This article was written by Peter Siegel MBA- Founder And Administrator of BizBen.com, reprinted by permission
It's no secret that Baby Boomers are changing our economy in many ways and predictions about how our aging population will impact the future keep rolling in. From a small business perspective, the aging population in the U.S. presents a tremendous business opportunity for an Entrepreneur looking to get in to the senior care business.
Now as I've said in previous posts, this business and industry is not for everyone. While the numbers typically look good and this industry is thought to be recession proof, the truth is in order to be an owner-operator in a senior care business you need to be passionate about the service you provide. So before you even consider what opportunities are available, think about what your role will be in the business and if it means working in a hands-on capacity you need to be honest with yourself as to whether or not this type of work is for you. If you get past that, here are some opportunities that you can pursue to buy into the senior care industry.
Buying a pharmacy is probably something most don't consider an opportunity in the senior care industry but it actually is. As more and more seniors are given prescriptions to stay healthy, the need for pharmacies remains steady. While big chains and grocery stores do hold a big portion of the market share, statistics show that independent pharmacies still comprise the largest segment of the retail pharmacy market.
Is this opportunity right for you? If you are already working as a Pharmacist or in school to become one, it could be a great time to consider buying a pharmacy for sale.
Senior Helpers Franchise
In most every industry you can find a franchise opportunity and the senior care business is no different. The Senior Helpers franchise is another way to get into this industry with the support of a franchise system behind you. Senior Helpers provides in-home senior care which allows their clients to stay in the comfort of their homes but assists their family or caregiver in managing the day to day demands of an elderly relative.
The initial investment for a Senior Helpers franchise ranges from $80,000 to $104,000 and they require an ongoing royalty of 5% of your gross sales. In order to qualify for a franchise you must have a net worth of $450,000 and $100,000 in liquid assets. The business does not require a large office space and can easily operate in facility that is 800 to 1,000 square feet.
Is this opportunity right for you? If you meet the minimum financial requirements, this could be a great opportunity for just about any Entrepreneur. While some of their successful franchisees come from a nursing or medical background, there are others that come from more of a business background.
Buying a residential facility is one of the most common things people think of when they are considering the senior care industry. Residential facilities can be very profitable but that comes at a cost as this is a business that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it does not break for holidays. You have to be prepared for that type of time commitment and understand the staffing demands of an operation such as this.
Is this opportunity right for you? In my experience, people that are most successful in running a business like this have some sort of medical background. It doesn't necessarily need to be in providing hands-on medical care but it is certainly helpful. As the owner you'll be responsible for making sure that the proper care is being delivered to your residents.
In-Home Care Services
Much like the Senior Helpers franchise, there is also the option to provide in-home care services on an independent basis. In-home care can range from everything including actual medical care to helping with errands, laundry and other household chores. There are also some in-home care services that just provide companionship. The nice thing about an independent business like this is that it could most likely be a home-based business that doesn't require office space or a lot of overhead.
Is this opportunity right for you? If you plan to be an owner-operator you must have a desire to work with the elderly. If you don't truly care about their health and well-being you won't be successful in this business.
Many people don't even realize that for profit hospice businesses exist but they in fact do. A Hospice business typically provides end of life care to patients who are terminally ill and opted not pursue further treatment. Hospice services are brought in to make the patient comfortable and assist family with their care throughout their last days.
Is this opportunity right for you? I'll admit this is a tough business to be in. While research shows that it is in demand and that the need for these services will only increase, you have to be very compassionate and be comfortable with being around clients who are going through a very stressful time.