Elder Care Business in 2009 – Opening and Marketing Your Dream

I love the start of a new year. It brings to mind that the possibilities are endless, and for many of us, it’s a great time to start something new or different in our lives.

I’d be a rich person if I had a nickel for everyone out there who has decided to open a new in-home care agency, open a professional geriatric care management practice, or start some sort of elder care business. (I get a call or email about this at least 3 times per week consistently!)

What I know for sure is that there is plenty of business to go around. As we live longer, as our parents and grandparents live longer, we create an unlimited opportunity and need for senior related services.

The key is to create an appropriate and realistic business and marketing plan that generates clients and results. The key to the senior market, is not surprisingly, their adult children.

If you have been in the senior market for any amount of time, you know that families often contact senior service providers when they are in crisis due to an acute illness or other event that signals the need for services and support.

So whether you are just starting a new senior/elder care business, or already own one- think about marketing to more than just seniors. Your target audience may be a little younger than you imagine!

Consider some of the other things we have talked about over the last few months:

o Issues related to senior living options, senior care options, and financial issues that affect seniors require education, so educate your prospects.

o Advertising with vanity ads and the “same old thing” is “OUT”, and offering information in the form of a free report, CD, seminar, or consultation is “IN”.

o Directing messages to baby-boomers who HAVE aging parents is key. Finding them is not as easy as buying a “list”.

o Understanding financial options for seniors is a MUST for all senior service providers. It’s impossible to offer good advice to a family if you aren’t up on the latest programs and strategies.

o Networking is possibly the most effective and least costly form of advertising and marketing. You should attend only the networking events that make sense for your business. Pick 2-3 key groups and stick with them. (But try as many as you can, it never hurts to check out a new group!)

o Finally, when you are budgeting for your marketing, budget for consistency and frequency, not the big bang. This market does not work like that.

o The reality is that you must touch a consumer 6-10 times- either through print, radio, or TV, in order to get a response. o Running a radio ad 4 times and pulling the ad because you didn’t get a phone call is not the way to execute a marketing strategy.

o This is a sensitive subject for many (long-term care needs), so in short order you must articulate your message, interrupt your target (ie get their attention), engage them, educate them, and then make an offer.

o Offering something for free- your time, your printed report, your audio CD, etc, will get the most response. Some people like to remain anonymous…so let them, but engage them.

Finally, this is a very good year to live your dream, be an entrepreneur, and serve the greatest generation of all time. Take a realistic, slow but steady and consistent course of action, and you will succeed! We need more senior service providers who really know their stuff. We need senior service providers who are educated, efficient, and trustworthy. Best wishes for continued success in 2008!

How to Keep Your Home Based Business Running Smoothly

Its one thing to start your own home based business, quite another to keep it running well. Starting your own business requires you to be focused on any business opportunities that come your way. For any business to succeed, it is mandatory to constantly move ahead, more so if it is your very own business.

To keep your business running smoothly you need to follow some cardinal points that may seem trivial, but in fact are time tested methods.

Balance your work and personal life

Since it’s your own home based business, you are likely to put in more time than usual in it. Therefore, a clear distinction has to be made between your work and personal life. You need to find business opportunities, to make your business grow but certainly not at the cost of your family life.

Take time off from the daily grind of work and business meetings to unwind with your loved ones. They are the ones for whom you work and earn. Starting your own business can never be an excuse for neglecting your family.

Be pragmatic

Practicality helps you in starting your own business as you would be always in need of it, especially in money matters. Take time to gauge the exact financial condition of your home based business. Get realistic about the investments and returns, rather than getting too ambitious about business opportunities that come your way.

Look into the performance of few people who assist you in your business. Be on the look out for deals that are feasible to you and do not try out something just because you know someone who has, and has succeeded. Be pragmatic enough to know your own strengths and weakness.

Foresee risks

To keep your home based business up and running you need to check several factors. For example, think about a possible loan that can help you in starting your own business. You need to review your position in terms of your competitors and see where you stand.

Think about possible methods to keep your business financially stable, especially in these troubled times when all businesses seem to have taken a hit. Always be alert for business opportunities’ that lie dormant and probably need to be nurtured to give results.

Foreseeing risks is one way of making sure that you do not get into a financial rut.

Being business ready

In starting your own business, you need to be prepared for almost anything, and this is where planning comes into play. Scan your business surroundings and do a “SWOT” or “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats” analysis to find out where you stand.

Give yourself short targets that are achievable and in the process you will be unknowingly boosting up your confidence and morale. Keep an eye on the three ‘Cs’-company, customer and competitor-of business strategies. Grab business opportunities when the time is just right.

You may find these tips useful if you wish to look at yourself as a successful entrepreneur in the future

Starting a Business Venture in a New Area

Many newcomers to a region look to a big city as a place to start a new business — or a new life. Toronto is by a wide margin the most popular destination in Canada for investors to start or purchase a small business.

This article will examine the process of buying a business for sale in Toronto, Ontario from the perspective of an out-of-towner. In other words, what is a good approach to take if you would like to invest in a Toronto business if you are not from the GTA.

Determine what you are interested in

The very first step is to determine what type of business you would be interested in purchasing. Buyers of small businesses take several different approaches to determine what might appeal to them:

- Determine a price range and look for businesses in that budget to see what is interesting
- Pick an industry and search along those lines
- Make a list of businesses or industries that you don’t want and be flexible for anything else

However you go about it, it is important to determine what type of company you want to look for. You will need this list for the next step, which is contacting a professional business intermediary in the GTA.

Find a local business broker to deal with

When you are fairly confident in the type of business in the Toronto area that you would like to buy, you will need to be in touch with a business brokerage practice in the city to assist you with your search. Not all business brokers in the Toronto region will conduct searches for buyers so you may have to keep checking back with them to see if any of their listings are of interest to you. Regardless, it is an important exercise to call the broker and formally introduce yourself.

Toronto business brokerages typically deal with dozens of buyer enquiries in a given day so be persistent and patient. Buying a business is a major commitment and most people are expecting a process that is similar to real estate, when in fact it is quite distinct.

When you do talk to a business broker in Toronto, it is critical to be as specific as possible when describing the type of venture you are interested in. Also, most brokerage websites have a section where prospective buyers can register. It is important to register with several different brokerages in order to be pulled into their respective databases.

Visit the city as often as you can

If you are serious about buying a business in Toronto it is important to try to visit the city frequently. There are many interested buyers in the GTA looking for profitable businesses for sale, of which there are a finite amount. Visiting Toronto is important since it will help you acclimatize to the marketplace. You should also try to network in the region as often as possible. Not all businesses in Toronto are listed for sale with business brokers. Sometimes they simply sell if a person is at the right place at the right time.

If you are serious about searching for a business for sale in Toronto that interests you and you are from out of town, be prepared for a rigorous search. Finding a profitable business with good growth prospects takes time under normal circumstances so if you live out of the area, be prepared for a time consuming search. Harness the internet for information and contact a few Toronto business brokers as a good starting point in your search.