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Visit the family of corecubed websites for homecare marketing products and services

corecubed.comMarketHomeCare.comMOST4YourMarketing.com

 
Aug 18 2015

Making the MOST of Power Partners

Posted by Merrily Orsini

Partners in home care, are partners for home care.

Synergy between partners creates a better relationship.

Yesterday at corecubed we were busy on the phones taking in new inquiries, and like all savvy marketers should, finding out how they heard about our services. We were delighted to learn that several of the callers were reaching out to us because they attended the Hurricane Marketing Boot Camp in Washington, DC last week with home care sales training coach Steve Weiss and his team. Having sponsored the last boot camp, we at corecubed know that participants leave feeling energized and equipped with a solid sales strategy.

Steve, also a trained minister, preaches to home care agency owners and salespeople about a concept he calls creating “Power Partners” – a way to get referrals from those within the industry. The key is a cross-referral mechanism. But, how do you get their attention? That’s where corecubed comes in, as we have the power to implement a marketing strategy, branded to the agency with the agency’s own messaging as a component of our offerings. As the health care delivery system matures, and more people are vying for attention to provide services, offering information and education on how an agency can help in a variety of scenarios is the crucial to winning business and getting attention.

So, I Googled “Power Partners” this morning and came up with the following: “Partnership is defined as a voluntary collaborative agreement between two or more parties in which all participants agree to work together to achieve a common purpose or undertake a specific task and to share risks, responsibilities, resources, competencies and benefits.”

The fact that we received several serious inquiries who are ready to implement speaks to the “power” aspect of Power Partners, as working with referral sources clearly enhances a business’s ability to reach a broader audience, whether that business is a marketing firm or a home care agency. And, we have been targeting specific referral sources since we started marketing, with the inception of corecubed in 1998.

You see, my background in starting, growing and running an agency gives us that advantage of 17 years of experience actually practicing what we preach. Has marketing changed in the past 17 years? Absolutely. The addition of technology and digital marketing has changed how and when people get information they need to make decisions about care. However, what has NOT changed is the information that people are searching for in order to make a care decision.

The competition has also changed, as in grown. There is simply much more competition from other agencies, from the underground economy, from the larger health care delivery system that is now integrating home care into many other facets of their operations.

However, what has NOT changed? Again, it is the information sought when decisions are made.

Having the best sales force will, no doubt, bring in sales and some new referral sources. However, meeting the needs of those seeking care will increase those numbers exponentially, and, meeting those needs online will only allow more people seeking care to find their answer in the agency that educates, meets the customer or referral source where they are in the buying process, and acts immediately to secure a spot in the searcher’s list.

So, thanks to those in the home care industry who understand that partnering is good. Competition keeps us all on our toes. And those seeking care for someone at home have a lot of learning to do in order to make the right decision.

Call us, email us, visit our website and think “partner” when you work with us, as we do bring “power” to the relationship, and help you grow your business.

 

 
Aug 11 2015

The Dynamics of Selling INTO the Aging Care Market

Posted by Merrily Orsini

A business selling to aging care and home businesses needs industry knowledge for success

Business to Business selling in the home care market takes industry knowledge to be successful

The dollars spent in the aging care and home care industry should make any remotely related business stand up and take notice. If you have a product or service that sells to those who provide aging care services or home care, using a marketing firm that understands this industry puts you way ahead of the competition.

Let’s look at some statistics. Although five years old now, the latest figures from a 2010 report by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice state, “Approximately 12 million individuals currently receive care from more than 33,000 providers,” and, “In 2009, annual expenditures for home health care were projected to be $72.2 billion.”

Just three years later, those provider numbers nearly doubled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, “Long-Term Care Services in the United States: 2013 Overview.” From the report’s Executive Summary:

“In 2012, about 58,500 paid, regulated long-term care services providers served about 8 million people in the United States. Long-term care services were provided by 4,800 adult day services centers, 12,200 home health agencies, 3,700 hospices, 15,700 nursing homes, and 22,200 assisted living and similar residential care communities. Each day in 2012, there were 273,200 participants enrolled in adult day services centers, 1,383,700 residents in nursing homes, and 713,300 residents in residential care communities; in 2011, about 4,742,500 patients received services from home health agencies, and 1,244,500 patients received services from hospices.”

