Due to a burgeoning elderly population in the US, in the last decade the elderly care ecosystem has been flourishing – be it home healthcare businesses, or software for running a home healthcare business or even manufacturing companies specializing in products for the elderly like mobility aids and balancing aids.
And, where there is demand, typically we see consulting companies quickly filling up the gap that may exist between industry knowledge level and start-up companies willing to cater to the demand.
This article will discuss the benefits of engaging a consultant and the services that the best home healthcare business consultants offer in this domain.
Who are Home Healthcare Business Consultants?
Home healthcare business consulting companies are typically started by people who have considerable experience in this domain.
While entrepreneurs like you will know the nitty-gritty of starting a business, we recommend you hire a good consultant to understand the industry-specific nuances, which may be make-or-break for your business.
Often the difference between success and failure in a crowded business domain boils down to subtle distinctions between industries that only a veteran in that industry will be able to point out to you.
Further, consultants who have worked successfully in the home healthcare space for long may be helpful in expediting the licensing and certification processes with the right contacts.
What to Look for in a Good Consultant?
Years of Expertise: One of the most important yardsticks by which you can define or filter out good consultants is the number of years of service that the company has completed in this domain.
Suspicious companies are generally short-term operators, and so are companies that are inept in that field – it is unlikely that they will last for a considerable amount of time.
Also, the more the number of years in operation, the more online and local footprint the company will create (including its customers), making it easier for you to evaluate the company and the projects that it has undertaken in the recent future.
Policy Expertise: If you are in this business, you should be prepared to adhere strictly to the government policies in this domain. These are stringent policies to be rigorously adhered to, for the benefit of the elderly.
Home Health policies are a tricky aspect of this business and every state in the US, every Accrediting Body, Medicaid, and Medicare programs will have their own onerous policy list to adhere to. The right consultant will help you set up the processes for continued adherence to these policies.
Consultant Profiles: A consulting company is as good as its consultants and employees. So, it is important for you to assess the profiles of the top consultants in the company. And the number of years of experience the consultants have in the home healthcare business domain.
Website Content: A good consultant should have a detailed website with a lot of content that should be helpful to the target segment – in this case, the entrepreneurs looking to set up a home healthcare business and the elderly who are in need of that service.
The preliminary information is likely to attract more customers like you to the website, who may then get converted to paid customers. It is also a sign of the depth of knowledge of the consultant and indicates that the consultant can add real value to your business.
Industry Contacts: Industry contacts are another strong indicator of a good consultant – somebody who is in this line of business for long will likely have good industry contacts which are often helpful in expediting licenses and certifications for your business.
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Which Companies Offer Consultancy for a Home Healthcare Business?
Again, we will stress on the fact that you should engage industry veterans or experts if you feel the need for hiring consultants in your business area.
While generic consulting companies may also offer this service, a company that has home healthcare capability will be your best bet and help you get the most bang out of your bucks.
We discuss a few of the better ones below. We also consider it our responsibility to warn budding entrepreneurs against suspect consultants with negative or disputed reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, which is a non-profit organization with the mission of furthering trust in the business ecosystem.
Certified Home Care Consulting (BBB rating: 5 across 2 reviews): The company offers a host of startup programs for the home healthcare and allied sectors including home care, home healthcare, Hospice, Medical Transportation, and Adult Foster Care Homes.
The company is quite an established entity in this domain and also provides marketing and training support for healthcare startups. The company also provides thorough support in obtaining the licenses and certifications.
Emmanuel Consulting Agency (BBB rating: 5 across 3 reviews): The Emmanuel Consulting Agency is a 5-year old business, based out of New York and provides services in the areas of Start-up home care business consulting, operational management and optimization, developing strategic plans and content creation, and professional coaching and consulting.
The company offers a premium non-medical home healthcare start-up consulting package for $15,000 which includes licenses, policy adherence, and designing of systems to continuously adhere to them, web design and logo design, as well as marketing materials and campaigns.
A different offering is the signature CEO membership for home care or home healthcare business owners at $995 per month which entitles you to receive consulting on any area of your business. Both the plans offer flexible payment solutions and you could also negotiate customized consulting offerings.
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Startup Home Health Consultant (No BBB rating): Startup Home Health Consultant Inc is founded by Maria Santiago who has 17 years of experience in this space.
The company mainly specializes in licensing, permits, accreditation, compliances, and certifications in this domain. The company has published a list of recent clients on its website, which is a sign of confidence and transparency as you, as a potential customer can always check with recent clients about their experience with the team.
Wisdom Health Academy (No BBB review): The Wisdom Health Academy provides consultancy services in the areas of Home Care Addition or Home Care Start-ups as well as Home Care Nursing services.
The company is an expert in the licensing phase and can provide state-specific value addition so that your licensing documentation is foolproof the first time. The owner of the company has significant experience working in the home healthcare space.
The company does not offer marketing or hiring services, though it offers plans to train your staff.
21st Century Health Care Consultants: While the above are reputed companies, we thought it worthwhile to look up the consulting company called 21st Century Health Care Consultants, which come up as one of the first results on Google.
Unfortunately, there have been frequent complaints about the company on the Better Business Bureau and the company is present online at multiple addresses – some of which are 1stproviders, homehealthcareconsultants, 1staccreditation, etc. You may also find the BBB complaints on the company on this page.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Reviews
Suspect companies will mostly have negative reviews in the BBB database, where customers are likely to file a complaint if they have not been provided with the promised services which were offered for an upfront payment.
Whichever consultants you decide to go along with, we recommend you check the BBB website for any possible fraudulent activity.
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What Services does a Home Healthcare Business Consultant Offer?
While most consultants will have a full range of service offerings, right from setting up your company to licensing, helping you with hiring and training your staff, and marketing your business, these companies also typically offer a subset of these offerings based on your needs.
So, if you think that you would want to assess the business potential, you may hire the consultant to develop a business plan for you and after you have taken the decision for starting up in this domain, you may decide what services you would want to go with.
We recommend you to engage an able consultant for the licensing, permits, Medicaid and Medicare registration processes, and certifications at the minimum – because these companies, having worked for a long time in this space will have the necessary experience to help you get it right the first time and the industry contacts to expedite the process.
Should You Go with a Franchising Model or Hire Consultants?
This question must have crossed your mind if you have been thinking of setting up a home healthcare business.
While the consultant will offer services to get your business up and running for a fixed fee, a franchisee model also requires you to pay a fixed franchise fee to the umbrella brand for providing training and brand equity.
Moreover, it provides you with an established business model and hence, lowered risk. Having said that, in a franchise model, you also need to pay a percentage of your revenues as royalty which is a recurring cost.
And in return, you may get a steady flow of customers as the brand-building exercises of the main brand helps you to get on your customer’s radar. So, it will help you reduce your marketing budget.
Having said this, we recommend that you closely assess the fees that you will be paying in each of these options and assess your own abilities to market your business.
If you are a seasoned entrepreneur, you may have the marketing resources and capability for building your client base from scratch. In which case hiring a consultant and building your business from scratch will be the better option.
Otherwise, going with the franchise model may be the better option, where you get to leverage on the brand’s goodwill and marketing assets.
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Finally, before contacting the home healthcare business consultant it is important for you to understand and decide about the aspects of your business that you would need assistance with.
Typically, consultants will have a complete program, however, it will help you negotiate for a better rate if you are able to conduct or complete some of the activities on your own. As a start-up, this may save you critical funds, which you can more efficiently use elsewhere, for example, in your initial marketing budget.