Staffing comes in two, (2) major categories:
(a) Private duty care providers in the private homes of clients being served.
(b) Professional staffing including nurses, rehabilitative therapists and physician assistants who are assigned to fill-in inside of care institutions, i.e. hospitals.
These professionals may also work assignments in nursing homes, rehab centers and specialty clinics including wound care facilities.
Here are a few tips to help you approach your new venture as strategically as possible.
1. Choose the Right Location
Both private duty home care and professional staffing services operate, to some extent, as numbers games. Rural areas with very small populations will likely not be ideal situations for the growth of either service type. Being close to larger metropolitan areas can have advantages.
This is true for private duty home care which serves vulnerable adults and children and staffing agencies who need to contract with reasonably sized care institutions to keep growth on an upward climb.
a. Private Duty Home Care – Be Population Specific
This means you need to decide in the early design of your new company whom you plan to serve. Why is this so incredibly important? Because whom you plan to serve will ultimately determine how you prepare your staff. Staff serving the dementia sufferer will require different training than one serving the catastrophically injured or the non-ambulatory. From preparedness in appropriate body mechanics to lift-free human transfers, the latter would need a special training and staff development focus.
b. Professional Staffing – Be Niche Conscious
Some companies focus on nurses and other professions where there may be shortages in your area. This might be nurse anesthetists or nurses with critical care experience or in some cases pediatric or obstetric trained nurses. Your understanding of the marketplace will ensure you develop a product that matters most.
2. Ensure Proper Capitalization
Ideally our company recommends you keep ninety, (90) days of your anticipated payroll on hand at all times. In addition if you are a new entrepreneur and accepting that it might take 90-120 days, (longer in some instances) to attract your first paying client, seek to blend current employment or other income producing affairs with your entrepreneurial vision. In other words, “don’t quit the job prematurely!”
All entrepreneurs are visionaries and eternal optimists and thank goodness for that. However, sound judgment always plays a role. Do not expect others to make this decision for you, even though professional guidance has value. A new business needs time to mature a bit, gain its footing, satisfy regulatory requirements and find its place in cyberspace.
This is why partnerships, including those among married couples can have value as one holds down the fort and maintains household income while the other focuses on developing the new effort that could carry the family for decades.
3. Establish Your Professional Image
While simplicity has its place in almost every area of business, boredom does not. In our company we recently decided to scrap and rework all of our websites. We are not adding fancy flash and time wasting showmanship but we do maintain a certain degree of appeal with proper placement of imagery and a balance between ‘word focused’ knowledge and images that drive home the point.
Logos too, while never effective when complex, still require a degree of personality. This should be considered when designing yours.
4. Develop the Right Relationships
In home care some families rely upon professionals to coordinate care. These care coordinating and care managing professionals are great monitors for families and often are tremendous assets when the next of kin lives some distance away from the person receiving the care. In addition, these care coordinators act as evaluators – a set of eyes and ears – for the family to ensure a plan of care is being followed and to vouch for your clinical competence. So be sure this community of professionals knows who you are and what sets you apart.
In professional staffing, once your business model is totally designed including:
a. The development of service contracts
b. Staff monitoring and scheduling software
c. Arrangements for after hour response to staffing requests
d. Arrangements for regular staff in-service sessions
Then….Be sure you enter into any possible auxiliary memberships in hospital and related healthcare associations in your state. The same is true of professional associations where owners of nursing homes might network. These are your potential clients and their knowing what sets you apart from others is important.
Additionally most institutions do not wish to rely upon just one staffing agency, but multiple ones so they minimize the likelihood of being short-staffed.
5. Budget Time for Growth
With the right combination of highly qualified personnel, a reasonable investment into the design of a professional image to complement your marketing campaign and a serious, monitored search engine optimization campaign you can find success. However, it takes time and you need to allow for that.
Many create expectations that match the life they want but not the reality of the American business cycle. Yes some of us have entered the business of care staffing on Monday and were serving our first client on Thursday, but this is not to be considered a normal experience.
So budget time to get started, rooted in the reality that it takes time to satisfy regulatory requirements and get your feet wet in the marketplace. Otherwise, the success may still come, but thanks to your inappropriate expectations, the rewards will not taste as sweet as they could have.
Lastly a point or two on realism: Know what institutional biases might exist in the marketplace. Know the political dynamics of the regulatory environment in your area. Have the humility to accept what they might be and then strategize to work around them. Believe it or not, a larger part of your success than you might think could be tied to such an awareness and your ability to navigate within it.
For more on Plan of Care Development, Business Plan Development, Obtaining the Needed Capitalization, Professional Staffing Contract Language, Staffing Software and Marketing and Pricing Services: Read the completely updated manual: The Complete Guide to Success in Home Care and Care Staffing – www.homecareopsmanual.com
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