According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice about 7.6 million people receive home care at an annual cost of $57.6 billion (in 2007). These people require care because of acute or terminal illness, disability or long-term health conditions. While they have the option to be in the comfort of their own homes, the doctors and hospice resources don't provide the equipment needed to be cared for at home. You can help by starting your own home health care supply rental business.
Make a plan for your business. Will you specialize in specific health care supplies, such as diabetes testing equipment or generalize, providing a wide range of supplies? How will you provide home delivery and set up? Can people visit your place to pick up equipment (will it be similar to a store or will they need an appointment). Outline how you vision your business will operate.
Find office space. You'll need a space large enough to organize and house your health care supply equipment. Because of the nature of your business, you'll want easy parking and access to your office, including ramps.
Get required permits and license. You can contact your city or county business office for information on obtaining a license or permit. Also, set up your business structure (e.g. LLC), obtain business insurance, establish your prices and create contracts and forms.
Obtain your supplies. Find a wholesale supplier and purchase items you'd like to rent. Create a business plan to get bank financing or investors if you need money. Or perhaps the wholesale company will extent credit on the items you buy. Learn everything you can about the equipment you buy so you can explain how to use them to your customers. Because some equipment is large (beds) you'll also want a truck to transport equipment.
Get necessary information about filing health insurance claims for rental costs. While many people will pay for the rentals out of pocket, some will be eligible to have insurance pay for it.
Create a marketing plan. Who are the people in need of renting your equipment? Are they recently out of the hospital? Do they suffer from specific ailments? Are they of a certain age or gender? Once you've identified your market, find out where you can reach them. Can you network with local doctors, hospitals and hospices for referrals? Where would your target market spend free time or what would they read that you can put information about your business in front of them?
Open for business. Jump start your business by sending a press release to local media. Contact medical professionals in your area and invite them to tour your store. Implement your marketing plan.
Make sure you have enough insurance to protect you in case of injury on your store premises or in using your equipment. Have a lawyer draw up or check your contracts, which should outline liability issues when using your equipment.
- Make sure you have enough insurance to protect you in case of injury on your store premises or in using your equipment. Have a lawyer draw up or check your contracts, which should outline liability issues when using your equipment.
Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.