Anthea Taylor, Assistant Editor at BusinessesForSale.com, offers her tips on what to look out for when buying a care home.
With a rapidly aging population, there are increasing opportunities for entrepreneurs within the care industry. Buying a care home is an investment with plenty of opportunities to grow and expand.
Choosing the right care home, however, can be tougher than you think. The process is far more involved than simply buying the right real estate. You will need to ensure that the business that you buy meets regulations and will be able to see future growth once you have taken over.
Get very familiar with the sector
Most importantly, you need to be sure of what it is that people are looking for in a care home and whether or not the business that you buy will be able to provide this.
Doing as much research as possible on the sector is the first step. Once you are certain that you have a clear picture of the care industry, you will need to identify what it is that you want your care home to provide.
The Care Standards Act should form a large part of your research into the sector. Become familiar with what the minimum requirements are.
Any business that you consider buying will need to meet these standards. Before you buy a care home, carry out significant due diligence in order to ensure that the regulatory standards have been met.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an independent regulatory commission that can assist in guiding you. It is a valuable resource that can help you to ensure that your potential care home meets the regulatory standards for this sector.
Any care home operation in England will need to be registered with the CQC. The CQC will make sure that your care home is safe, effective, caring, well led and responsive to the needs of the residents.
Find the right staff
This sector, more than most others, relies on the expertise of the staff. The success of your care home will be reliant on the people that you have working for you and the service that they are able to provide to residents.
When you are looking for a care home to buy, consider who it is that is working there. Are the staff well trained and amiable? Are they the people that you would want to care for you if you were a resident in the care home?
The administrative staff are as important as the care givers. Consider where your strengths lie and where you will need support from capable staff.
Know your residents
Before you buy a care home you will need to understand who the residents are. A care home can provide a range of different services and you will need to know which of these any prospective care home provides.
Be sure of whether the residents are principally funded by the local authority or if they are privately funded. You will need to review any contracts and have a clear understanding of what the terms are.
Lastly, you will need to make sure that you are investing in a care home for business and passion. Even if you find the ideal care home to buy, you will need to have a desire to make a difference and want the best care possible for the residents.