Starting a new home care business can be a daunting task, no matter where in the world you are, but the gratitude for trying to improve the lives of the elderly in your community will fulfil you like no others. You’ve gotten qualified carers, and have a small number of clients on board. How do you grow?
Nursebuddy gives a few tips on how to get new customers for your home care company and help more people in your community.
1. Referrals from current clients
Keeping your current clients happy with an outstanding quality of care will help you get more business. People talk, and if the service you are providing to someone is a quality experience, then they will talk about it! Consider a referral scheme; if someone refers someone else to sign up, then a reduction on charges will persuade them to talk more about your company, and advertise for you through word of mouth. A referral is qualified and coming to you, giving a lot less effort to keep your name out there. So keep your service quality high, and you’ll see more clients.
2. Good and consistent inspection scoring
Inspections when in home care are a guarantee; local councils and governing bodies will conduct inspections to make sure that visits are happening correctly, on time, and in a friendly and efficient manner. Organisations such as the CQC in England rate and publicly display the rating of each and every home care provider in England, and only have 4 different grades – Outstanding, Good, Requires improvement or Inadequate. Outstanding is the most difficult to achieve with only a small number of the 9800 registered companies in England. Each are rated on 5 questions:
- Are services safe?
- Are services effective?
- Are services caring?
- Are services responsible to people’s needs?
- Are services well led?
By reporting on each of these questions, inspectors give a rating for each care provider. Making sure that your consistently get a good or above rating will allow for new clients to find you easily and request service from you.
3. Advertising - getting to your decision makers
Advertising costs money – how to spend this is often the biggest guessing game for care providers. Are your clients the decision makers themselves, or is it generally a family member or friend that would decide on a care provider? How do you reach your decision makers?
There are a number of different ways to advertise, but importantly it must be targeted on a local level; there is no point advertising to those that are based in London if your agency is based in Manchester. Try to make sure that the communities are being targeted as well. Smaller projects such as leaflet drops, local newspaper advertisements or a billboard/bus stop advertisement may go a long way. Bigger projects can be considered too; local radio ads and local care roadshows where you can exhibit.
But most importantly, get some kind of online advertising. Having an easy to read website, containing all the information about your care service, will naturally bring some leads to you. You can also go with doing some local advertising on the likes of Google Adwords by specifically target those that are looking for new care services in their area. Social media advertising on Facebook or Twitter may also bring some interest, but generally people are not on Facebook or Twitter to find new care companies, just interact with ones that they deal with already. Google Adwords in this case is a better for online advertising.
4. Networking at hospitals and physicians
Getting to know those that would diagnose, treat and discharge patients may help bring you more business; by capturing someone before they have even considered options for a home care provider, will help you gain more customers. By networking with staff at hospitals or with local physicians, you can make your brand better known, and recommended by them. Personally visit each office with a well-organised summary of your home care services, and you can see more business being referred your way.
5. Working efficiently with technology
Care Management software can help improve the reputation and the quality of care that your clients receive. Trust in your brand is important, from both a clients perspective but also carers. Carers are your front line team, the ones actually doing the important work in the community. If they have the information and tools needed to do their job quickly, efficiently and communicated instantly, then this leaves more time to develop relationships with current clients. NurseBuddy would inform a carer of all duties they need to perform for ever visit, location of each visit, and information about the client to help them do their job better. Take a look at how we can help your care company improve the quality of care being delivered to your clients. Sign up now or request an online demo of our care management system. Want to read more about how technology can help new companies? Read our article on ‘Five best practices when looking for a new domiciliary care software.