7 Secrets of Competing with Corporate Care Businesses
Small care businesses can appeal to clients in a way the big guys can't.
Many people with a passion to care for seniors, children or pets have contemplated opening up their own care facility. However, the thought of competing with the corporate care giants can seem overwhelming.
"It can be very challenging trying to compete with larger organizations,” says Terry Kerr, who has been in the care business for over 20 years. “But there are lots of things small business owners can do to keep up with the big players.”
Here are seven tips to help set you and your care facility on the path to success.
- Be Nimble
Having a solid business plan and remaining open to change is critical to competing with larger companies. You need to be an expert at what you do, but be nimble enough to adapt to industry changes and client feedback in real time. Being small is to your advantage, as you can specialize and adapt without the layers of bureaucracy your corporate competitors will have to clear before making changes.
- Personalize the Experience
In the care industry, you have to make sure clients never feel like a number. Your clients trust you with their loved ones, so it's critical to add a personal touch to your services.
When a family member visits the facility, for instance, they need to be confident that it's a safe and caring one. "The experience during the enrollment process or tour of the facility is going to play a huge role in helping them decide if this is the best place to leave their loved one,” says Kerr.
- Share Your Story
Don’t forget: The biggest thing that makes your business different than the others is you. Utilize a blog or social media to share the story about how your business came to be. Will your years of experience in early childhood education inform the curriculum and activities at your family child care program? Did growing up with Newfies in the house lead to being a trainer specializing in big breeds? You'll establish the kind of brand biography that resonates more with clients than a simple logo and phone number ever could.
Learn more about Care.com Marketing Solutions
- Turn Clients Into Evangelists
One of the best -- and cheapest -- means of advertising is through word of mouth. People happily boast about positive experiences they have with businesses. So don’t be afraid to (gently) nudge your clients toward singing your praises by providing platforms, such as a company website or social media profiles, where they can provide testimonials.
- Celebrate Your Differences
Highlighting the benefits of your facility, including qualities that make you stand out from the crowd, will increase the chances of converting leads into clients. For instance, if you run a child care service that opens earlier than most other facilities, highlight how this would benefit a parent who has an early work schedule.
Learn more with our Care Business Marketing Guide
- Effective Labor Management
Smart labor management is the key backbone of any business, including care services, as sour relations with staff result in poor performance and frequent turnover. Creating an environment where staff can use their skills to the fullest is important, as is good communication. How and where you spend capital to hire, train and retain your staff is also a crucial part of this equation.
Learn more about How Small Businesses Can Retain Their Best Employees
- Control Costs
Passion for the care industry alone won’t translate into a profitable endeavor if you have no sense of the business aspect of the industry, and an elementary part of this involves effective cost control. Aside from paying for the lease and your staff, there are other expenses to keep a handle on, including office supplies, furniture, technology and so forth. Having a firm grasp on your overall expenses can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
Check out our Tips for Saving Money on Office Supplies
Brenda Barron is a mother and writer. Her work has appeared in numerous online outlets and she loves offering tips and tricks for other parents. She also enjoys knitting and watching Doctor Who. Find out more about her at Digital Inkwell .