So what does a great care business look like? Having worked with many care businesses I thought I’d share some insights.
Know Your Costs
Going through a cost analysis process together with understanding who your clients are by ways of a client segmentation exercise will help you understand where your break-even point and create efficiencies. If you work on a net profit of no less that 15% this will give you enough scope to invest in the future of your business
Every successful business I’ve worked with has an open mindset. They constantly seek innovative ways of making their business better, this could be new services, new technology or reviewing their systems and processes to drive efficiencies. It’s also about your passion for the business. Does your passion shine through to the team? Are they with you on your journey? How do you know?
Leadership is Everything
So what does a great care business look like in terms of leadership? Many care businesses lose their care managers on a frequent basis. There are two parts to this. The care sector is transitioning, making it more professional and increasing standards, some care managers haven’t made the transition yet. There is also a strong link to the relationship they have with the business owner. Business owners who develop their care managers and give them the leaderships skills they need, are the ones who thrive. Having a leadership style that incorporates coaching, empowering every member of staff is key. People want to be treated like adults and coaching allows you to do this.
Recruitment and Retention
I decided to do some research and reviewed several care businesses websites. Even though we know recruitment is the biggest challenge to the care sector there are many who are still either not making it easy for potential care staff to apply or have a clear picture of who they want to attract on their website. Insisting on C.V.’s or even worse getting them to complete long winded application forms, really does put people off. It’s much better to get them in for a chat first, you can then make an informed decision as to whether they are the right person for your business. When you’ve decided if they are suitable you can help them complete an application form whilst they are there and that’s what a great care business looks like for recruitment and retention. I know this seems long winded, but it will increase recruitment of the right people, which will help your business in the long run.
Also, put a case study of who you are trying to attract on your website. What type of person you are looking for, what career opportunities are there and/or how great it feels to work for you. Create an employment journey. Here’s one that I’ve found as an example.
Understand Risk Management
If you want to be a great care business risk management is so important, especially in a regulated environment. However, risk management can also be an area of frustration and can be a barrier to business. Below expands on this further
What is risk slide
If you want to limit risk use the chart as outlined in the picture above. You can see the axis going up and across the 4 boxes are impact and probability.
If you start with the top right box ‘Avoid’, the great businesses I’ve worked with ensure that they avoid anything that could have a significant impact and reduce the probability of it happening. If you think of a visit from your regulator you need to be ready for an inspection at any time. As a business owner you should be undertaking random file checks and self-auditing across the business. If you do this then the impact and probability of something going wrong on a big scale is reduced significantly.
As far as the top left hand box ‘Insure’ making sure you are insured e.g. professional indemnity, key person insurance, or car insurance, with business use, if carers are using their own vehicles to take clients out.
In the bottom right there is Process. I’ve seen this time and time again when reviewing care plans. Instead of starting a new care plan template many care managers/co-ordinators will try and overwrite from an existing one. What happens is that the care plan suddenly starts talking about a Mrs Jones when the care plan is for a Mrs Smith. Making sure you test your processes regularly is vital to ensure this doesn’t happen. If you have a self-audit process this is something that will be picked up thenP
Bottom left box Accept – You do need to accept that people make mistakes, we are all human and therefore fallible. If you do spot a mistake talk to the person involved. Having a coaching culture in place allows you to have constructive conversation with people that enables them to be responsible and accountable. Ask them what they’ve learnt from the mistake and how will they ensure, whatever has happened, will not happen again. Do they need any help from you?