Truly, starting a supported living business in the UK can be quite challenging, however it can also be a very profitable way to earn a living. In this line of business, you will be tasked with helping people who struggle to help themselves, ensuring that they enjoy fulfilling lives.
According to reports, there are a growing number of vulnerable adults who can surely manage to live independently if they had a supportive environment. This and many more have created opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs who can offer supported living services.
Providing Supported Living services requires providers to handle a wide array of conditions. It is therefore very pertinent you put together good policies and procedures that will guide you in the business.
Steps on How to Start a Supported Living Business in the UK
Table of Content
Conduct Market Research
Just like with any other business, it is very pertinent you conduct extensive market research to understand if your idea will be viable. Take your time to find out the kind of supported living businesses already in your area, and the target audience they cater to.
You can also consult with your local council to find out if a particular sort of supported living service is lacking in the area. With the numerous information and data you must have acquired from this research, you can then tailor your supported living business to suit the void, or even better still choose a different location where the market is not as saturated.
Supported living or supportive living refers to a range of services and community living arrangements (CLAs) designed for individuals with disabilities to support them to attain or retain their independence. It is a form of healthcare that promotes service users residing within the community. It consists of both regulated and unregulated activities.
Regulated activities are set out under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (regulated activities) Regulations 2014 and is in the power of the provider, to ensure they are regulated for the correct activity. Supported living is the term given by local authorities in the United Kingdom to encompass a range of services designed to help disabled citizens retain their independence in their local community.
Previously, housing and support were usually provided by a charity or local council. Now mentally and physically disabled people can live in their own home and have personal support provided by another organization or by hiring a personal assistant (paid visiting or live-in carer).
A common element of supported living is the separation of housing and support. This means that as a tenant or homeowner, the person has a right to choose who provides their support and can change support arrangements without moving home or move home without changing support arrangements.
Statistics shows that over 600,000 people rely on supported housing to provide a secure place to live and to offer appropriate care and support. The purpose of supported housing is to enable people to live as independently as possible within their community, with a real focus on social inclusion.
With supported living options, subject to their fairer charging procedures, social services and health funding can pay for care and support that is needed. The welfare benefits system can help pay for housing and everyday living costs.
a. Who is the Target Market?
Your target audience in this line of business can be quite massive; however, you will most often cater to the needs of people with;
- Learning disabilities
- Mental health difficulties
- Physical disabilities
- Sensory loss
- Substance abuse issues
- Aggressive or violent behavior
b. Is Supported Living Business in the UK a Profitable Business?
Yes. According to reports, Supported Living is a very profitable business to start but will require a massive degree of commitment and people skills to flourish. Note that from the onset, it will do you well to have a clear business model.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
- Sheltered & extra care housing
- Short-term supported housing
- Long term housing
- Catering to people with learning disabilities
- Catering to people with mental health difficulties
- Catering to people with physical disabilities
- Substance abuse patients
- Caregivers Agency
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- Homeless Link – Supported Housing Alliance
- Haigos Health and Social Care Services
- MK Care Services Limited
- Mumby’s Homecare Support Limited
- UK Care Team Ltd.
- Independent People Homecare Services
- Promedica24 UK Ltd.
- Mencap Supported Living Services
- Sequence Care Group, UK
- Croner-I Supported Living and Extra Care
- Nidirect Supported Housing and Care Homes
- Priory Adult Care Supported Living Services, UK
- Haringey Council – Supported Living Services
- Charity Choice – Supported Living Charities
- Sanctuary Supported Living
- CareTech Supported Living Services, UK
- Abbey Investments Supported Living
- Age UK Assisted Living (extra-care housing)
- Delight Supported Living
- Magic Life UK
e. Are There Council Regulations or Zoning Laws for Supported Living Business in the UK?
Yes. However, the regulations around supported living in the United Kingdom are quite complex. Businesses in this industry run the risk of prosecution if they fail to adhere to the relevant requirements in their local council.
Careful consideration needs to be given to contractual arrangements, including the wording within tenancy agreements and care agreements, as well as website content and marketing. It is, however, advisable that you seek legal advice and stay up-to-date with the legislation if you want to avoid these risks.
f. Is There a Franchise for Supported Living Business in the UK?
- Bridgewater: From £80,000
- Promedica24: £20,000 – £40,000
- Hallows Care: £39,950 – £118,000
- Absolute Care Services: £30,000 Minimum Investment
- Clarity Homecare: £28,000 – £60,000
- RadfieldHome Care: £30,000 – £80,000
- Home Instead: £85,000 – £96,000
- Heritage Healthcare: £36,000 – £96,000
- Seniors Helping Seniors: £65,000 – £110,000
- KarePlus: £25,000 – £75,000
- Extra Help: From £10,000 + VAT
g. What Do You Need to Start a Supported Living Business in the UK?
