A few years ago
the primary decision most families had to make was "home care, or
not". An aging parent needed help and your company was contacted.
You explained your services, and the costs involved, and a family
member decided whether services were needed and/or affordable.
families this is still true, but we are seeing a rapid increase in
"shopping for home care".
good. Shopping means that the decision-making process is no
longer pass/fail. Shopping customers are far more likely to buy
services, however they may call three or four agencies before making
their selection. The use of in-home services has become more common,
and more families are opting to use an agency rather than trying to
Shopping is bad. This means increased
competition. It's no longer enough to simply establish the value for
your product. Today, differentiating your product in the marketplace
and product packaging, have ever increasing importance.
potential clients and/or referral sources are beginning to "shop
around", it's time to improve the packaging of your products.
packaging brings an image of the cereal aisle in the grocery store to
mind. Floor to ceiling, end to end, the intensely competitive cereal
aisle has dozens of packages designed to
influence. Essentially, the majority of the aisle is simply selling
flakes of corn and circles of oats. The boxes and bags try to
differentiate themselves. More vitamins, different flavors, lower
prices, cute characters, coupons and freebies all grapple for your
attention. The most successful brand (Honey Nut Cheerios®, by the way)
still only captures about 6% of market share.
Applying packaging to home care is more complex. Selling
services means value becomes even more critical. The risk to clients is
higher, simply because of the amount of money they will potentially
spend. Finally, most home care companies sell extremely similar
There are several methodologies in common use, and each
has worked effectively in my experience.
Tiers -- Some companies use levels of service to differentiate
their products from each other. For example, you may offer three
different tiers of service; companionship, personal care, medical
services. Marketing this way requires focusing on the level of need of
Customer Service Packaging -- This
packaging focuses on several options of added value customer service.
Care may be bundled with geriatric care management. You may offer
single-point-of-contact services where each client is provided with
24/7 access to one particular individual.
Services -- Give away services such as emergency call buttons,
medication dispensers or additional in-home services that have distinct
value in your premium packages.
Matching -- Heavily focus on recruiting top quality caregivers and
matching them to the clients. Strong emphasis lies in continuity of
Atmosphere -- Some companies appeal to clients based on creating a
perception that the clients become part of a larger family.
Technology -- In today's
era of technology and hyper communication, demonstrating the use the
latest tech to assure quality and dependability impresses some
families. Explain your scheduling software, timekeeping procedures, and
communication methods to demonstrate value and efficiency.
Clinical Skill -- Demonstrate
that your home health aides and other field team members possess
excellence in training and clinical skill.
Value -- Value can be
tricky. You need to demonstrate a clear value for the customer dollar,
without competing on price. Price competition doesn't work, and
ultimately only attracts customers focused on fees. Computing on value
works when emphasizing "more value for the same money", but
not "same quality, less money".
Critical to success is differentiation. Focus intensely
on one or two of the areas above, and be able to clearly separate
yourself from the competition in the minds of referral sources and
customers. All of the methodologies are important and useful, but
create the perception that you are as good as the rest in every area
and better than the rest in one or two very specific ways.
There is no best method. Even if you find the best method,
it'll probably change over time. Just like the cereal boxes, trends
fluctuate with competition. Your competitors will copy you. The economy
will change. Technology will advance. Family priorities will change. A
news event could trigger a paradigm shift. Whatever method you choose,
constantly adapt your messages and improve your packaging.
We hosted our 2nd Academy for Private Duty Home Care for
2011 in Phoenix, AZ a few weeks ago, and the feedback is outstanding!
Between what we learned from the groups in New Orleans and Phoenix, we
have never been more excited about The Academy for Private Duty Home
First of all, the New Orleans group gave us an average score of 9.3 on
a scale of 1 to 10 for the overall value of the workshop. Then,
they told us that the most important "keepers" or high value
1. New marketing ideas & strategies
2. Finding high value prospects
3. How to grow the business
4. How to get the best caregivers (selection process)
5. Creating competitive advantage
6. Strategic planning
7. Benchmarked financial data analysis
8. Leadership skills
you would like to get the latest strategies, insights and benchmark
data to grow your private duty business, join us at one of our upcoming
3, 2011 Raleigh, NC - hosted by the Association for Home Care
& Hospice of North Carolina. Please contact
the Association for Home & Hospice Care of NC by clicking on the
link or at 919-848-3450 with questions or registrations.
