To prepare for the year ahead you first need to decide where your care home or home care business will be this time next year. You need to set some goals, some targets to aim for because if you don’t how will you make 2022 better?

Hint: Hoping that covid will go away and all will be well isn’t the answer.

Most care providers, in fact most business owners, regardless of the sector they work in, simply keep going. They stop on the 24th December, rest and try to relax. By around the 27th or 28th they start to think about next year and what it’ll have in store for them.

Actually, this sector is so tough right now, you may not even have that luxury of rest and relaxation.

What they don’t do is plan what will happen to their business and where they’ll take it and the following year becomes very much like the previous one. Those that do plan have an immediate advantage over those who don’t.

In my last post I talked about the need to plan to plan. You need to set aside the time to plan for next year. If you haven’t done that then go back and take a look at that post.

The key to building a successful business is to look beyond the next 12 months. What do you want your care business to look like in say five years? Do you want to…

       •  Double or triple the number of care homes you have?

       •  Specialise in specific challenging care?

       •  Have home care services in other regions?

       •  Just get it back on track as it was before the pandemic?

       •  Have sold and walked away from the sector?

A big step like these examples could 3, or more years to achieve. But it represents a key milestone at some point in the future and should be the strategic destination you set for your business.

Once you’ve defined this strategic destination, how long will it take to get there – 18months, 3 years, 4, 5? How long it takes doesn’t matter at this stage – what does matter is that you have a clear destination in mind that will transform your business.

Draw a time-line from where you are now to this destination and let’s say it’s a 3-year time-line. Now break the line into 3 segments and you have your annual time-lines.

Now work backwards. To reach this destination where does your business need to be in 2 years? To get your business there where does it need to be in 12 months? To get there where does it need to be in 9 months, in 6 months, in 3 months?

Keep breaking this line down into milestones that you need to hit. Zoom in and 3 months becomes 12 weeks.

Apart from really helping you drive your business forward rather than just getting by, the beauty of this is that you only need to concern yourself with the looming milestones because they’re all connected – hit those and you know you’re on track.

At some point during this exercise (and it could be when you set where you would need to be in 12 months’ time) you may decide that reaching a particular milestone is unrealistic. They should be challenging but not unrealistic.

But if unrealistic then go back to the strategic destination and rather than dilute it (assuming it is itself realistic) simply extend it. Instead of 3 years, would 3½ years make it achievable? Break that time-line down and see what that means for the months ahead.

Eventually you will have challenging but realistic 12-month goals that are based on reaching a future destination rather than simply based on a finger-in-the-air improvement on last year.

Do this now and you will find a weight taken off you and replaced with a new surge of excitement of what you could achieve and how to get there.

And the bonus is that you will relax and enjoy the festive break far more and be energized and excited to drive towards these milestones in the New Year.


If you need help to set the right course and to stay on it then check out the free resources on my website and look out for new material on how to develop and execute the right strategy for your care home business.


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