While the demand for home care has risen sharply in recent years, so has the competition. Here are a few tips to make your agency stand out and gain a competitive edge.
1. Use Data to Drive Your Agency
Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse wrote, “whoever said that ‘what you don’t know can’t hurt you’ never ran a business.” It has become increasingly clear that data is the new currency in home care, and agencies that are implementing systems that collect key data are using this information to streamline their business, as well as prove their ability to deliver health outcomes to existing and future clients. In order to use data to drive decision making in your organization, and to understand how to market your business, it’s important to track these key data points:
- Sales Metrics
- Changes in Cognitive and Physical state of clients
- Caregiver retention
- Client satisfaction
2. Invest in Staff
The top challenge facing home-care agency owners is recruiting and retaining caregivers. Caregivers often feel a lack of appreciation from office staff, express concern over shortages in PPE and unsafe work environments, feel that they have inadequate training to perform certain key tasks, and complain of inconsistent scheduling and schedule inflexibility.
Addressing these concerns and increasing caregiver satisfaction can be achieved by strategic planning and a set of deliberate actions.
- Implement an easy-to use scheduling system so caregivers are aware of their schedules in advance and can easily communicate and block off shifts for personal time
- Provide readily available protection for caregivers such as PPE, and implement systems that reduce liability for caregivers in their work environment.
- Ensure caregivers are adequately trained to perform their daily tasks in each care environment. Continuous training allows caregivers to obtain areas of specialization and learn new skills.
- A little recognition goes a long way – having a “caregiver of the month” or placing a phone call to a caregiver at the end of a hard day’s work has a huge impact on caregivers feeling valued and appreciated.
These methods will prove beneficial in attracting new staff and ensuring that the caregivers you have will stay with you for the long-haul.
Specializing in a particular condition such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s can provide you with a competitive edge in your local market. This requires some research into the relevant needs of your local market, and providing proof to potential clients as to how your agency is uniquely equipped to deal with these conditions.
As a bonus, providing your caregivers with specialized training will increase caregiver and client satisfaction.
4. Adapt Fast and Adapt Smart
The covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of an important lesson of evolution – it is not the strongest species that survives, but rather the most adaptable. That rings true for care agencies as well.
Agencies that learn to adapt to the changing market, come up with unique and innovative programs, and capitalize on changes as they occur are the agencies that are going to grow revenue and succeed. Ways you can incorporate adaptability into your business:
- Re-package existing services in a creative way
- Offer unique programs that correspond to new trends – health and wellness, meditation etc.
- Perform continuous market research on competitors
- Capitalize on changes that occur – such as offering covid-testing for families before visits, leading covid-safety webinars and creating useful materials.
5. Incorporate Technology
Agencies that are hesitant to adapt technologies are likely missing out on revenue and will have a hard time competing with businesses that use technology to streamline their operation and increase revenue. Here’s just a few ways you can utilize technology to push your business forward:
- Seamless scheduling and payroll
- Quality assurance and data gathering
- Sensi’s Virtual Care Agent providing a 24/7 safety
- Compliance and caregiver training (solutions such as CareAcademy)
These are just some of the ways to make your care agency stand out against the competition. Implementing these practices takes careful research, planning and implementation, but the agencies that will incorporate these methods will be the big winners of 2022 and beyond.