Your Guide to Starting a Business in a Regulated Field

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Starting a business is hard enough on a good day. When you want to get started in a field that is regulated, the hoops that you need to jump through just continue to expand. Regulated fields can include anything from those working in STEM fields to those working in healthcare. It is the healthcare businesses, however, that have the most regulations that must be minded, and that includes those who want to provide holistic and ongoing care rather than medical procedures. 

For example, with an aging population, opening up a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) can be a smart career move that directly helps the community. It also requires a lot of steps to be taken long before you can start taking patients or clients. 

To help you start a business like an RCFE, use this guide: 

Create a Great Business Plan 

To start, you will need to create a business plan. This is both to ensure that you have a good understanding of all the steps you will need to take but also so that you can succeed. A business plan acts as your overall draft. It can be an essential checklist and is an important tool to show banks, agencies, and other essential parties that you know what you are doing and, most importantly, are serious about starting up your new business. 

Find Funding 

There are many ways that you can get funding for a new business. From the small business alliance to personal loans, from savings to investors. While those who intend to start a firm will want to look to these more traditional funding sources, those who are looking to start a clinic will have different options. 

Those looking to open an elderly care home, for example, can find funding from both local and federal government agencies. Your state should have a local office for elderly services. This office will be a sub-set of the social services department, but if that isn’t the case, you can alternatively get in touch with the federal department of health and human services administration on aging. 

There are many grants available to help facilities like these get off the ground because there is a massive need for more care homes to help care for the aging population. 

The SBA and other minority grants from non-profits, the government, and other community organizations are also options to get funding for your new business

Get The Necessary Training 

When you intend to work in a regulated field, you absolutely must have the necessary training. Regulated fields aren’t like most. You don’t actually have to have gone to university or college in marketing to get a marketing job. To become an rcfe administrator, however? That requires formal training and for you to pass a test. 

The same applies to lawyers, nurses, doctors, and more. These regulated fields are often tied to health, law, or finances, and other STEM fields, but you will find regulated career paths throughout every industry. 

In some cases, training can be short. For RCFE administrators, you need minimal upfront qualifications and can become certified in just 80 hours. For RCFE’s with less than 16 beds, all you need is a high school diploma and to be over the age of 21 to start RCFE administrator training. For a 16-49 bed facility, you’ll need 15 college credits or one year of experience as an RCFE administrator, and for a 50+ bed facility, either two years of college experience or three years of RCFE experience is required. 

What this proves is that, though there are many regulated fields out there, the barriers for you to get started are not always daunting, especially in fields that have high demand, like elderly care

Secure Your Facility 

If you are planning on opening a business in a regulated field, you will either need a facility or an office. Office work requires far less regulation than those who want to open a facility. Once you find a good facility, you will need to submit a license application so that you can prove that you have “control of the property”. This may mean you own it or have the lease. 

Part of securing your facility will include having the necessary safety checks conducted. 

Have the Operating Costs on Hand 

Regulated businesses often have to prove that they have operating costs for at least three months. This money needs to be in your facilities’ bank account before you apply for a facility license. 

The rules, of course, will vary. 3 months’ operating costs is the standard for RCFEs and other health clinics. The rules will be different for lawyers or engineers, who don’t need to prove that they can operate for that long, as they are not in charge of the health and wellbeing of others. 

Get Licensed 

You will need to apply for several types of licenses before you can open up or start a business in a regulated field. The first of course, is to become certified in your field. RCFE administrators, for example, need to pass an exam with over 70% and then can apply for their license. Nurses are the same. Pass the course, pass the exam, get licensed. 

If you intend to work for someone else, then this is often the last step that you need to take. However, if you want to start your own business, you will also need a facility license in most cases. These can be very long, complicated documents, but there is also no reason why you cannot get a specialist to fill out your form on your behalf to increase the chances of you getting licensed and doing so the first time. 

This process can take several months, so while your application is pending, you will want to start reserving clients and training staff. 

Start Reserving Clients 

While you are in the process of getting your facility licensed (if applicable), you will want to market and start reserving clients or residents. With RCFEs, for example, you can market your facility and have people reserve a spot, but you cannot yet move them in. This will have to wait until all the inspections have been conducted by the DSS and you are issued a facility license. 

Start Hiring and Training 

Some businesses can be run with just one person. In these cases, you will be operating as either a sole partnership or as a consultant. If you are looking to start a facility of your own, however, you will need others by your side. 

Be very particular about who you hire. As a new business, you won’t be able to hire those with a wealth of experience because you won’t have the funds to pay them the wage they are worth. What is a better approach is to find a passionate team that work well together and then invest in training them up further. 

It isn’t just you that has to have the right license, either. If your field demands it, you will need all of your employees to also be adequately licensed for the job that they are doing. 

Opening Your Facility or Business 

Once you have your facility license or are otherwise ready to open, you will want to do so with a bang. If you have been doing well with acquiring clients up until now, then you are all set! You can host an opening party or event and really kick off your new successful venture. Otherwise, you will want to start marketing in earnest and start to network to build up a healthy, stable client list that will help you achieve your every goal.