Starting this kind of business is not an easy thing. There are so many questions you need to ask yourself. I explored some of the questions in another portion. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I CHARGE
Here’s the thing. Costs fall into two different lines. There is fixed and variable. There are the costs you will have to take care of a fairly regular basis. There are the costs which will come up every so often. Some of the costs you need to think about are the following:
1) Car repairs
2) Tire repairs
3) Vehicle depreciation
What makes something variable. Take the car repairs. How often do you see yourself driving the vehicle? How many trips will you make in a day? How many can you make in a day? How much gas are you going to use in one week?
There is also the matter of your schedule. What other things do you have going on in your life? You can’t sign up to help someone, then bail out because of a pressing engagement you forgot about. You made a promise, you have to keep that promise. If you don’t, this will read badly to your clients.
One mistake can be overlooked. If it’s happening over and over, this will be very telling to your people. You will be earmarked as unreliable. Is this the reputation you want? Yes, it’s good to help people out. You have to factor in if you can. Write down your schedule. Factor in how many rides you can genuinely offer in a week or month. Will you be able to support yourself on this? Will you debt-to-income ratio be able to compensate for your good deed? Your fixed and variable costs can’t put your salary in the red.
CAN AN AGENCY HELP
Agencies can offer a set rate for everyone involved. The only problem lies in the other staff members that need to be paid. Once the staff is paid and the other costs are considered, there might not be enough money leftover. Let’s say an agency for an adult-day care center offers $50 for the day. You are in charge of looking after a few people. Once the meals and everything else are taken care of, this leaves about $5 per person. If you are looking to take care of 4 people for the day, this leaves $20 in your pocket. Will this be enough? Can you support yourself for that day on $20? Will you be able to cover the gas, especially if you need to go to a bunch of places?
Most agencies offer these deals on a take-it or leave-it plan. It’s up to you. If your business won’t be able to cope with this deal, the agency will look to someone else. Agencies don’t work on a negotiated rate. This is one of the downfalls of working through an agency. Figure out if this is best route to take.
CAN I UP MY RATE
If this is coming from an agency, no you can’t. This is considered to be illegal. The state can get you for this. You can receive both a fine and jail time for this, depending on where you live. This is why you need to figure out all the costs. if you don’t work through an agency, you will have the comfort of adjusting things a bit more.
If you are starting out with not much money to your name, the agency route might not be the best way to go.
WILL MEDICARE GET INVOLVED
The short answer is no. Medicare only gets involved when it’s an emergency. An emergency involves the paramedics and an ambulance. Otherwise, payments are made through Medicaid. This another reason why you need to talk to them. Find out what will be cover through them. Find out what costs you will be responsible for. The costs you are expected to cover also fall into both fixed and variable. Make a spreadsheet of everything. Sometimes the intention are good, but the money won’t be there.
Bottom line, you don’t want to waste your time running back and forth, with nothing to show for it. It’s best to look at these things now. This way you won’t deal with any negative issues later.