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It’s February. We’ve moved past January and the New Year. We’re beginning to look forward to spring–which, if you’re from a cold area of the country like we are, it might be a long time coming! So, how do we increase our focus this February? How can we spend our time wisely working on our home care business before we are distracted by the smell of spring flowers in the air? The answer is BENCHMARKING!

Ok, maybe that’s not the answer you expected, but at Home Care Pulse, we are serious about benchmarking for the home care industry, and each February is the month we spend conducting the survey for the annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study. This year, the survey is open as usual, and we are hoping you join us. Gather your business’s 2013 statistics and participate in the study (answers are anonymous). When you take the survey, Home Care Pulse will send you a 2014 Personalized Report that outlines your company’s survey responses. Then, in April, purchase your copy of the “2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study,” so you can see how you compare to others in the home care industry.

Entrepreneur defines benchmarking as “a standard or point of reference in measuring or judging the current value or success of your company in order to determine your future business plans.” Simply put, benchmarking is comparing your business to others in order to see how you’re doing. You can compare your business to any other business and see how you rate, but you get the most useful benchmarks when you compare your business with others in the same industry. By benchmarking against others in the home care industry, you can compare industry-specific benchmarks that you won’t get anywhere else, such as revenue & growth comparisons, profit & loss comparisons, top marketing methods, sales close ratios, client growth rates, client turnover ratios, client average length of service, top caregiver recruiting methods, caregiver retention rates, caregiver/office staff benefits, and many more.

With these benchmarks, you then have the opportunity, as Entrepreneur puts it, to “determine your future business plans.” If you see that a majority of home care businesses are finding most of their new clients through referrals from current clients, but you have never put much effort into asking for referrals, it makes good business sense to change your methods and try something new. Benchmarks can show you whether or not your caregiver wages are standard for your region or if your client retention rate is lower than others. You can make changes and improvements with confidence, knowing that if something is succeeding for others, it most likely will succeed for you.

Sometimes business owners try to look inward for solutions to problems, rather than gathering information from others who’ve experienced the same challenges. Think of the importance of gathering information on the home care industry much like a doctor gathers information on patients. How would you feel if you went to the doctor and were told you were his first patient, ever! He had never seen anyone else, not even in medical school. He just studied from books. You most likely wouldn’t want advice from that doctor. Instead, you expect your doctor to have learned from years and years of seeing patients, to compare your symptoms to those he’s seen before. His years of gathering information from others will benefit you.

Benchmarking does the same for your home care business. Yes, it’s important to focus closely on your own business, but if you never look outside your business, you could be missing an opportunity to gain important insight from some of the most successful home care businesses in the country.

Performance benchmarking is worth your time–and there has never been a better time than the month of February to participate in the survey for the “2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study.” Take advantage of this opportunity to expand your view of the home care industry and take the guesswork out of your business strategy. Participate in benchmarking this month and learn from others how to best succeed as a home care provider!

Click here to download the Prep Worksheet to prepare for the survey.

Click here to take the survey.

Click here to pre-order your copy of the “2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study.”

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