I hope that you, dear reader, and your family, are doing great. In this Covid day and age, our health - physical, mental and psychological - is more important than ever. I will talk about the toll that Covid has on us as caregivers and people in the healthcare industry and how to take care of ourselves in upcoming articles so subscribe if you haven’t so that you can get a notification when I do, but first things first.
My last article highlighted the importance of understanding the nuances of caregiving before starting a home health business. You can find the article here. I posted this informative article on what you need to do when starting a home health agency and it touches on some really basic essential elements of starting your Home Health Agency. If you are starting a new home health agency with zero or a few clients, I strongly recommend reading through the article. It would also come in handy if you’re already established and growing.
Landing your first home health agency client client can determine your trajectory to grow onwards and upwards. Getting your first client is literally the pivotal moment of your home health agency business. It is one thing to have the idea and the drive, but another to actually hit the ground running. It is a “proof of concept” kind of moment. It is this moment of truth that determines your momentum going forward based on how you treat your first client. You would be amazed how simple basic principals like creating relationships with your clients families are often ignored by even the largest agencies and often at their own peril.
So, you just got your Home Health Agency license and are ready to get your first client…not so fast. Before you even consider onboarding your first client, it is paramount to understand what goes into the nuts and bolts of client acquisition as it is essential to your company’s survival.
At this point, it is safe to assume you have a basic idea how the demands required of a home health agency from clients which are:
If you do, then you are ready do get the lead on your first client and below are some few feasible options that point you in the right direction.
1. Do you have an acquaintance, friend or family member that could send a referral your way?
Social media has disrupted the idea of the 6th degree of separation. If you know someone on facebook, twitter, linked-in, chances are someone knows someone in your line of business, and they could send someone your way even if they do not know you on a personal basis. Make sure that you talk about what you do on your social media, talk about your company and post your achievements on your pages - Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any other spaces that you are a member of. You might not get a lot of likes since it’s not a fun post - but you never know who might take note. If you have 500 friends, look at them as 500 potential business leads.
2. Join existing social media groups in in the home health agency field:
There’s loads of groups on facebook, Linkedin, google and much more that could provide you a wealth of knowledge on how to get leads based on your location. Chances are, by posting where your agency is based locally, someone may send a client your way.
3. If you started out as a caregiver:
Getting recommendation letters and referrals from your previous or existing clients is literally one of the key steps to growing your business.
Recommendation letters provide great value and serve as written verifiable proof that your client trusts you with their loved one’s care. Once a potential client hears that your agency comes highly recommended, you will have proof to back it up. If you provided great care to their loved one, chances are that they’ll refer you to their circle of family and friends. Word of mouth can be very compelling in settling your business.
4. Volunteer in retirement communities or even get a part time job:
This is because you will need to have access to network where you can find potential clients to onboard to your agency. Other than the other benefits I highlighted here, being a regular at retirement communities creates familiarity with the community members and the social workers there who’re pivotal in giving referrals to home health agencies.
5. Join home health groups on social media, in your location and also in other areas:
While it seems on paper that referrals are based on location, a good number of family members who make the decisions on their loved ones care live outside where your potential client resides so engaging an agency owner who is not local to you can draw business to you.
No one said it would be easy - but once you get into the groove of it, things really get moving. If you are in this genuinely, people tend to pick up on your sincerity and passion
6. Attend community events and join local organizations:
This is a pivotal point - at your church, social gatherings, school and board meetings, community meet ups, swimming pools etc. Get to be a familiar face in your community and people will trust you to take care of their loved ones.
7. Always have your business cards, flyers and brochures ready to hand out:
In the community spaces and events that we talked about in the previous point, be ready to hand out your business cards and flyers outlining your services. Don’t be shy about requesting if you can pin one (or several) of them up at the notice boards if they allow you to.
I’ll wrap up with the most important point of all:
8. Create relationships with retirement community and hospital social workers and case workers
Be proactive - do your research and find out who they are after you’ve identified their organizations. Introduce yourself, and share your website, brochures, flyers and anything else that you’d deem necessary to sell yourself and your company.
No one said it would be easy - but once you get into the groove of it, things really get moving. If you are in this genuinely, people tend to pick up on your sincerity and passion. Those are the two things that can’t be bought but would set you apart from everyone else. Have confidence when talking. Make sure that you know your services, your rates and all other pertinent information that you can be asked questions on. I’ll do another article on how to pitch your agency to family members and to social workers so stay tuned!
I hope that this article gives you some pointers on where to start. I always welcome your feedback and questions. Stay safe!