Starting any care business is exciting but not always easy. Here are a few things to consider before starting your journey.
Know the market
It’s crucial to know what’s already offered in the geographical area where you intend to offer services. There is likely to be a range, all with varying fees, almost all of varying quality. Just like house buying, there will be a market ceiling of what customers will pay.
It’s also vital that you fall within the right price range for the quality of the services you intend to offer. While regulations are minimum standard requirements that all providers must meet, some will go far beyond them in their service provisions. It’s always worth remembering, however, that a Rolls Royce service cannot be delivered at ASDA prices.
Priced for the market you are in or identifying a niche service with a price to match – or any combination in between – a knowledge of your local market will help you make the right choice.
Know your local authority
There are over 150 local authorities in England, all of which are presently grappling with the new social care funding arrangements. Local authorities work under a broad framework, which is set by central government but subject to very different interpretation, charges and support levels. In effect, they are a second regulator.
If you choose to offer your services as a provider to a local authority, each will have its own approval process and offer contracts in varying forms for a range of services. You will find the information on their website – although as a note of warning: some are easier to navigate than others.
Know the self-funding customer
This ‘market’, depending on the geographic and demographic features of your area, varies hugely with any local authority boundary. Census data will identify areas of relative wealth, but local postcodes are usually known and labelled as ‘deprived’ or ‘well off’. This could determine where you are going to offer your services, and what type of contractual arrangements are available with the local authority area.
It's wise to consider this before a decision on premises is taken, as one of the biggest cash costs as a domiciliary provider is mileage.
Know where to come for help
When it comes to the social care sector, W&P’s experienced team are here to help. Our wide range of services include business start-up support, CQC registration support, ongoing compliance support and complete policy and procedure sets. For more information on how we can help, visit www.wandptraining.co.uk