Now that we’ve started a new year, working on your strategic plan for 2015 can no longer wait. January is one of the busiest months of the year for most home care providers, but an effective strategic plan is critical to seeing your business grow in 2015. Let me suggest five easy steps to creating your strategic plan for 2015 now, so you can see major steps forward in the coming year.

  1. Goals – Set your top 3-5 goals you would like to achieve for 2015. These are goals that you want to achieve in order for you to feel happy about your progress by January 1st, 2016.
  2. Payoffs – Make a list of 3-5 desired outcomes or payoffs for each goal.
  3. Obstacles – Make a list of 4-7 obstacles that could keep you from reaching each goal.
  4. Strategies – For each obstacle, brainstorm with your key team members on 1-2 strategies that you could implement in 2015 that would help alleviate each obstacle.
  5. Team Action Plan – The entire team needs to be involved in implementing each strategy designed to wipe out the obstacles.   Make sure every strategy includes deadlines, team members involved and steps to completion.

Here is an example of how you can put these five steps into action. I have simplified it for purposes of this article to only include one obstacle and strategy, but I recommend you come up with several more for each goal.

  • Example of a Goal: Boost number of client referrals from 1 a month to 3 a month.
  • Potential payoffs:
    • Increases revenue.
    • Improves client engagement.
    • Keeps our team focused on delivering the ultimate Client Experience.
  • Obstacle:
    • Happy clients sometimes do not remember to refer or are not incentivized to do so.
  • Strategy:
    • Create a Client Referral Program that reminds them how to refer and incentivizes them to do so.
  • Team Action Plan:
    • Marketing Manager – Design 15% discount cards that clients can give to their friends and family along with an explanation letter.   Due December 15th
    • Entire team – During our monthly Taking Action on Satisfaction meeting, identify the “promoters” from the Home Care Pulse Satisfaction Management Reports. – Monthly.
    • Office Manager – Send the 3 discount cards, along with the letter, to the “promoters” as identified by the team. These letters go out at the first of every quarter.

Of course, your strategic plan will be far more detailed but the idea is to keep it as simple as possible. It is my hope that these five easy steps to strategic planning will not only save you time during the holiday season but will provide you clarity and enthusiasm to take on what I believe will be a great year for our industry. On behalf of myself and the team at Home Care Pulse, I wish you the best of luck in 2015 and we look forward to being part of your growth.

Aaron MarcumAaron Marcum is the founder and CEO of Home Care Pulse, a satisfaction research and quality assurance firm specializing in the home care industry. Prior to founding Home Care Pulse, Aaron owned and operated a successful home care business. As a home care provider, he recognized the need for a satisfaction management firm specializing in private duty home care. Because Home Care Pulse gathers so much data between their satisfaction management program and the annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study which they conduct, Aaron is recognized as one of the leading sources of data for the home care industry, and he speaks at dozens of conferences nationwide.