Caring for our aging population isn’t one-size fits all, as evidenced by the list of various providers cited in the CDC report. In addition, each of these markets gets paid through various means, from a client’s personal funds, to long-term care insurance, to Medicare and Medicaid.

The CDC report goes into greater detail about the following differences (which you should take the time to read through), differences which corecubed comprehends and navigates on a daily basis when it comes to B2B (and B2C) marketing.

  • Provider sectors differed in ownership, and average size and supply varied by region.”
  • “Provider sectors differed in their nursing staffing levels, use of social workers, and variety of services offered.”
  • Rates of use of long-term care services varied by sector and state.”
  • “Users of long-term care services varied by sector in their demographic and health characteristics and functional status.”

So whether your business sells software, telehealth products, nutritional therapy, medical equipment, residential services, or any other product or service that makes sense to run a successful business in general, or a home care business in particular, you’ll need a aging care and home care marketing expert on your side to effectively and efficiently tap into this market.

Unlike other industries your business or product may target, selling into the aging care and home care market requires an understanding of the industry, how they buy, what is important to them, and how they receive information. Vendors hoping to sell into this potentially lucrative market oftentimes do not understand the dynamics of the home care market specifically, the stress of the job, and the budgeting woes.

Also, the home care and home health care market is fragmented into further niche markets. So, vendors hoping to sell into this market also need to know the differences between the kinds of care provided, who provides the care, and how those businesses get reimbursed for care, and who makes decisions, or the vendor might miss the entire opportunity.

corecubed works directly with home care agencies, and because of that, our home care marketing experts have a unique and in-depth understanding of how these niche businesses operate. As the go-between agency, corecubed is the logical choice for vendors who want to sell B2B into the home care and the home health care market. Contact us today to find out how we can better help you understand and reach this dynamic and growing market.

 
Aug 4 2015

Keeping Employees Happy Is The Key to Success

Posted by Merrily Orsini

Keeping employees happy keeps clients happy.

A happy employee is a wondrous thing.

Do a Google search on “keeping employees happy” and it will pull up a long list of recent articles in top business publications, even a three-point list by Virgin CEO Richard Branson on how to keep employees happy so they don’t start rival companies.

In the high turnover world of homecare, both in terms of clients and paid caregivers, keeping employees happy remains critical to your success. Over the years, here’s what I’ve learned matters most in retaining the best employees:

  • Valuing their input: The direct care staff is the front line representative for the agency. Their role as a critical component of the care team needs to be taken seriously. They need to be heard and, if they make a request, action needs to come about, plus communication about that action. Then thanks and praise for being such a valuable part of the team.
  • Feedback: Knowing that what they are doing matters isn’t enough. Your employees need to hear specifically how they are doing on a regular basis. We can get so caught up in the daily management of our business that we forget to share our insights about a caregiver with them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking our employees know how much they mean to us and to their caregiving clients. If a client praises one of your employees, make sure to turn right around and share it with them.  Provide ways for clients to share praise (and constructive criticism) for their paid caregivers and office staff. This could be in the form of general client surveys about your organization as a whole, or more specific, such as a “how are we doing” note on each client bill where they can add their comments about care.
  • Validation: Very similar to “valuing their input”, your employees, from office staff and especially to those in the field, doing the day-to-day work of caregiving, need to know that what they are doing matters. Share with your employees information about the importance of caregiving, the studies that find family caregivers feel stressed and tapped out, and how their job as paid caregivers helps relieve the family’s burden. Involve them in webinars and seminars focused on the future of caregiving and why it matters (corecubed participates in many of these every year). Find specific ways to stress to them the invaluable and important job they are doing.
  • Acknowledgement: Akin to validation and feedback, employees need acknowledgement of their concerns about both the business and their clients. This actually works a little off one of Richard Branson’s points: Give your employees the freedom to be creative, to come up with solutions to problems that they face on a daily basis with specific clients, but also with the business of caregiving. Caregivers are on the frontlines to both problems and solutions. Treating them as a valuable part of your caregiving army, and not just someone who takes orders, goes a long way to making employees feel capable and connected to the organization and its mission.
  • Training: Caregiving shouldn’t be seen as a job that anyone can do, and we all know not everyone can do it. It takes special and dedicated people to do what caregivers do, for someone who isn’t a family member. Every homecare business engages in initial training of employees, but it shouldn’t stop there. Ongoing training is necessary not only to keep up with the changes in the marketplace, technology, and elder care, but also to keep your employees improving and expanding their skill sets. Providing additional training for employees will help them in their own current jobs and in life.At corecubed, we offer numerous webinars and training programs for attracting and retaining qualified and quality and committed employees. Visit our www.MarketHomeCare.com shop or  contact us today to find out more.

