A “Tedism” is widely known to those who know Ted Abernathy. I am fortunate to sit on the South Arts Board with a number of very interesting and accomplished folks, and Ted has been working with us on strategic planning, and occasionally does and says brilliant things. “Strategy means making choices,” he said at our last board meeting. “If you are not making choices, then you are not implementing strategy.”
Many talk of strategy, but few understand it, or understand how to implement it. Let’s talk home care strategy. The agency has choices about what service to provide. The agency has choices about what clients to serve. The agency has choices about how to best communicate with its targets. The agency has choices about how to allocate revenue dollars into operations, marketing, and stakeholder distribution.
When marketing home care, there should be a distinct strategy based on desired outcomes. Does the agency want to create longer service hours (thus more profit)? Does the agency want to extend service provision boundaries (thus more potential customers)? Does the agency want to find, hire and retain better caregivers (thus have a better ‘product’ to sell on the market)? Does the agency want to specialize and service a particular segment (perhaps diabetes, dementia, or depression)?
Simply wanting to grow the business is not enough. Strategic choices need to be made in order to grow wisely.
Answer these questions:
Is the agency software working?
Are there issues with paychecks and client invoices?
Are there missed opportunities when scheduling?
Is the communication to and from the caregivers streamlined and efficient?
Are inquiries turning into sales?
Do you track who is doing the best in client acquisition?
Do you faithfully record the inquiry details into a system, and then follow up?
Are the follow-up communication pieces personalized and professional?
Are your special and differentiating qualities and services communicated appropriately?
Are you clear about your agency’s differentiation in the marketplace?
How are you communicating?
Are you measuring for results?
Setting strategy, creating strategy in the first place, is based on data collection, analysis, and personal strengths and weaknesses of the office and the agency itself. Implementing that strategy is best reserved for a marketing partner who specializes. Then, the agency can focus on growing the business, and the marketing partner can specialize on communicating for more growth, and more profitability.
And, perhaps, with success you too can post a new Facebook photo of a vacation on the water, like our brilliant Ted Abernathy has recently done. Kudos to Ted! And, thanks for not getting mad at our taking the liberty of posting your relaxing photo.