to letting you share information about your agency, your site should allow potential clients to express interest in your agency and also allow caregivers to apply to be on your team.
  • Home Care Agency Management Software: This is the home care software that you use to manage your operations.  It tracks your client demographic, plans of care, schedules, caregiver demographics, skills, and availability, and enables timekeeping (generally via voice telephony where the caregivers dial in or via a mobile app) plus tracking of the completion of care plan items.  Lastly, it creates your bills and payroll.  Some of the software also has a component to track your sales process in attaining clients.  This is often referred to as CRM software (Customer Relationship Management). Another feature offered by some of the software vendors is an app for family members to stay engaged in the care of their loved ones (so they can track schedules, see updates and communicate with you).
  • Accounting Software: Accounting software tracks your “receivables” (keeps track of when your bills are paid), and your expenses.  Plus some accounting software also cuts the checks to pay your caregivers and other expenses.  Most agencies use Quickbooks for their accounting software and although Quickbooks has payroll management, a lot of agencies use a different software system for their payroll.

How do These 3 Pieces of Home Care Software Work Together?

At a high level, each of the pieces described above has its own function, but there are some connections that can be made between the three.  A few examples are as follows:

  • Client referrals on your website should go automatically into your agency management software
  • Similarly, caregivers should be able to apply online and go into your agency management software
  • Once a billing period (most agencies bill weekly) is complete, the bills should be pushed into your accounting software
  • Similarly, once payroll is calculated for your caregivers, it should flow into your payroll software to cut your checks

What Home Care Software Should You Get?

Starting with accounting, you can’t go wrong with Quickbooks. It’s pretty affordable, easy to learn and most accountants are familiar with it.  Although Quickbooks is now available on-line for a monthly subscription fee, it would be less expensive to buy and install Quickbooks on a local computer.  Another trick is that you don’t need the newest version (because basic accounting doesn’t change that often) so consider buying last year’s edition.For your website, there’s a wide range of possibilities that you can go with.

The least expensive would be to do it yourself with a subscription service such as those available for $4.99/month.  On the other extreme, you can have a high end web-site design and a content service that publishes new content for you each week and helps optimize your chances of coming out first on Google searches. One such service exclusively focused on home care is available from Valerie Van Booven.  A middle of the road approach is to do it yourself with something like WordPress.  Here at Ankota, we work with website and marketing software from HubSpot, which I highly recommend, but might be too much for your home care startup.

As for Homecare agency management software, this is the business that we’re in and we’d love to have you consider Ankota’s software.  We have all of the capabilities described above including the linkages to your website and accounting software, and we have some highly differentiated features.  The biggest one is that we have a capability, included at no additional charge, that monitors your clients when you’re not there and helps avoid preventable hospitalizations.

The hardest question for you to answer is going to be “why should I choose your agency over the others?” Imagine how many more clients you’ll get if in addition to providing care you can help keep your clients out of the hospital.  To schedule a demo or start a free pilot of Ankota’s software, click here.

Ankota was co-founded by Ken Accardi and provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota’s primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. 

This article was posted by Ken Accardi and first appeared as “3 Pieces of Software You Need for Your Home Care Business” on on Feb 2, 2016 via the Ankota blog.

How To Avoid Becoming A Homecare Startup Statistic

Imagine this…. You’ve launched the homecare startup of your dreams. You’re happy to go to work, knowing you make a positive difference in the lives of your clients every day. Your employees stay on track and follow policies, procedures and processes. You have a steady stream of referrals, both professional and client-based.

Sounds great, right? It’s not just a dream; it can happen – with a little hard work and a lot of determination. Continue reading to learn what it takes to turn your dreams into reality!startup statistic

Don’t Become a Homecare Startup Statistic: Plan Ahead

Before you can start reaping the rewards of your hard work, you must be prepared. To be successful, complete these basic steps before opening your doors:

  • Do your research – Check out the area competition and demographics before settling on a location.
  • Create a business plan – This is obvious, but often gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. It’s important to create a plan that works for your specific situation and meets your established goals.
  • Secure adequate funds – It will take a year or more to start seeing a profit from your homecare organization. Be sure to plan for startup costs like payroll and equipment.
  • Design a marketing plan – Get a head start by educating the community and promote your agency even before you open for business. Join a networking group, start a blog, advertise in local publications.
  • Obtain resources – You’ll need documents like hiring forms and policy and procedure manuals. Secure these customizable resources early to reduce your stress level and save time and money.

Don’t Become a Homecare Startup Statistic: Continue Moving Forward

Once your agency is off the ground and running, it’s important to continue your efforts to avoid becoming a failed startup statistic. Here are five tips to keep in mind.

1. Prepare Your Employees

Employees are the backbone of any business. Hire the right employees from the start and adequately preparing them for their job. This equals less turnover, happier clients and greater profits.

Look for experienced homecare caregivers who are flexible and understand the delicacies of providing care in private homes. Be sure employees are aware of the possible living conditions they may encounter. Situations like clutter, the lack of a clean place to wash hands, pet odor, and no air conditioning are not uncommon.

2. Establish and Enforce Good Processes

To avoid becoming another homecare startup statistic, provide and follow firm policies and procedures from the very beginning. Even the best employees fail without good processes to follow. Successful processes ensure:

  • Compliance with government requirements
  • How and when to contact a supervisor
  • Establishment of caregiver/client boundaries
  • Recognition of signs indicating neglect or abuse
  • Staff expectations (what to wear, time allowed for completing paperwork, etc.)

3. Provide Services That Meet Needs

Continue to meet needs and clients/families/referral sources will seek out your services. This may mean providing specialized services that are lacking in your service area (think chronic disease care) or working with other health professionals to determine how together you can reduce rehospitalizations.

Consider reaching out to various members of your community through advertising, education, or by sponsoring an event. Be visible and part of the community and they will remember you when your services are needed.

4. Work With an Industry Expert

Every worthwhile endeavor in life calls for a knowledgeable, dependable partner. Whether you’re training for a marathon, learning to cook like a gourmet chef, or starting a business, having an expert on your side is a sure path to success.

A partner in the homecare industry helps you:

  • Stay competitive in an overwhelmed market
  • Build new and better referral relationships
  • Navigate the waters of government regulations and accreditation
  • Properly educate aides to create an elite staff

5. Join a State or National Association

Being part of a homecare association provides you with the tools needed to continue your prosperous homecare journey. From ongoing educational support to updates regarding government changes and industry news, the resources you find with an association are significant.

Embarking on a homecare startup is an exciting time. Unfortunately, without the right preparation it’s easy to become the next startup statistic. Take the advice mentioned here and contact us for the best possible chance of success.