If asked, are you a care provider or business owner what would your first answer be?

Where is your focus – on the quality of care being delivered or on the business that needs to deliver it? How you see yourself can have a huge impact on the success of your care home or home care business.

The answer to whether someone sees themselves as a care provider or a business owner can vary depending on the individual and their approach to running a care service.

However, the answer that comes to mind first can provide some indication of their primary focus and values.

I’m a Care Provider

If someone sees themselves primarily as a care provider, it suggests that their main priority is the well-being and quality of care for the residents in their home.

They may prioritise factors such as personalized care plans, the welfare of the residents, and maintaining a warm and supportive environment.

The owner is focused on the service they deliver.

Whilst that makes sense, after all it’s why your care home or home care service exists, if your mind-set is care-focused, it risks being too focused on the daily needs of the service.

This is a reactive stance where you are ready to sort out the day-to-day issues and challenges that land on your desk.

Often as the owner and or Registered Manager your experience is care and so you may be the best person to resolve these issues, or it may be that this is your comfort zone – you are the expert, and you love this aspect of the business.

The problem is that you risk not giving enough time and energy to the business itself. You may struggle to step back and do the things needed to keep the business strong and on track.

I’m a Business Owner

If your initial thought is that you are a business owner, your primary focus is areas like the financial aspects and operational efficiency of the care service.

Because of the type of service you provide, some might see that as cold, but it is where you should be focused. You are focusing on the foundation that supports the service you deliver.

This is a good position to adopt because the focus is on the foundation that supports the business and service. The stronger the foundation the better the service – the care your organisation provides.

A strong, effective foundation will also reduce the number of issues that do land on your desk, because most issues can be traced back to a handful of root causes, most of which a well-run business will eliminate.

Focus on making sure your business works well, instead of being busy resolving issues, then many of the common issues that keep your days full would disappear.

For example, an issue with a member of staff or with care provision could be traced back to poor care-specific training, or induction process, or a lack of mentoring training or conflict management training.

A quality induction process and training program would eliminate many of these kinds of issues.

Once your business works efficiently and effectively and systematically, once your business is more strategic in its approach, once you bring out the leaders in your people and the best in them, then you will eliminate most of the root causes for the problems you face on a daily basis.

Focus on the root causes of your common problems and you’ll be amazed how many disappear.

You can read here about one owner I helped in this way and the difference it made to her and her care home.

Successful business owners spend their time focused on making the business strong and on making it work well.

At the core of building this strong effective foundation that the business builds up from is of course the financial strength of the organisation.

If there is a problem with care delivery that can be traced back to a lack of training, then is training not as it should be because the company can’t afford it? Or if the problem is because there aren’t enough staff on duty, is that because the company can’t afford to employ more staff?

The first step to building your business on a strong foundation is making sure it is financially viable.

And if you haven’t reviewed your costs and your fees for a few months then please do.

Making sure your fees are where they need to be is the most important task that you, as the leader of the service, can carry out right now.

If you want some guidance how to make sure you have the fees you need to be financially healthy then read 5 Steps to Make Your Care Business Financially Secure in 2023 and Beyond.

Because if you are making little or no profit on these fees then the business is in trouble and will not survive no matter how good the quality of the service is.

Care Provider or Business Owner?

Ultimately, the most effective care homes are those that integrate the perspectives of being a care provider and a business owner, acknowledging the need for both compassion and business acumen in running a successful care service.

Wheel chart showing Quality of Care needed for your care home business

Because of their career history many care providers are comfortable with the care provision aspect and so the challenge is to step back and be the business leader the company needs.

But step back and being that business leader is vital.

Make sure your care business is financially strong. (A review of your current fees is the best place to start.)

Once you have that in place (or working towards having it in place) focus on the infrastructure, systems, people and external relationships – the areas of the business that need to work efficiently and effectively to ensure that clients receive the service they need.

With this foundation working, the actual service you provide will work so much better and issues that need your attention will become far fewer.

Focus on the business foundation and the desired outcomes will result.

Do this, and you will still achieve your top desire to deliver quality care. The aim is the same, it’s the focus and mindset that is different.

Strong business = desired outcomes = quality of care

Weak business = daily issues = poor care

If your days are spent reacting to problems and you struggle to step away, start with a review of your current fees and arrange client reviews around any fees that aren’t returning the profit your care home or home care service needs.

The report 5 Steps to Make Your Care Business Financially Secure in 2023 and Beyond will help you get this right.

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