As many of you know, starting a home care business takes patience, perseverance, and hard work. Back in 2002, I decided to start my own home care agency. After two years, I experienced a tremendous amount of growth, but I was exhausted. My home life included eating a quick dinner, playing for just a short amount of time with my four children, visiting briefly with my wife, and running back to the office to work, often until 1 a.m. in the morning. I realized this was no way to live and became determined to get back in control of my business.
To help me regain control over my life and my home care business, I began to develop specific home care business systems designed to help me get back in control of my business and my life. By 2007, I had completely implemented these successful systems into my businesses. I had time at night to spend with my family, and plenty of time during the day to work on specific business items in the office.
My home care business continued growing to the point I could move my family north and manage it from afar. In 2009, I sold the business and started Home Care Pulse. Home Care Pulse has helped hundreds of home care owners by enabling them to use business structures we’ve continued developing from what made my home care business successful.
How to Run a Home Care Business That Doesn’t Run You
Remember Your “Why”
In 2004, I came to the hard conclusion I had lost my “Why”. Being somewhat consumed with the business, I lost the passion for the thing I cared most about: serving others, specifically those involved with home care. When you reconnect with your why and find a renewed love and passion for your home care business, you can start prioritizing it appropriately and building a team of people who share your same passions.
Share Your “Why”
Make sure potential and current employees share your “Why”. Do they understand the job you are asking them to do? Is it something they are passionate about? And, do they have the skills (or are they teachable) to do the task? This can help when you are delegating assignments to employees or when you are hiring new ones. If you don’t have the skills or passion to do the manage your business’s finances, instead of neglecting the task, find someone who gets it, wants it, and has the capacity to do it. (Read the book “Traction” by Gino Wickman to learn more about this concept) Your business will start running much smoother and you will have time to focus on the skills you do have.
Define Your Core Values
Figuring out your core values is extremely important. For my home care business, the core values I instilled in the company were:
- Quality training
To help our staff and caregivers remember these values, we provided them with wallet cards listing all six core values. We also used our hiring and retention process around these values to ensure we were hiring the correct individuals.
Create an Accountability Chart
Creating an accountability chart can be crucial. You need to look at the positions you have in the office and be certain every role of your company is filled.
Executive Director (Integrator)
Outreach Director (Sales/Marketing)
Care Director (Operations)
Office Manager (Office Management)
An accountability chart goes beyond listing the titles in the company structure and defines the main roles and responsibilities expected in these positions. I learned this concept from a book entitled “Traction” by Gino Wickman.
A position scorecard can be a valuable tool for evaluating candidates and even current employees to help you build the right team and get the right people in the right seats. You can understand how well they have done previous jobs and what they excel in, which can help you determine whether they would be an asset to your team or not. Another thing you could add to a scorecard is your core values. If they have the skills and the passion for the job, do they possess the core values your home care business has?
Consistently Measure and Adjust as Needed
When in flight, a pilot’s job is to fly the plane and focus on five main gauges in the cockpit. This keeps the passengers safe while the airplane is in the air. If one of the dials is reading differently than expected, the pilot with try to assess the situation to correct the problem. Home care agency owners and executives should follow this example.
Instead of being overwhelmed with everything happening in your business, try focusing on five distinct metrics to make sure your business is running effectively. Turning your attention to these key metrics will provide you a clearer understanding what is working, and what not. Not sure what to make as your top five metrics? I would recommend you start with the following:
- Monthly revenue and billable hours
- Profit margins
- Caregiver and office turnover
- Inquiry to admission ratio. (% of inquiries which become clients)
- Net promoter score. Based on client’s rating how likely they would recommend someone on a scale of 1-10. (This is something we measure for nearly 2,000 home care providers in North America.)
Once you have your vision set and your goals aligned, you will have more success in finding the right people to fit your vision. As you evaluate potential candidates for your home care business, always remember the importance of having the right people on the bus and in the right seats. Getting the wrong people off the bus is equally important in managing a successful agency. This process will help you build a team you can depend on, allowing you to spend your time more effectively in the office and have more freedom away from the office.
To learn more about these strategies and gain more insights on improving your life through taking charge of your business, join me for November’s free CORE webinar with guest Steve Everhart, CEO and Owner of The Senior’s Choice.. We look forward to having you join us!
CEO and Founder of Home Care Pulse