Occupational Therapist Mindset Shift: How You Can Start a Home Modification Business
Updated: Apr 5
Do you love helping your clients live better lives through occupational therapy? Do you also feel stifled and restricted by red tape and excessive regulations of insurance companies and expanding corporate rules? If you agree, then maybe the best move for you now is to start a home modification business to help your clients the way you know they should be helped.
It may seem like a big scary step away from safety, but you CAN start your own business and be very successful while helping your clients on your own terms.
You can even start it on a part-time basis and build it while you stay in your current job.
Recognize the Need
The need is there. According to a 2018 AARP survey, 76% of adults over 50 want to stay in their current homes as long as possible. But less than half think that will be possible. One way to make that happen is to incorporate accessible home modifications.
On top of that, the US population is aging. By 2030, all 73 million Baby Boomers will be 65 or older. As they age, they will become more susceptible to falls and other home accidents that will require occupational therapy solutions.
If all this sounds interesting to you, the next question is: How?
Don’t start with your logo—start with your business.
First, Take Stock of the Potential
Determine if you have a market where you live. If you live in a mid-size area or one with a larger over 60 population, you can easily find more than enough business. If you feel like your rural area may not have enough potential, think again! You’d be surprised how much of your business can be virtually-based.
Next, run a quick test to see if your business is viable. Send a mass email telling everyone about your plans, or put it out on social media to see what kind of response you get. Maybe you’ll get your first client by the weekend.
To get the word out or gather recommendations, you can even do a couple of pro bono projects. Grab bars are a gateway drug for home modifications. Once clients see how helpful they are, they’ll come back for new ideas and projects.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
You are leaving the corporate world, but not the law. So before you start on your first project, paid or not, please get good liability insurance. Just like doctors have to insure their practices, we need to insure our businesses, too.
Also, get your own paperwork ready. For clients who have Medicare and/or Medicaid, you’ll need to provide them with an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage form that states that home modifications may not be covered by Medicaid or Medicare; these services will be out of pocket (read more about that here). However, you can and should provide them all the information they need to help them try and get it reimbursed.
Find Your Materials Sources and Installers
You’ll want to begin establishing relationships with good materials suppliers and/or contractors and handymen who can do the actual installation of your projects.
What’s Stopping You?
Really, the main thing that may stop you is fear. The truth is that the entrepreneurial world is totally different than where you’re coming from. But the rewards are great.
We Can Help You Get Started
Wherever you are in your journey or however big your business ideas are, we can help you.
We’ve been where you’ve been and gone through the mistakes. We’ve put that all into a course for you so you can expedite your learning and get to your first paying customer as soon as possible.
Having a coach who’s been there to help you over the bumps and hold you accountable will keep you achieving those incremental wins that lead to success.
Have the courage to put yourself out there.
Find out about our Home Modification Accelerator Course to get your business started and sign up to be interviewed!