By Nancy Collamer
Looking for a way to earn an income from home?
If so, you're in luck! This article focuses on the business of helping people take care of others.
In a world filled with two-career couples, an aging population, and the pressures of a 24/7 global economy, people are eager to find pleasant and dependable helpers for their loved ones and pets.
For many people, hiring a caretaker isn't just a "nice-to-have" but a "must-have" service that they will happily pay for. If you're a person who enjoys helping others, then a caregiving business might be a good fit for you.
Starting a caregiving business is smart for several reasons:
It takes relatively little money and time to start a small business walking dogs, running errands or babysitting.
Many people launch these businesses on a limited scale and then slowly add clients via word-of-mouth referrals.
Your clientele will have an ongoing and regular need for caregiving services (children need to be watched every day, the elderly need rides to appointments several times a week, etc.).
Typically, once people find a reliable caregiving service, they are reluctant to shop-around for a new provider. As a result, once you have several faithful customers, you can reduce your marketing efforts and maximize your billable working hours.
Caregiving businesses can be as small or large as you desire.
If you only want to work a few hours, you can start your business with just a few clients and then grow your business over time as your lifestyle needs permit. If you want to turn your business into something more substantial, you can invest in employees and infrastructure after you've secured a loyal following.
Let's take a look at the wide variety of caregiving services you might consider operating:
These options provide you flexibility and an opportunity to generate income from your home. Of course, before starting any business, be sure to investigate zoning, licensing, and insurance issues relevant to your service. The penalties for violating these regulations can be severe and are often easily avoided by operating in compliance with "the rules and regulations" in your area.
Nancy Collamer, M.S.,is a career coach, speaker, and author of the new book Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement (Random House, 2013). In private practice since 1996, Nancy gained national prominence in her tenure as the Career Transitions columnist for Oxygen Media. She has spoken at venues ranging from Harvard Business School to the California Governors Conference on Women. Please connect with Nancy on Twitter @NancyCollamer and on her website at MyLifestyleCareer.com.