(Based on 24 years of experience)
By Tony J. Onaissi
To all new starters here are some important tips to succeed in your home care business, based on my personal experience of running a multi-disciplinary post-acute business for more than 24 years. Our services range from home care, to home health care and home infusion therapy.
- Hire and retain caregivers:
Make sure that your caregivers can deliver top quality services. For that, do the proper vetting and train them periodically. The toughest challenge is to retain them as they are usually poorly paid and work on a part-time basis. Find differentiators and increase your prices after knowing what your competition charges. You can charge 10 to 20% more if you can make a difference. Once you do that, increase the pay of your caregivers. We found that a good incentive to retain them is to pay a bonus for those who stay with you at least six months. Keep paying that bonus every 6 months. You can also create an elite group of caregivers for those who deserve it and give them business cards that clearly state “Elite Caregiver”. Recognizing their hard work along with respect are both very important. Last but not least, have an employee/caregiver of the month award and shout about it.
- Market your services:
- Develop a comprehensive marketing plan that should be about 5% of your revenue. Watch your ROIs!
- Use social media (Facebook and Instagram are best) and sometimes boost your posts.
- Make sure you hire a great graphic designer for your posts and that your messages draw on emotions.
- Get a great modern website and do what it takes to rank on the 1st page of Google.
- Use AdWords (paid ads) by Google if you can afford it.
- Hire marketers for Face-to-Face Marketing.
- Set a yearly target in revenue or referrals for each marketer. Compare their performance monthly. How many referrals are they bringing? Are they within target? If above or off by how much?
- Give a financial incentive to your reps for each referral they bring.
- Adopt a specialized Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) to organize and manage your reps. This will organize your sales process and substantially boost your revenue.
- Adopt technology as soon as you can afford and find the software that most closely resembles your own workflow and procedures.
- Keep an eye on your money:
- Make sure that your receivables are always greater than your payables and that you have enough cash on hand to pay for all your expenses.
- Beware of applying discounts too often as they will eat up your profit margins. Decide what your profit margin goal is.
- Prepare a yearly budget.
I hope that the above will help you in managing your home care business and grow your revenue steadily. You will learn that marketing your agency is a trial-and-error process that will ultimately get you to find the right tools to grow your referrals. Finally, if there is one point to stress, it is adopting a software to manage your agency and a CRM to grow your referrals.
Good lucks selling!
Tony J. Onaissi is the founder and CEO of Isoratec, a home care technology company, and of Home Care Lebanon, a home health and home infusion business he founded in 1997. Contact Isoratec about CRM software at https://www.isoratec.com/