The 1% Rule: Why a Few Home Care Companies Get the Most Clients and Caregivers

Stephen Tweed | March 30, 2017 | Executive Strategy Retreats, Research & Trends
By Stephen Tweed   The sun was coming up over the Spruce tree in my back yard this morning as I sat on my sun porch drinking coffee and reading my daily devotional.  After reading about the book of Genesis, I checked my email and a professional speaker friend had sent me a link to…

By Stephen Tweed  

The sun was coming up over the Spruce tree in my back yard this morning as I sat on my sun porch drinking coffee and reading my daily devotional.  After reading about the book of Genesis, I checked my email and a professional speaker friend had sent me a link to an article.  As soon as I read it, I thought of you.

The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards

The article was by a writer and photographer by the name of James Clear.  I’m not familiar with Mr. Clear, but his writing resonated with me. He began by writing about Alfredo Pareto, the 19th century Italian economist who developed the 80/20 theory, or the Pareto Principal of Mal-distribution.  Pareto found that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people. The Pareto Principle says …

  • 80% of your clients come from 20% of your referral sources
  • 80% of your caregivers come from 20% of your recruiting sources
  • 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients

You get the picture.  I’ve been quoting the Pareto Principle ever since I learned about it 40 years ago.

Clear goes on to define the principle even more precisely with the 1% Rule.

“The 1 Percent Rule states that over time the majority of the rewards in a given field will accumulate to the people, teams, and organizations that maintain a 1 percent advantage over the alternatives. You don’t need to be twice as good to get twice the results. You just need to be slightly better.”

The 1% Rule in Home Care

This rule is clearly evident in the home care marketplace.  With over 25,000 companies competing for clients and caregivers in the US, the industry has become saturated and commoditized.  Most consumers and referral sources really can’t identify what makes one home care company different from another.  It often comes down to price or a personal relationship with the owner.

We’ve studied competitive advantage in home care for over 30 years, and I’ve identified the “Seven Sources of Competitive Advantage”.

  • Exceptional Customer Experiences
  • Caregiver Quality
  • Personal Relationships
  • Organizational Relationships
  • Specialized Programs and Services
  • Brand Awareness
  • Strategic Selling

You can grow your home care business and be in the top 20% by focusing on one of these elements, and becoming 1% better than everyone else in your local marketplace.

That’s right … you don’t need to be 50% better, or 20% better, or even 10% better.

Look at nearly any sports competition.  The difference between the number one player or team, and the number two player or team, is usually 1% or less.  You remember who is number one, and no one remembers who is number two.  (Except Avis – we try harder.) At the 2016 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA, the winner was Danny Willett with a 72 hole score of 283.  Three strokes back at 286 were Jordan Spieth and Lee Westwood.  The difference was 1.06%.

The winner, Willett, received the winner’s purse of $1.8 million.  Spieth and Westwood each received $880,000.  Nearly a million dollars difference in payout for 1.06% difference in performance.

What would it take?

What would it take for you and your team to focus on one specific source of competitive advantage, and then work to become 1% better than everyone else in your marketplace?  What is takes is Strategic Focus.  It takes a clear vision for what you want to build. It takes a strategy to get there, and the talent to execute with excellence.  It’s not rocket science. It’s about focus and persistence.  You can to that.

How to be 1% Better – Join a Home Care Mastermind Group

There are many ways for you to develop the knowledge, skills, and willingness to be 1% better than your competitors. The absolute best way I’ve found is to become part of a Home Care Mastermind Group.  Mastermind Groups are small collections of 10 to 12 companies who come together twice a year to share ideas, solve problems, and support one another. Through the Home Care CEO Forum, we have organized five Home Care Mastermind Groups:

  • The Top 5% Group – for companies between $6.5 and $12 million in revenue
  • The Top 10% Group – for companies between $3.5 and $7 million in revenue
  • The Strategic Growth Group – for companies over $1.5 million who want to be in the Top 5% Group
  • The Caregiver Quality Mastermind Group – Independents – for independent companies that want to work together to conquer the caregiver recruiting and retention crisis.
  • The Caregiver Quality Mastermind Group – Franchises – for franchise home care companies that want to work together to conquer the caregiver crisis.

The number of members in each group is limited. No one can join a group who competes with another member of the group.

If you would like to be in the top 1% of performers in your local marketplace, consider becoming a member of a Home Care Mastermind Group.

Attend a Private Duty Field Trip

Another way to get started being 1% better is to join us for a Private Duty Field Trip.  This is an opportunity to spend a full day visiting one of the companies in tour Top 5% Mastermind Group. The owner will share with you all of the details of how he or she grew their business to reach the top 5% of revenue in the home care industry. Again, no one may attend who competes with the host, or who competes with anyone else in attendance. It’s your unique opportunity to learn how to become 1% better.




Stephen Tweed
Stephen Tweed, CSP, began his journey as a business strategist in home health care in 1982. Today, Stephen is among the top thought leaders in Home Care strategy and management. He has worked with top 5% companies from across the US. He is a sought after speaker at from national and state association events.

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