Starting your own personal care assistant business requires an understanding for what others need and what they value in life. Helping others who are too frail or busy to deal with little details of every day living is a growing need in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website indicates better-than-average growth over the next decade for personal care assistants in both professional concierge services and elder care, for example. A personal care assistant may specialize in geriatric care because she has a background in nursing. Education and experience in the nursing field is required to establish a business that focuses on elderly patients. On the other hand, professional services such as running errands or organizing travel arrangements do not require any special education. Therefore, it is vital to select a niche for which you are qualified when starting a personal care assistant business.
Research your niche target market. Decide the clientele you want to serve. For example, do you want to help care for sick people or do you want to cater to other professionals who have too little time to perform every day tasks such as grocery shopping? Making the lives of your clients better must be the goal. Be prepared to obtain different permits and education requirements to work with the elderly. Do your research online and ask people in the community what they need help with.
Create a business plan using the Small Business Administration (SBA) template. It contains all the formulas and sections for any business to get started. Decide how your business will be different from other personal care assistant businesses. Refer to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice website regarding training as a personal care assistant for the elderly. For professional services, you may elect to research other companies that offer to run errands, professional organizing help and the like. Include details about your experience within the business plan.
Buy or rent professional office space or opt to work in a home-based office. The space should be big enough for a desk and an area to meet with at least one client. Display licenses on the wall. Most personal care assistants work from their client's home or office. Therefore, having a laptop and other mobile devices will be fundamental to the operation.
Find out what business licenses are required within your state for the service you plan to provide. This is important for licensed professionals, like registered nurses. Find out from the state and the municipality in which you live or locate your office whether you will need specific licenses, such as a certificate of use. Visit the Business.Gov website to learn of the licenses you need to operate.
Acquire marketing materials for distribution. On flyers or business cards, note specific services offered and any applicable education. Try to get testimonials to publish with your materials. You can use friends and family who know your work ethic.
Set up your accounting software based on the type of personal care assistant business you start. You will need to keep receipts and monitor your travel. You can use basic spreadsheets or purchase software to make it easier to check your finances. For example, you may need a reimbursement column (i.e., gas) as part of your personal care assistant business.
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images