- Planning Permission
- HMO Application
- Payroll Systems
- Food & Hygiene Registration
- Recruitment Process
- Identification of tenders
- Housing Compliance Checks
- Branded Documents
- Branded Policies
- Branded Business Forms
- Systems & Software Support
- Tender Writing
Choose a Memorable Business Name
When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a supported living business are;
Creative Supported Living Business Name ideas
- Premier Care Zone
- Care Choice
- Perfect Supported Care
- Fresh Assisted Care
- First-class Care
- Comfort Senior Care
- Gold Care Spot
- Rest and Love Care
- Live With Friends
- King Keepers Care Inn
- Royalty Living
- Care Next Door
- Premium Health & Care
- Everyday Family Care
- Spectrum Health Care
- Patient Helpers
- Quick health Care
- Love and Care
- Care Hope
Register your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Supported Living Business in the UK?
There are numerous business structures to choose from when setting up a supported living business in the United States. However, don’t forget that the choice you make will influence how you deal with taxes, profits, and funding. The business structures you might consider are; limited company, a business partnership, an unincorporated association, or a sole tradership.
Supported living businesses are advised to form their business as a limited company (LC) through a process called incorporation. Note that to do this, you have to register your business at Companies House.
This legal structure protects the owners’ finances so they’re not mandated to pay any company debts or losses from their personal funds. Also, note that this structure lets you seek out investors who can buy shares in your business in exchange for a share in the profits.
c. Steps to Form a Limited Liability Company
- Choose a name
- Collect all necessary information
- Create all Necessary Documentation, Such as a Memorandum and Articles of Association.
- Contact the Companies House.
- Collect Certificate of Incorporation from Companies House.
- Establish Statutory Registers
d. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Supported Living Business in the UK?
Have it in mind that any business seeking to offer personal care in the UK will have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. This commission was created primarily for supported living businesses based in England. There are similar bodies in each other region of the UK:
- Scotland – The Care Inspectorate
- Wales – The Care Inspectorate
- Northern Ireland – The Regulation and Quality Improvement Committee
You should expect these services to inspect your business, give a quality rating, and help you improve on the level of care you provide.
c. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Supported Living Business in the UK?
- Registered nurse and Licensed practical nurse Certificate
- AADNS Certification
- Caregiver Certification
- Assisted Living Administrators License/Assisted Living Administrator Certification
- Director of Nursing Services–Certified (DNS-CT)
- QAPI Certified Professional (QCP)
d. What Documents are Needed to Open a Supported Living Business in the UK?
- Company Registration
- Policies & Procedures
- HMO Application, Planning Permission
- CQC registration
- Local Authorities Permission
- Tendering and Contracts
- Payroll and VAT arrangements
- Disclosure Barring Service (DBS)
e. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
No. In this line of business, you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or sue anyone for using yours. However, you may want to copyright or trademark your business name and logo since they serve as the face of your business.
Do your Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Supported Living Business in the UK?
Depending on your niche, business concepts, and the size of your business, you will need around £2,000 to £190,000 to start a functioning supported living business. With this amount, you can buy everything you need to run your business professionally.
b. What are the Costs Involved?
- Business registration and necessary permits: £4,600
- Licensing for facility and staff: £12,360
- Computer hardware and software: £6,000
- Commercial space for office and/or medical facility: £67,000
- Accreditation: £2,500
- Website, logo, business cards, and other printable material: £2,700
- Marketing strategy and materials: £10,240
- Insurance: £24,560
- Inventory (Utilities, internet, nurse call buttons, security cameras, computer hardware, food and drink for patients, bedding, and medical equipment): £45,000
- Miscellaneous: £2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Supported Living Business in the UK?
- Niche and services
- Business structure and accreditation
- Choice of software
- Number of employees
- Advertising and marketing plan
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility?
If you intend to offer facility-based supported living services, then definitely you need to build a facility. Although some facilities can be rented, a good number of supported living facilities in the UK are either purchased or built by the entrepreneur. The cost of building a supported living facility in the UK is around £1,950 and £2,170 per square meter.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Supported Living Business in the UK?
- Employee wages
- High-speed Internet
- Medical supplies
- Rent/payments toward debt owed on the property
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Director: £62,500/Annual
- Supported Living Manager: £30,000/Annual
- Nurses/ Caregivers: £24,386/Annual
- Sales and Marketing Executive: £42,517/Annual
- Accounting Officer: £40,000/Annual
- Security Officer: £21,800/Annual
- Cleaners: £17,966/Annual
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Supported Living Business in the UK?
- Personal funds
- Business loan
- Government grants
- Venture capital
a. Executive Summary
Patient Helpers will be a new and registered Supported Living agency in Dolgellau, Snowdonia. By working closely with residents, their families, carers, and health professionals, we intend to deliver quality support and housing that helps people on their pathway to independence.
b. Products and Service
At Patient Helpers, we will make available housing and support for young people, homeless families, people with physical and learning disabilities, and people with mental health needs. We will also run two domestic abuse services and support services for older people and those with dementia.
c. Mission Statement
Our mission at Patient Helpers is to provide support and enable people to move on to live independently or support permanent accommodation when complete independence isn’t possible. We aim to help people live happy and fulfilling lives.
