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How to Start a Homecare Business in Australia [Business Plan]

A home care business is a business that is involved in providing health care or supportive care to individual homes where the patient or client is living, as opposed to care provided in group accommodations like clinics or nursing homes. In Australia, home care providers use a person’s package funding to provide certain home care services. You can charge for some additional services if the person agrees with them.

If you provide government-subsidized Home Care Package services, you must meet certain responsibilities. You must meet quality standards, use a consumer-directed care approach, provide home-care agreements and monthly statements, and manage subsidies, fees, and services.

The Australian Government is the main funder of aged care. In 2018–19, which is the last year for which all data is currently available, a total of $27.0 billion was spent on aged care, including $19.9 billion by the Australian Government.

Steps on How to Start a Home Care Business in Australia

  1. Conduct Market Research

If you intend to start a home care business in Australia, you must make sure you conduct thorough market research. It is important to conduct research because it will help you carry out a detailed study of the problem or concern you intend to solve with your home care business. When you conduct successful market research for your home care business, you will be able to explore the unknown and unlock new possibilities in the industry.

a. Who is the Target Market for the Home Care Business?

The target market for the home care business are adults who are suffering from;

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Spina bifida patients
  • Traumatic brain injury patients
  • Visual impairment patients
  • Elderly people
  • Expectant Mothers
b. Is Home Care Business a Profitable Business in Australia?

Yes, the home care business is profitable in Australia. The aged care providers industry (both home care and residential) made $1.1 billion in profits on an income of $25 billion in 2018.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to home care services.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Home Instead CAREGivers
  • In-Home Care
  • Kinder Caring Home Nursing
  • Right at Home Brisbane Bayside
  • RSL HomeCare
  • Support Care Angels
  • Elite Aged Care Home ServicesCaring
  • Allity Aged Care
  • Avida Care
  • Arcare Aged Care
  • BlueCross
  • Bupa
  • JAPARA
  • McKenzie Aged Care Group
  • Regis Healthcare
  • Uniting Care
  • Angelican Care
  • Southern Cross Care
  • Feros Care
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Home Care Business in Australia?

Yes, and zoning laws require home care operators to follow specific rules and regulations. Zoning laws also provide special requirements designed to address special circumstances related to these businesses. You need to check whether the building is suitable for occupation and use according to the Building Code of Australia classification.

You must also manage waste disposal in line with NSW legislation, licensing, and waste-minimization practices. Please note that in many communities, zoning laws require home care providers to apply for a permit from the city.

This application process allows the city’s zoning department to determine whether the home daycare meets the zoning rules for the community. You must become an approved provider to get Australian Government subsidies through the Home Care Packages Program.

f. Is There a Franchise for Home Care Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for home care. Here are some of them;

  • Right at Home Australia
  • Dial-An-Angel
  • Capital Guardians
  • Afea
  • Medimart
  • Pearl Home Care Australia
  • Home Instead Senior Care
  • Just Better Care
g. What Do You Need to Start a Home Care Business in Australia?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Employees
  • Startup and Working Capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a home care business are;

Creative Home Care Business Name ideas
  • Ryde Care® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Mary® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • ICare™ Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Blessed Hands™ Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Doris Greenish® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Pro Care® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Destiny Helpers® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Becky Bandars® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Comfort Care® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Synergy Care® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Maria De La Rosa® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Pauline George™ Home Care, Pty Ltd.
  • Bridget Decoster™ Home Care
  • Inner City® Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • Madam Comfort® Home Care, Pty Ltd.
  • Universal Care® Home Care, Pty Ltd.
  • Love and Care© Home Care, Pty Ltd.
  • Ready Care™ Home Care, Pty Ltd
  • iCare™ Home Care, Pty Ltd.
  • Good Times® Home Care, Pty Ltd.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Home Care Businesses in Australia?

Even though there are several options (Sole trader, Partnership, Company, or Trust) when it comes to the business structure of home care business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is a Partnership. It is common to consider a Partnership because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.

If you settle for a Company, then you should know that Companies are regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and you must apply for a tax file number (TFN) and use it when lodging your annual tax return.

You will be entitled to an Australian business number (ABN) if it is registered under the Corporations Act of 2001. A company not registered under the Corporations law may register for an ABN if it is carrying on an enterprise in Australia and you must be registered for GST if its annual GST turnover is $75,000 or more.

b. Steps to Form a Partnership
  • Choose a Name for Your Business
  • Form a Partnership Agreement
  • Register Your Partnership
  • Consider Your Taxation Registrations
  • Open a Partnership Bank Account
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Home Care Business in Australia?
  • General Business License
  • Care Giver or County Worker License
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Zonal Permits
  • Director’s License
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Home Care Business in Australia?

You don’t need any certification to open a home care business.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Home Care Business in Australia?
  • Business and Liability Insurance
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • State Permit and Building Approval (for your office)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you have a website)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting a home care business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Home Care in Australia?

When it comes to starting a home care business, the startup costs vary and they could range from AUS$80,000 (if you are opting for a franchise) to over AUS$100,000.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Home Care in Australia
  • Business Registration Fees – AUS$417 – $506.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – AUS$7,300.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – AUS$5,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – AUS$2,500.
  • Insurance – AUS$5,400.
  • Rent/Lease – AUS$35,000.
  • Purchase of Vehicles: AUS$35,000
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – AUS$30,000
  • Home Care Tools and Equipment – AUS$24,750
  • Website: AUS$600
  • Miscellaneous: AUS$2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Home Care?
  • The choice of location you intend to cover
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of office facility
  • Additional service offerings
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost of insurance
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

You don’t need to build a facility for your home care business because you are expected to work in the homes of your clients, but you are expected to have an administrative office.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Home Care Business?
  • Rent and lease (office)
  • Cost of transportation for your caregivers
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Head of Homecare (President) – AUS 45,000 Per Annum
  • Administrator – AUS 36,034 Per Annum
  • Home Caregivers / County Aging Workers – AUS 32,878 Per Annum
  • Account Officer – AUS 35,000 Per Annum
  • Front Desk Officer – AUS 28,000 Per Annum
  • Cleaners – AUS 22,000 Per Annum
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Home Care Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Golden Care™ Home Care, Pty Ltd. is a standard home care business that will be based in Sydney New South Wales. It will be responsible for providing in-home nursing care for all clients. Care ranging from 1-24 hours. We cover a broad range of services, including transport, meal preparation, and caring for clients.

