Special Guest Author:
Melanie Stover, Home Care Sales
The demand for home care services is increasing by the day and this trend does not seem likely to lose momentum even in the years to come. With such a boom in this business, it’s unlikely that a home care agency wouldn’t flourish. But the fact is; some home health and hospice agencies fail to create a competitive edge in this highly competitive industry and eventually may fall flat.
Know the 7 major reasons why a home care agency fails and avoid making these costly mistakes:
1. Not Investing in Home Care Sales and Marketing
While most agencies think that home health marketing is a DIY thing, it is worth considering that most agencies get so caught up in their daily activities that marketing takes a back seat. Consulting a home care sales academy that provides training to home care and hospice sales representatives can actually help your business grow faster. This is the best way to ensure that your home care agency survives local competition and enjoys sustainable success. So, be sure to consult home care sales training programs that include tried, tested, proven and powerful tools and techniques for generating referrals and increasing revenue.
2. Not Having a Concrete, Actionable Home Health Marketing Plan
The home care agency business is so saturated that if you are starting one without a strategic plan in place, then failure is certain. If you want to accomplish your business goals, formulate a plan after thinking through your financial needs, organizational structure, marketing strategy, sales training needs, expected income, payments, all the competition, and your manpower management plans. Just the way you cannot build a solid structure without a blueprint, your business won’t survive the challenges, competition and the obstacles you face without a plan.
3. Failing to Promote Your Unique Selling Points
If you want your home care agency to survive the competition and succeed, you need to stand out from the rest. And in order to stand out, you need to think about what sets you apart from the rest, what makes you better than them and how are your services different than your local competitors. Your home care agency needs to have a USP. When that USP is identified, you need to leverage the edge you have by giving your sales representatives solid training so that they can position you as an expert.
4. Inability to Identify Your Target Audience and Qualify the Account
Identifying your target audience is the first thing you should do and you can start this exercise by studying your past year’s referral log or your admission report. Sort all this data into categories like doctor’s office, assisted living institutions, hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers, dialysis facilities and the like. Once you’ve identified and listed all your accounts, create a list and direct your home care sales representatives to present your agency as a reliable solution and generate more referrals.
5. Inability to Convert Your Caregiving Expertise into Business Acumen
Most home care agency owners start their business because they are inherently compassionate caregivers with experience. However, being a caregiver for your own elderly family members and being a business person requires you to master two very different skill sets. As a home care agency owner and operator, you need to now hire the right caregivers, who can efficiently bridge the gap between knowledge and ability, and also a home care sales team that can effectively market these clinical and caregiving skills to keep your business running.
6. Failing to Pair Your Home Care Services with the Needs of Your Partner
Once you know what your referral source needs, you need to customize your home care services to fit their needs, if you want to be an ideal solution for them. If your homecare sales representatives are just selling your services as a wide-ranging– Nursing, OT, PT & Caregivers, then you are missing out on positioning your agency as a valuable partner and this may make them more inclined to partnering with an agency that specializes in a specific area or patient condition.
7. Over-promising and Under-delivering
It is not always possible that you are providing the services your partner needs and if that is the case, do not promise what you know you won’t be able to deliver. Overpromising and then not being able to deliver what you’ve promised will only make your home care agency look unreliable. So make sure your staff is adequately trained in providing care for that specific medical condition and you have the capability to handle certain cases before you start accepting referrals.
Melanie is a growth expert who coaches home care and hospice organizations throughout the country to help with their sales and marketing with her partner at Home Care Sales. She has authored several articles and manuals and regularly publishes content. When she’s not busy speaking at national events, you can find her playing with her 5-year-old twin boys while spending time at the beach on the gulf with her family and reading.