Business Concept and Evaluation
My business will focus on the older generation, as being of this generation myself I believe that I am able to identify with their needs and requirements. I wish to offer a range of services from therapeutic massage, aromatherapy and shiatsu all of which are recognised complementary therapies to conventional medicine.
These therapies can be easily offered in a person’s own home and this is the area that I wish to pursue. Mobility can be an issue as you age, therefore inviting the services you require to come to your own home can be an alternative to travelling to them. Another area that I wish to look into is offering my services to local care homes, as many elderly people now reside in institutions. My intention is to work as a sole trader offering a mobile service to the local area in which I reside on a part-time basis. However, there may be some people who may not wish to invite professionals into their homes or that their homes are not suitable for the therapies to be administered, for this reason initially I will rent a room in a local clinic for half/one day a week.
Age concern is a very active group within the local community and there are also several women’s institute (WI) groups, both of which I plan to work with to raise awareness of the service that I can offer. At a later date I wish to establish a working relationship with the local GP’s who may chose to refer some of their patients to me instead of prescribing more and more medication.
The elderly population is increasing in the UK, according to National Statistics there was a 1% increase in the population of the over 65’s in the 25 year period from 1984 to 2009. This population increased from 15% to 16%, an increase of 1.7 million people. In contrast, during the same period the population of those aged less than 16 years, has decreased from 21% to 19%. This trend is expected to continue, and National Statistics has projected that over the next 25 years from 2009 to 2034, that 23% of the population will be aged over 65 years compared to 18% aged less than 16 years.
The fastest growth in population has been in the “oldest old”, those aged 85 years and over. According to National Statistics in 2009 there were 1.4 million people aged 85 years or over in the UK, and this is projected to rise to 3.5 million by 2034, accounting for 5% of the total population. Due to these increases, and projected increases in the older population, the median age of the UK population is expected to rise from 39 years in 2009 to 42 years in 2034.
This projected rise in the elderly population means that my target market is expanding and especially the very old who may benefit from a mobile service visiting their home, as their mobility may be impaired and getting out may be difficult. The very old are more likely to be living in residential care and therefore I would like to explore this area further.
Harold (2011) states that often therapists may start off by visiting patients in their own homes, as they have not established a place to work from, but as they develop their identity and a base to work from then they tend to drop the mobile side of their practice. This is something that I will bear in mind, but for now I fully intend to offer a mobile service, as long as, my health and ability to do the job allows. The fact that I only wish to work part-time, and due to my age the work life expectancy will not be that long, then I should be happy to continue to offer a mobile service.
xxxx has a community health strategy that aims to prevent avoidable disease and ill health. This strategy aims to help people to live their lives to the full, enabling them to play a full part in society. Firstly, this strategy is looking at the broader determinants of health, such as household income and living conditions and secondly, it is looking at ways to improve health and wellbeing by helping locals to make good lifestyle choices.
In the first assignment, the financial report, my start-up costs were assessed. This assessment allowed me to take into account what I already had, and what I still need to acquire. This also allowed me to look at the sort of running costs that would be associated with running a mobile service.
I am not intending to be employed by any organisation or obtain funding from any local authority or to do any project work for local authorities. Although, if there was a possibility that I could get some funding to offer complementary therapies to the older generation in community care, then I may pursue this at a later date. Initially, I am only looking to establish myself as a sole trader, and for this purpose I have enough funds to launch the business.
I had this business model in my mind before I started looking for a course of study. One of the reasons that I decided to study for a degree, and not partake in shorter courses in complementary therapies that are available, is because starting up, as a therapist, at a more elevated age does not allow a lot of time to gain experience. Therefore, I reasoned that to compensate for the lack of experience in the field of the therapies offered, then achieving a higher qualification than most therapists have, would reassure potential clients of my abilities and skills. Although I have a good idea of what I intended to do at the end of this course of study, the starting your own practice lectures, and discussions with fellow students, have helped me to put everything into perspective. It has shown me how to go about setting up my own business and given me the knowledge necessary to start the process. The worksheets such as the ones on legal requirement, legislation and regulations, and business cards and leaflet checklist are good tools and reminders of what needs to be addressed, and in place before you commence.