We have partnerships with trusted service providers throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast, Far North Coast, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, Bendigo, and Sydney as well as in various regional areas. All our service providers are accredited and police checked for your peace of mind.

b. Services
  • Assess the patient’s mental status and cognitive (thinking) skills
  • Understand patient’s acute and chronic health issues
  • Discuss common health concerns, such as falls, incontinence, changing sleep patterns, and sexual issues
  • Organize medications
  • Educate the patient about personal safety and disease prevention
  • Explain and recommend adjustments to the patient’s medication regimen to ensure adherence
  • Link the patient with local resources as needed.
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to build a highly successful, home care business in Australia that will provide compassionate and reliable home care services, helping to keep seniors living happily, safely, and independently in the comfort of their own homes.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to create an international model for the home care industry in Australia, we want to project home care as a way to give seniors, and disabled people the support, companionship, and personal assistance they truly need.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a home care center are to provide flexible, reliable options for providing seniors with the support and attention they need to live life to the fullest – while also giving time back to the countless family caregivers who deserve the chance to rest and recharge.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Head of Homecare (President)
  • Administrator
  • Home Caregivers/County Aging Workers Fundraiser
  • Account Officer
  • Front Desk Officer
  • Cleaners

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:

The strength of the home care facility lies in the fact that they have a team of well-qualified professionals manning various job positions in the organization. They are some of the best hands in the state. So also, the location, the business model they will be operating on, and their excellent customer service culture will count as a strong strength for the home care business.

Weakness:

Our home care business is a new business that is owned by an individual (family), and we may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity that will give the business robust visibility and also attract some of the highly experienced hands in the home care services industry.

Opportunities:

The opportunities that are available to home care facilities are unlimited because we have loads of old people who need the care of home care providers in Australia.

Threat:

Just like any other business, one of the major threats that you are likely going to face is an economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. Another threat that may likely confront a home care business is the arrival of a bigger/well-established home care business in the same location where your facility is located.

b. How Do Home Care Businesses Make Money?

Home care businesses make money by charging their clients for services rendered or from medical support from the government.

c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and health-related magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community-based events/programs for the elderly
  • Leverage the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your home care business
  • Install your Bill Boards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills to target areas
  • Contact households, businesses, and every adult in the neighborhood where your home care business will be located informing them about your business and the services you render
  • List your home care in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise your home care business on your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and that all your vehicles are well branded with your company logo et al.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

Our average daily cost will be AUS$29 per hour.

b. How Much Profit Do Home Care Business Owners Make a Year in Australia?

It depends, but available reports show that owners of home care businesses profit a minimum of AUS$156,550 per year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the home care (number of clients they are servicing per time)
  • The location the home care business is covering
  • The management style of the home care business
  • The business approach and model of the home care business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the home care business
  • The number of years the home care business is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Home Care Business?

The profit margin of a home care business is not fixed. After subtracting your overhead, you could make close to 20 percent as profit.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a home care business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in Australia;

  • First Fiscal Year: AUS$340,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: AUS$450,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: AUS$680,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Home Care Business?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to the aging population
  • The demand for home care services in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of home care businesses and other facilities like senior care, nursing homes and sober living et al in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Home Care Business in Australia?
  • Armadale, Victoria
  • Adelaide SA
  • Burswood WA
  • Hawthorn East, Victoria
  • Osborne Park WA
  • Perth WA
  • Sydney New South Wales
  • Melbourne Victoria
  • Bondi Beach NSW
  • Brisbane QLD
  • Surfers Paradise Gold Coast QLD
  • Southport Gold Coast QLD.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Home Care Business?

When starting a home care business, you will need office and nursing equipment, first aid kits, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, an emergency preparedness kit, and an emergency plan.

In setting up a small office, you will need a computer, printer, software apps, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine. These machines, tools, and instruments can be purchased as fairly used especially if you have limited finance to meet your budget.

  1. Hire Employees

As regards the number of employees you are expected to kick start the business with, you need to consider your finance before making the decision. When it comes to starting a standard home care facility business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals; head of business (you can occupy this position), administrator, medical home health caregivers, front desk officer, and cleaners.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no home care opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

With a proper launching of the home care business, you will inform people in your city that your home care business is open for business.

a. What Makes a Home Care Business Successful?
  • Ability to attract clients regularly
  • Disciplined and dedicated workforce
  • The heart to serve
  • A good relationship with stakeholders
  • Good care techniques and programs.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Home Care Business?
  • The home care business is open for the day
  • Caregivers are briefed in the office (in some cases though)
  • Caregivers are sent to homes where they provide home care services
  • Marketing/website upkeep
  • Administrative duties are carried out
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Home Care Business?

Here are some of the skills and experience you would need to build a home care business;

  • Good managerial and human development skills
  • An interest in helping other people, regardless of their condition.
  • The ability to communicate clearly and sensitively when talking to people and their families.
  • Good listening skills.
  • Great problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt and act accordingly to situations.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Experience working as a caregiver or social worker
  • Experience in the home care industry
  • Experience in home care administration.