17, 2011 Indianapolis, IN - hosted by the Indiana Association
for Home & Hospice Care. Please
contact the Indiana Assn. for Home & Hospice Care by clicking on
the link or at 317-775-6675 with questions or registrations.
25, 2011 Newton, MA - Hosted by The New England Home Care
contact the New England Home Care conference committee by clicking on
the link or at 617-482-8830.
14, 2011 Philadelphia, PA - hosted by the VNAs of America specifically for VNAs and
other not-for-profit home health agencies with private duty home care.
The Advanced Strategy Retreat
insights, interaction & networking
to grow your
business and get ready for the future!
Stephen C. Tweed, CSP
- Have you ever wished
for a network of fellow CEOs of home care companies with whom you
can discuss your business?
- Have you been
reluctant to give and receive good ideas about marketing, strategy
and management when you're in a room full of local competitors?
- Wouldn’t it be great to spend a couple of days with a
small group of business owners who really understand your
feelings, frustrations, and concerns, or your purpose, passion and
determination to build a leading edge home care business?
If so, save the dates and locations
on your calendar and plan on joining Stephen Tweed, a pioneer in the
development of Private Duty Home Care, for a best-practices packed day
and a half of strategies, insights, examples, and illustrations of
proven techniques to grow your private duty home care business at the Advanced Strategy Retreat
for Private Duty Home Care.
- Multiply your profits!
- Streamline your operations!
- Increase your personal focus!
- Reduce your stress and frustration!
- Expedite your long term success!
previous participants have said about their experience at the Advanced
Strategy Retreat for Private Duty Home Care:
this program was really helpful. I loved the HVAs and HVCs, and
the personal energy drains. I highly recommend this strategy
Jonathan Bowman, CEO
Harmony Home Health
"This was an
excellent investment of time and money to re-focus, re-energize, and
learn from a true industry expert. It was great to network with
other successful, non-competing home care business owners."
Dee Musselman, Co-Owner
"I loved the
Private Duty Scorecard, looking at where we are going, and putting
together a plan to get there. I made a commitment to set up
strategies to reach my goals."
Danville Support Services
Salt Lake City, UT
"The ideas of
most value for me were the HVAs and HVCs, the Force Field Analysis, and
creating competitive advantage. You can't afford not to go!"
Kent Swanson, President
Bill Remiyas, CEO
Suburban Home Care
Downers Grove, IL
strategy retreat is essential for those who want to grow and
thrive. I loved the Strategic Plan At A Glance."
Marjorie Peitras, CEO
All About You
"I came away
with a clear vision of how to grow my business. I like the
networking with other owners, and the motivating ideas. I highly
recommend this program."
Loreta Columbo, Administrator & Owner
Home Care Solutions
New York, NY
During the past few years we received countless requests
from our readers asking for recommendations for an insurance company
that specializes in the home health industry.
Here is one of
"We are a small HHC business
in Maryland. We are state licensed and just recently received
ACHC accreditation. Are you aware of any Insurance Companies that
specialize in HHC Business Insurance? We're getting raked over the
coals with a 20% increase from our local insurance company and that
with 0 claims ever made!
with a suggestion that she contact David Dickie at The Solutions
Group. We have received tremendous feedback over the years from
individuals who have purchased insurance through The Solutions Group,
so we invited them to become a Sponsor for The Academy for Private Duty
Home Care and Selling
Home Health Care to Physicians programs.
later, we received this note back from Beth.
so much for recommending David Dickie for our insurance needs. We
will save 62% this year on our liability policy and we have more
coverage than our original policy!"
Thank you again!
It is customer
feedback like this that makes us very comfortable in recommending
companies like The Solutions Group and David Dickie. If you are
interested in saving money and increasing profits for your home care
company, click on the link below and check out the information on
The Solutions Group. Visit The Solutions Group
As more and more states require
licensure for non-medical home care, it's becoming necessary to have a more detailed policy and
can hire someone to write one for you from scratch, or you can save
time and money by purchasing the industry leading, New
Directions Policy and Procedure Manual. Then use the CD-ROM
that is included to customize your policies and procedures, add your
company name and logo, and you're ready to implement those policies in