Our vision at Patient Helpers is to support people on their pathways to independence. Via our quality support and housing, we intend to always fortify people with the confidence, self-esteem, and life skills they need to live independently, whether it’s for the first time or following a significant change in circumstances.
d. Goals and Objectives
We will strive to be an inclusive organization where everyone who works with us or lives in our accommodation feels that they belong. Everything we do will be driven by our values – ambition, diversity, integrity, quality, and sustainability. These values describe what Patient Helper stands for, and we will always hold ourselves accountable to those values.
e. Organizational Structure
- Supported Living Manager
- Nurses/ Caregivers
- Sales and Marketing Executive
- Accounting Officer
- Security Officer
a. SWOT Analysis
- A profitable industry with positive cash flow
- Reliable suppliers
- Well trained and experienced workforce
- High operating costs
- Need for highly trained workers
- New facility
- A growing industry
- Ability to expand by offering additional services
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending
- Rising pay level
- Identical business in our business area
- Shortage of skilled workforce
- Change in liability laws
b. How Do Supported Living Businesses in the UK Make Money?
Supported living businesses make money by charging residents a fee for staying in the facility. Note that this cost is most often on a per-month or per-year basis.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards / Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Build a professional website where people can find vital information about your business.
- Signs on your vehicles help build branding so your name becomes familiar to prospects.
- Send a letter introducing your services to social workers, counselors, clergy, and therapists who may be willing to give referrals
- Hire a marketing agency
- Share content across social media platforms
- Continuous content generation
- Creating & updating your GBM (Google my business) account
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?
Have it in mind that what you charge will vary based on the services you offer and where you are located in the UK. Note that the more services your business offers, the more you can charge. Nonetheless, most supported living facilities in the UK charge around £500 to £1,500 per week.
b. How Much Profit Do Supported Living Business Owners in the UK Make a Year?
According to reports, in smaller supported living facilities, you can make 35-40% profit from fees. Fees are around £500 per week per bed. Owing to that, in a facility with at least 10 beds, you will make a profit of £70,000 -£150,000 before interest payments.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- Size of the facility
- Services and amenities
- Number of locations
- The number of residents
- Salaries and overhead costs
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Supported Living Business in the UK?
Supported living businesses in the UK have a profit margin of between 35 percent and 40 percent.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): £190,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): £320,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): £970,000
Set Up your Office
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Supported Living Business in the UK
In terms of choosing the perfect location for your supported living business, here are vital options to consider:
- Building layout: For instance, does it have too many stairs that would be challenging for elderly or disabled people?
- Nearby amenities: For instance, are there shops, cafes, and travel links that the residents can have easy access to?
- Safety: For instance, is the area considered safe?
Don’t ever forget that the primary aim of supported living is to help residents live normal lives. While they still need a sense of independence to enjoy everyday things, it falls on you to ensure that your residents feel safe. The building and location you choose will play a massive part in this.
b. What Cities and Towns are Best to Start a Supported Living Business in the UK?
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate?
- Wound care supplies
- Briefs, pads, and other continence care supplies
- Personal care products like soap, shampoo, body lotion, and barrier creams.
- Positioning devices including cushions and wedges
- Adult wet wipes
- Oxygen equipment (including ventilators)
- Bi-Pap and C-Pap machines (these machines help you breathe while you sleep)
- Blood pressure monitors
- Lifts (this equipment helps you move and change positions)
- Kidney machines
- Bedside commodes
- Geriatric recliners (Geri chairs)
- Hospital beds
- Overbed tables
- Shower chairs
In this line of business, you must put together your team as soon as possible. Have it in mind that your supported living facility will at least need a facility manager, nurses, aides, kitchen staff, and cleaning staff. You will need to fill these positions before the facility is opened to the public. If you do not want to handle marketing and accounting duties, these roles will also have to be filled by professionals.
8. Launch the Business Proper
Once your facility and care staff have been accredited and you have everything necessary to run your supported living business, it is necessary you consider launching the business. You need to to make arrangements for this launch by reviewing some necessary elements of your business.
- A well-fitted facility
- Well trained staff
- A good and reliable website
a. What Makes a Supported Living Business in UK Successful?
According to industry experts, three key elements make a supported living business successful. They include a personalized service purchased using an individual budget, innovative design, and strong teamwork. To achieve success in this line of business, you have to work closely with your residents and all those in their circle of support, including their families, and care providers.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Supported Living Business in the UK?
Have it in mind that owners of supported living businesses tend to carry out a vast range of duties each day. Note that aside from ordering medical supplies, they are tasked with ensuring compliance standards are met, interviewing job candidates, and reviewing applications for residency.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Supported Living Business in the UK?
- Healthcare experience
- Critical thinking
- Problem-solving and decision-making
- Time management
- Compassion and empathy