You know your home care agency has room to grow, but you aren’t sure the most effective way to market to new clients. You know you’ll need to hire more staff and handle clients questions about your home care agency, but dread recruitment and onboarding. You also know managing the operations of your home care company or post-acute provider agency takes up so much of your time that doing anything else seems impossible. None of this is unsurmountable.
These simple tips can help you build a solid infrastructure for expansion, and take your agency to the next level.
1. Have a Clearly Defined Strategy
All too often it is tempting to jump into investing in new marketing materials, hiring staff, and trying to ramp up quickly. Trying to grow your home care agency without sitting down and putting a plan in place is like setting out on a road trip without a map. You have a vague idea of where you’d like to end up, but don’t know exactly how to get there.
Not having a clearly-defined strategy is one of the most dangerous things you can do, because it can cost a lot of time and money. You know you need to market your services, increase referrals, and hire more staff. Take each one step-by-step.
Sit down and brainstorm exactly how you plan to target your marketing campaign and what type of materials you will need, for example. Make sure you have unique tracking phone number on each piece of collateral so you can properly tracks your sources. Make notes about the steps you will need to take to learn where your referrals come from, and the types of referrers who bring in the best clients. A great client uses your service, on average, 8-12x more than a regular client.
When it comes to staffing, be careful to remember that recruitment and retention are much more important than just bringing in someone to do the job. Onboarding and training are expensive and time consuming. Hiring the right people is the key to customer satisfaction and employee retention. This is especially important since median caregiver turnover in 2016 was ~67% for the industry.
2. Get Out of the Office Frequently
Sometimes in the early days of building your business, it is all too easy to get stuck in the trenches. You’re totally consumed with managing the agency and ensuring every task happens as it must. From answering phones to handling new clients and talking with their families, to doing payroll and training new hires – your work in the office seems endless. While all these tasks are important, it is paramount you schedule time to get out of the office regularly, as well. Up to 50% of high quality client introductions come from health service providers you meet on a regular basis. Meeting with them frequently in person helps build trust and assure them of the quality of your service.
Growing capacity and building a thriving home care agency requires you to be a part of the community you serve. You need to be the face of your agency. Join the local Chamber of Commerce. Get involved in a service organization. Or simply get out into the community and talk to people. Learn about the area. Get a good idea how the public views your company, or if they know who you are. Learn who the thought leaders are in your area. Who do people call when they need help, guidance, or support? Research local organizations that might serve the same community you do. Lastly, you’ll want to know a little about your competition, as on average 6-10 home care agencies service each zip code.
3. Focus Marketing Based on Organizations with Clients in Need
Always track the source of your client introductions and take the time to run the numbers before you decide how to direct your marketing efforts. Whether you ask as a part of the intake process, ask families to complete a satisfaction survey regularly, or us other methods, tracking how your clients learn about your care services is vital to knowing the best avenues to invest in when it comes to expanding your client base.
And don’t just look at who brings in the most clients. Consider where the clients with the highest needs come from. You may be surprised. While elder care placement agencies and health care professionals may make up the bulk of your client introductions, you may find higher-need clients through support groups, or word of mouth from former clients and their loved ones. Across the board 20-25% of new clients come from word of mouth from past clients on their families. It is important you have a working method to generate and track client referrals and a way to thank those families who are recommending you to their friends.
4. Don’t Try to Do It All By Yourself
While you will always be the foremost expert on your own agency, there are limits to what you can do on your own. Whether you run out of hours in the day or simply don’t have the specific training or experience, there are always going to be things you need to delegate to others. Trying to save a few dollars by handling the design of your marketing materials yourself does little good if you do not have a mastery of a design program and the ability to write and edit convincing sales copy.
You want potential clients (and their families), and community partners, to see you as a professional company that pays attention to details. Misspellings or a single pixelated photo in the brochure can give them the wrong impression. Call in a professional, if necessary. Consider getting advisors to help you with accounting, operations, and recruitment and retention, as well. An average salesperson returns 6-8x their salary in revenue to your agency. A good care pro recruiting manager or leveraging a company that specializes in caregiver recruiting can mean the difference between 67% retention and 85%+ retention.
Follow These Tips, and Watch Your Agency Grow
The key to growing your home care agency is not as complex as it may seem. However, it is easy to get off track and waste a lot of money and time. By following these simple tips and focusing on having high quality marketing materials, marketing to the right audience, and recruiting and hiring the right staff, you can quickly add capacity to your company, and increase your bottom line. Click here to learn how Honor can help you with your operations.