What to charge? Setting your rates for your care business

For self-employed care workers and nurses, setting the right price is an important first step in establishing your business. Although you are using the Mable platform, your care business is all yours, and it’s up to you to determine what to charge your clients. It is important that you set rates that will make you profitable, but which are still fair to your customers.

What to think about

Care worker fees can vary based on location, your credentials and experience and the services you are offering. In the beginning, you might decide to charge a little less while you build your reputation.
Whether you’re providing social and domestic services, personal care or nursing, the following tips will help you establish a price point you are comfortable with.

Check out the rates of other care workers in your area

The number of factors will determine what price is fair to charge for your services, including location and competition. Much like housing prices will change depending on neighbourhoods, prices for your care services will also depend on where your business is based.
Checking out what other care workers in your area charge, as well as local home care agencies is a good place to start.
Often, agencies charge a lot more because of their many overheads such as advertising, insurances, legal fees, rent, supplies, bills, and more. Fortunately for you, many of these overhead costs are included in Mable’s 10% commission – but you do need to consider adding this to your rates as well.
Remember – What eventually determines a rate is a marketplace. You could have all the qualifications in the world, but if there are care workers operating in your area with equal qualifications at a cheaper rate, then the users of your services have the power to ‘shop around’ for better value.

Create more value

If you want to charge more, the trick is to offer more to your clients – what value can you provide the customer that would convince them to pay more? For home care workers this might be having a professional personal image, a good reputation, client references, trust and reliability, offering an ‘on call’ service or simply a better quality customer service.
Good customer service means:

– Being cheerful and polite
– Listening to what your customers really want
– Being professional at all times
– Treating customers in a way you would want to be treated
– Handling any customer feedback with care and concern
– Getting back to clients quickly
– Ensuring you deliver on any promises
– Thanking your customers for their business – do something special for them every now and again to show your appreciation
If you have a client with a disability, they may appreciate you showing initiative and suggesting activities or teaching them new skills to build their independent living skills.

Think about the services you are offering

The types of services you provide to your clients will largely determine your rate. Care workers who offer a wider range of services, such as house cleaning, bathing, administering medication, shopping, running errands or driving to doctor appointments, can generally charge more.People with formal qualifications such as a certificate or diplomas in nursing, aged or community care, can also attract a higher rate.
Also, think about the amount of work you’ll be doing. For example, if you are looking after a couple, maybe you will want to add a little more to your normal rate.
You may also consider how far you have to drive to get to the job, how many hours you’ll be working each day and how many times per week. If you are working regularly with the same client, you might decide to provide them with a special rate.

lightbulb Top tip!
Most care and support workers on the Mable platform charge between $30 – $40 an hour. Use this as a starting point when thinking about your own rate.