This article includes some helpful hints and tips to implement to help your care business to thrive
I know many care businesses value mock inspections as a way of ensuring they are ready for the regulator. These can provide valuable information to any care provider. What a mock inspection, or even an actual inspection doesn’t do is review how your business is working from a financial and strategic viewpoint. Mock inspections often fix symptoms but don’t fix the root cause. Underlying issues such as business inefficiencies (including technology), employee engagement, poor leadership, communication problems can all be complex problems to resolve. Lots of energy and resource is spent solving the issues but it doesn’t help your care business to thrive. You need to have a business strategy in place to do that.
As a business owner, having the courage to lift your head above the parapet is key. Looking at how your business could grow and develop from a strategic perspective which will enable your business to thrive. The result would be your business being more profitable, with accountable and engaged employees. This actually also benefits your clients, as when you go through the process it often means you have more time to spend on client experience. But most importantly it will allow you to be always ready for the regulator.
This doesn’t have to be expensive and you will save money in the long term.
Let me explain…..
There is a reason why franchise businesses grow and have more top ratings from the inspectors than the rest of the care sector. This is because many care franchisees receive marketing, compliance, technology and business support. This does come at a cost so what can you do if you are not a franchise.
Below are area that could help you care business to thrive in the long term
Having a compliance audit from an external consultant on an annual basis is good business practice. The compliance audit should be positive and helpful. It should provide you with easy to understand actions that are specific to your business.
As you will read within the marketing section you need to create personas for your ideal employees. These then should be used on your website or any recruitment adverts.
- Recruit for values rather than experience
- Have a short application form rather than an 8 page form that is time consuming and stops people applying
- Have an employment journey to attract potential recruits, tell them how great the experience is, what opportunities they will have and what a fabulous company you are to work for.
There has never been a better time to be a care provider, either domiciliary or residential, yes seriously. According to ONS there will be a 36% increase between 2015-2025 of people aged 85 and over. There is little competition now with plenty of new clients that will need support. However, it is a highly transient sector and this is why you need a strategic plan to keep this a continual process of new clients and new care professionals.
Understanding your business proposition is important. For example if you are trying to attract private clients or council funded clients both require different business models with different costings.
Going through your current client base is a great way of understanding who your clients are currently. When the businesses I’ve worked with have done this, there are often commonalities e.g. dementia or chronic health conditions. Once you have gone through this, you can then create a persona for each one outlining how you have helped people with these conditions, with client testimonials.
Business & Leadership support
This is often an area that is left but if you do not have a good business you can never truly be outstanding (or equivalent).
- Make sure you are reviewing your profit and loss at least monthly.
- Ensure you have cash reserves in the business so that you can withstand any drop in revenues. This takes time and discipline but you will reap the rewards if you do this.
- Franchises have invested heavily on business support and leadership training, which has led to their franchisees being better businesses and leaders. If you don’t have the revenues to afford these services from external consultants, there are some, either free government, or locally funded leadership courses. Google search for what’s available in your area.
There is an increasing focus on technology as far as the regulators are concerned. They understand how this can have a positive impact on outcomes for clients, employees and businesses. This is something that care businesses should be investing in, but it needs to add value to your business. The two systems that I have seen and know have had great feedback from businesses and employees are Unique IQ and My Learning Cloud. These systems will benefit your care business enormously both from a compliance perspective and a business perspective.