     

     

 
Jul 29 2015

Take a Break, For Everyone’s Sake

Posted by Merrily Orsini

Frazzled is not a good caregiver mode.

Taking a break fixes frazzled.

Ah, summertime fun in the sun. For many caregivers, however, it’s may be just another season. They are too busy focusing on the caregiving season of chronic or terminal illness or continuing mental decline of their loved ones to do anything more than wistfully look out of the window. They go from day to day without a thought to themselves.

Caregiving can take its toll on not only the caregiver—both family and paid caregivers—but the patient being cared for if the caregiver isn’t at his or her best or becomes ill for failing to take care of themselves. One way caregivers can and must take care of themselves is by taking a break from the responsibilities of caregiving.

For many of us, not just caregivers, taking a break is easier said than done. According to Expedia.com’s annual Vacation Deprivation Survey, Americans receive an average of 15 vacation days each year, but they take 14 days, up from 12 days leave taken in 2013. Why even leave one day on the table, when not taking a break can do serious damage to your physical and mental health?

In fact, high levels of stress have been associated with numerous negative health outcomes, including high blood pressure and heart disease. Research by the Framingham Heart Study found women who took a vacation once every six years or less are almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or suffer a heart attack than those who went away at least twice a year.  And we know that women continue to be the primary caregivers. But even men are at risk for trying to muscle through without rest and relaxation.

Another study of 12,000 men ages 35 to 57 found those who don’t vacation regularly had nearly a 50 percent higher risk of dying from a heart attack than those who vacationed at least four of the study’s five-year period. A blog on Prevention.com highlights other ways how not taking a vacation damages our health, including increasing depression, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and the stress hormone, cortisol, in our system.

Taking a break, either a few hours for dinner and a movie, or a longer respite of several days, rejuvenates caregivers both physically and mentally, helping them to refocus their energies and to be better able to tackle work and responsibilities again. TakeBackYourTime.org has a list of “10 Reasons Why Vacations Matter,” that’s worth reading.

Taking a break also helps caregivers better reconnect with the person or loved one in their care. After all, you can’t put a smile on your face for someone else when you are feeling miserable yourself.  Caregiving studies have shown that caregivers can fall into their own depressions.

The Vacation Deprivation Survey pointed out several barriers to taking a vacation, some of which can be alleviated through respite care for your loved one. In the case of loved ones on hospice, Medicare covers up to five days at an approved hospice facility for the patient (the caregivers still need to pay for their own vacations, of course).

“The most popular excuse for not using available vacation days is “work schedule does not allow for it” (19%), followed by a desire to “bank them/carry over to next year” (18%), “lack of money” (18%) and “difficulty coordinating time” (16%).”

At corecubed, we can help your homecare business communicate to clients the importance of taking a break, for everyone’s sake.  Summer’s not over yet. Contact one of our marketing experts today to make sure your clients and caregivers get the R and R they need, in the sun, and in the future seasons ahead.