The Highs and Lows of Owning a Home Care Business
Listen to the HomeCare Hub podcast now:
Rookies and seasoned veterans agree – owning a home care business can be an amazing ride.
Home Care Rewards
“There were a lot of highs and there were some lows,” said Teresa Steinfatt, vice president of business performance with the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN). “When you own your own business, you’re controlling your own destiny. The personal growth and satisfaction you get out of learning to own and operate your business is just so rewarding.”
A home care franchise owner in Richmond, Virginia, for 23 years, Steinfatt said one of the best things about senior care is the ability to connect with very special people.
“You build so many relationships with your caregivers, with your clients and with your internal team,” she said. “We would only hire those folks that truly had a passion for what we did. They really had to believe in what we were doing, because we were constantly going above and beyond. You have those days, weeks and months when you’re struggling, so I would remind myself at the end of the day why I was doing what I was doing – it was the love for the client, the care for the caregivers and knowing that we were making a difference in our community.”
New franchise owner Juli Gray agrees. She and her husband Ryan own and operate the HCAN franchise that serves Douglas County, Nebraska – opening their doors just about a year ago.
“I have to echo Teresa and what she said about relationships – they have been amazing – with the clients, with the people in my office, with client families and with my care advocates,” Gray said. “I just love that aspect of the business.”
Home Care Challenges
While there are many rewards, Steinfatt and Gray admit they also have to navigate a few challenges.
“One of the lows I personally had is that you’re losing clients all the time. Some you’ll have for six months, and some you’ll have for six years. So, there are relationships there. It’s tough with those losses. You’re dealing with sickness and death on a regular basis,” Stienfatt said. “Also, any business owner in the home care space has to recognize that caregiver turnover will always be a challenge.”
“For me, when there’s a low, it usually has to do with the client to caregiver ratio,” Gray said. “When that’s off, it can be really hard and stressful, but we always get through it. You hire more care advocates. You give employees more hours – get them out there caring for people. It always seems to balance out, but it can be a little hairy at times.”
As more seniors want to age in place, the need for qualified, compassionate caregivers will continue to increase. To meet that need, Steinfatt says it’s important for home care business owners to maintain a strong culture and a create a vision statement that will guide the team.
“It’s important to have a roadmap that everybody can focus on,” she said. “Whether you’re a brand new business or a tenured business with 200-300 caregivers, the scenario is the same. It’s all about how you manage the highs and lows. You have to train your team to know it will all work out.”