The Local Factors of a Companion Care Business
Companion care isn’t always thought of as an inherently local business. But ask any Visiting Angels® franchisee and they’ll tell you how important local factors can be in our industry. A companion care business in a rural area will operate much differently from one in a suburban community or an urban center. And if you don’t understand the local makeup of your community, you’ll struggle to connect with local seniors.
If you want to start your own companion care business, you’ll need a grasp of these local factors. That means you’ll need to understand the local demographics, economics, geography, and character of your area.
4 Important Local Factors for Any Companion Care Business
1. Local Demographics
When you’re opening a companion care business, local demographics can make or break your business. Without enough local seniors, your community will struggle to support a companion care business. And even if your area has the right demographics, you need to think about how demographics will evolve over the next 10 to 20 years.
Here are a few of the most important questions to ask about local demographics:
- What percentage of the community is currently 65 years old or older?
- How many seniors in your area continue to live at home? How many live alone?
- What percentage of the community will turn 65 years old in the coming years?
- Are these people likely to stay in the area? Will they be seeking companion care services?
2. Local Economics
Even at the most affordable rates, companion care services are a big investment. Even at a single visit per week, companion care costs thousands of dollars per year. So it’s important that you consider the economic health of your local market.
Here are some of the questions you’ll want to ask about the economic situation in your area:
- How do local household incomes break down on a tier-by-tier level?
- Does your area have any economic red flags that could indicate future decline?
- If local seniors will struggle with care costs, how can you make care more affordable?
- If local seniors can easily afford care costs, can your area also support specialized care?
3. Local Geography
Most people fail to realize how important geography is to a companion care business. But it plays a big role in how you administer care and manage caregiving staff. In rural areas, for example, caregivers need to spend much more time driving between clients. It’s also harder for seniors to access basic services, so they may need additional support.
If you’re starting a companion care business, here’s a few questions to ask about local geography:
- How will caregivers get to and from clients’ home for care visits?
- How much time will transportation add to caregivers’ workdays?
- How will you maintain regular contact and communication with caregivers?
- Does the local geography create additional challenges for seniors in your area?
4. Local Character
Character is one of those abstract concepts that’s easy to underestimate because it’s so hard to pin down. But in a business as personal as companion care, you need a strong understanding of community character and local values. Without that understanding, you won’t know what local seniors are looking for from a companion care business.
Here are some questions to help you identify important aspects of your area’s local character:
- What values do local seniors feel most strongly about? How can you reflect these values through your companion care business?
- What are the most common reasons that local seniors resist companion care? What can you do to address these points of resistance?
- How do local seniors want to be treated by companion caregivers? How can you hire and train caregivers to deliver this kind of care?
Thinking about starting a companion care business? Learn about Visiting Angels franchise opportunities near you by calling 800-365-4189 or requesting information online.