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GUEST COLUMN: How to prepare your home care business for sale

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By Anthea Taylor, content producer for BusinessesForSale.com

The home care industry is one that is increasingly vital, and this has never been as evident as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Home care businesses are intrinsic to taking care of the most vulnerable people in our society and reducing pressures on the NHS by keeping them well and out of hospital.

Unfortunately, the lack of protective wear in the UK and additional costs relating to both PPE and staffing – sick pay and over time – have given many home care businesses a tall hurdle to overcome. This has put home care businesses under a lot of pressure.

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Selling your business might, therefore, seem like a necessary option to you. If you are thinking of selling, preparing your business for the sale is the best way to get the right price for it.

Home care is more important than ever

While the industry is struggling under the added difficulty of the pandemic, it is also proving that it is an essential part of society. More people than ever are needing home care despite the added risk.

This is making home care good business for those with the available cash to inject into a well-run and attractive operation. Businesses in this sector have experienced an increase in the number of people requiring home care after the pandemic. This indicates that, a business in this sector will be able to grow if it can pick up the slack. There are also calls for live-in care to become a more integral art of the NHS discharge strategy.

Communication is key

Improving the communication in your business is how you will be able to ensure that your staff and clients are kept informed of the latest home care and PPE guidelines.

Keeping communication channels open in your business will indicate to any potential buyer that the business is ready to keep their staff and clients safe. This is what will help home care businesses weather the storm of the pandemic.

So, get all of your staff up to date with the government and NHS guidelines and how to keep the most vulnerable in our society well.

Recruitment and retention

Many home care businesses are experiencing a shortage of staff as more people need care and less people are able to work. Putting yourself ahead of other home care businesses, in terms of prospects, will mean recruiting additional staff.

The best way to do this is to make yourself an attractive employer. Make sure that you have the needs of your employees in mind and emphasise the ways that you are ensuring their safety.

The government has also announced measures to protect the pay of furloughed workers if they work in the care sector during their furlough period. Use digital marketing to reach out to people that may be looking for work during this time so that you can boost the number of staff you have working for you. Click here and here for some recruitment tips.

Get your business in order

Coronavirus or not, in order for any business to sell, you will need to get all your finances, contracts and paperwork in shape. If you want the sale to go through smoothly, you will need to spend time ensuring there are no red flags that could put a potential buyer off the purchase.

Getting a professional to conduct your own due diligence can be the best way to do this. If they do spot any red flags, be ready to explain to the buyer why this issue should not put them off the purchase of your business.

This is a stressful time, but the more prepared you are for the due diligence that the buyer will conduct the easier the process will be. This will also be necessary in order to get a fair valuation of your business.

The demand that exists for home care right now means that it is imperative that you keep the business running while you go through the sales process. You owe it to your clients, your staff and a buyer will want to know that the wheels have been kept turning right up until, and perhaps beyond, when they take over the keys.

In a handover agreement, you may be required to stay on for a while after the business has been sold to ensure that the standards of care are met. Be prepared to keep working hard so that your sale is a success and your legacy remains intact.

Anthea Taylor, is a content producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com, as well as other industry publications.

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