Care homes: why it's ok to talk about profit

 

 

Some of our care home clients are a little embarrassed when asked about profit. Given the amount of media coverage the cost and quality of care receives, 'profit' is uttered in hushed tones.

But care homes are businesses and they have every right to be profitable. This doesn't mean you have to compromise on patient care or go on a big cost cutting exercise.

This blog post gives some ideas on how to rethink your attitude towards profit.

First impressions

Take a look at your business from the point of view of someone who is considering putting a loved one into care. What are the little things that could affect this decision?

This isn’t just making sure that the building looks (and smells) good – though these things are important.

You also need to think about how you present the business before they visit. For example:

  • Is your website easy to use?
  • Is the person who answers the phone nice?
  • Are your brochures up-to-date?

Make saying 'yes' easy

You need to make is easy for people to say 'yes' to your home.

Again, it's the little things that count. Cobwebs or surly staff might not seem like huge problems but they say a lot about your attention to detail and quality – both huge factors when choosing a care home.

Little things don’t have to cost a lot (this is a blog post about profit after all) and don’t involve re-inventing the wheel.

For example:

  • Do your rooms look welcoming or are they empty and dull?
  • Can people try a room for a week for free? Compare how much it would cost you to offer this compared to the potential fees you'll receive.
  • Are your residents visible in your marketing material? Testimonials from current residents are far more powerful than those from family members.

Improve your service

People only talk about service if it is terrible or outstanding. Think about what you can do differently with your team and residents to make your service brilliant.

Ideas we've come across include:

Dinner service
Giving staff different uniforms to serve dinner made residents feel special. This was also extended to include afternoon tea.

Setting up a residents food club
A local butcher was asked to create a special sausage for the care home. He came in did a short talk with the residents about the ingredients.

Getting residents involved with everyday tasks
Residents were encouraged to help clean staff cars. This was so successful that residents starting washing cars for charity.

Improving profits

So what do all these 'little things' have to do with profit?

Getting the foundations of your business (or the 'little things') right is the most successful way to increase your profits.

The 'little things' make you different. They improve your service. And they get people talking.

Referrals are powerful in any business but with care, they are worth more than almost any other marketing activity.

Talk to us

If any of this has got you thinking, don't be shy about profit. Get in touch to discuss ways to improve your business.

Our care home website has more specialised information about accounting for care homes.

 

 

 

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