Commercial success for care homes in 2021 won’t happen by accident – you need to plan it now. Our advice will help you make a great start to ensuring that your care home is one of the success stories next year. Here are our five tips for ensuring commercial success in 2021.
Care home commercial success tip 1: Staff recruitment and retention
A sure way to drive down your commercials is to rely on expensive agency staff. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to start recruiting skilled and qualified staff now. This is especially important as we head into the winter months, where staff sickness is likely to rise. Ensure that you have enough employees to see you through these months. It’s pivotal to keeping your commercials healthy.
Recruitment is hard at the best of times, so recruiting in the midst of a pandemic is a difficult task. To deal with this shortage of staff, we’re recommending our clients to look at the governments ‘Kickstarter Scheme’. The scheme is aimed at 16-24 year olds who are currently on Universal Credit. It is aimed at getting them into employment through a six-month work placement with a business. The government meets their wages up to 25 hours a week at the national living wage. This gives you a great opportunity to start getting them recruited and trained up. Once the six month trial is over, you can make a judgement as to whether you would like to extend the offer. This could be to a full-time contract or onto an apprenticeship scheme.
Within the care sector, another good way bring in new talent is to work with a local college. They can forward you some of their students interested in the area. This can allow you to see them throughout their training from an apprentice to a fully qualified member of staff.
To improve your commercials even further, don’t just stop at recruiting staff. Invest in training them and the employees you already have. Investing in training will improve your commercials in the long run. Staff are more likely to stay working at a care home that provides mentoring and training to develop their careers. This means less staff turnover. You’ll avoid the hidden costs that are associated with expensive recruitment processes and training brand new staff. It’s also important not to neglect your long-term staff. Send them on refresher courses. Ensure that they’re always instilled with the most up-to-date knowledge in the area.
Beginning your preparations for the new year can be challenging at the start. However, the rest of our five tips for ensuring commercial success in 2021 can give you a stable platform to work from.
Care home commercial success tip 2: Offer dementia-nursing services
As a care home owner it is important to understand your institution’s point of difference within the industry. What sets your care home apart from others? If your care home has a specialisation, then you’ll be able to charge a premium for this. Promoting and investing in your expertise will pay dividends for your commercials in the long-run. A specialisation could be: dementia-nursing, nursing, residential, residential-dementia. It’s worth noting that these areas of expertise are all on a spectrum. Some will improve your commercials more than others.
The fastest growing demand within the residential care sector is for people with dementia and associated complex needs. Local authorities and families look to support the elderly within the community for as long as possible. If your care home is not equipped to support residents with more complex needs, it could have a serious impact on your commercials in 2021. One of the ways, therefore, potentially to improve your care home’s commercials would be to adapt your services to be able to meet this rising demand. If your staff are properly trained in dementia care then you’ll be able to offer a more specialised service to your residents. You will be able to reflect this in your prices.
Care home commercial success tip 3: Go to the council or your funding provider with your specialisation
Once you have identified and enhanced your care home’s specialisation, go to your funding provider with a price to fit the service you can provide. Whether it’s local authority or private fees that predominantly fund your care home, if you have a specialisation such as dementia-nursing, you’ll be able to negotiate a higher fee with the payer.
Care home commercial success tip 4: Make your care home COVID-secure
If you have a new resident coming into your home, do you have the adequate staff and amenities to facilitate their isolation? Prior to 2020, it seemed unlikely that this would be a contributing factor that the elderly and their loved ones would be taking into account when deciding which care home to reside in. However, in our (currently) dystopian world, this is now a pivotal consideration.
It’s a good idea to get your admissions protocol in order now, so that you don’t deter potential residents from your care home. Knowing that you have the space and staff to deal with new arrivals and make them feel welcomed into their new home is a great way to start off on the right foot with new clients.
It’s also useful to have this space in case of a COVID outbreak in your home. Ensuring that you can care for residents with coronavirus within your care home will also help improve your commercials. Again, it’s going to be a key consideration of any potential resident and their families.
Care home commercial success tip 5: Enable visits to your care home
When deciding whether to send a loved one to a care home, families are going to want to know that they can visit that person. It is likely that the thought of them going into a care facility without the prospect of seeing them for months on end will deter them from choosing your home. One way to improve your commercials is investing in the appropriate COVID-secure visiting rooms now.
This needs to be a socially distanced meeting spot that doesn’t require going into the main building to be accessed. A garden or a car park is a great spot. Even once the pandemic is over, the thought of a similar situation is going to be on everyone’s minds. So, this is a long-term investment. After all, we have always had outbreaks in our care homes before that have meant visits have had to be suspended for a while. A safe visitor pod will mean you won’t have to ban visitors in the future. This will remain even when the health concerns are within your home rather than outside it.
Remember, commercial success for care homes in 2021 won’t happen by accident. When investing in a visiting facility for your care home, it’s not enough to just buy a hub for your residents to meet their families in. You’re going to need to think about how you’re going to manage booking out the room. Be it online or through a telephone appointments system, this needs to be determined. You’re also going to need to think how and when it’s going to be cleaned, as this will need to happen in between every visit.
Improving the commercials in your care home is going to take time. But these five tips for ensuring commercial success in 2021 are a great way to get your care home heading in the right direction. If you start taking steps to improve your staffing levels and start specialising now, you’ll be able to capitalise on these investments in the future.