It’s a strange question to ask I know. Of course the answer is you are both a care provider and a business owner. But, what enters your head first, care provider or business owner?

What if I asked the question a different way?

What if I asked you what you do? With no choice or reference to care or business, what would come to mind first? Does being a care provider or owning a care home come before owning a business or being a business owner?

What do you instinctively see yourself as?

Ask most and something relating to the care comes back. Their first reaction is almost never to say that they own a business or define what they do in any way using the word “business”.

But how you see yourself can have a huge impact on the success of your care home.

In this post I’ll highlight why this matters and what the effect of how you see yourself can have on the success of your care home.

If you could only answer, “I’m a care provider” or “I’m a businessperson” which would naturally come first?

Where is your focus – on the quality of care being delivered or on the business that needs to deliver it?

I’m a Care Provider

If you naturally think in terms of the care that your care home delivers then your thinking, your mind-set is geared to the care delivery, which is the outcome of what you do.

“What’s wrong with that?” I hear you cry. “It is the most important thing. It’s why we do what we do?” I understand.

But how are you able to deliver that outcome?

You hopefully have enough people delivering quality care, nursing and activities, preparing nutritious food, keeping your care home well maintained and clean and so on.

You have to make sure you employ the right people, provide good training and ensure they deliver as required.

You may also have people, responsible for different aspects such as finance, training, HR and administration. You may have a separate home manager who is responsible for keeping your home fully occupied and compliant as well as nurse and care managers and maybe a deputy manager.

And you have you, keeping on top of it all, resolving issues that come to you and just making sure that the needs of your residents are met.

You have a big infrastructure that works together to deliver the right care.

Quality Care

But as well as that you also have to make sure you on top of changes in legislation and that your care home remains compliant.

You have to make sure that you can pay your bills, especially the largest, your staff wages bill and the extra costs that go with employing people. So, you have to make sure that you are earning enough income that makes enough profit so you can do this.

So, even though your mind-set, is care-focused, the things you do all relate to the infrastructure that needs to work so that your can then deliver that care.

What you do, day-to-day, is actually focused on the organisation, on your business.

I’m a Business Owner

Yes you are – that is exactly what you are and a business is exactly what you run.

Now, you might say, “Well, yes I know this.” But, how you define yourself, how you act and hence your mind-set makes all the difference here.

If your mind-set is care-focused then when you start your day, you are ready to sort out any issues that arise that could affect the care your residents receive.

You are reactive to the needs of others.

Problems are brought to you to resolve and that is what your day becomes. You spin plates.

You have little or no time to step back and make sure the business itself is strong, that the infrastructure that allows you and your people to deliver the right care, is working well.

If you could focus on making sure your business works well, instead of being busy resolving issues, then you would find that most of the common issues that keep your days full would disappear.

Most issues can be tracked back to a handful of root causes.

An issue with a member of staff could be traced back to a care-specific training, or a lack of mentoring training or conflict management training.

A mistake in care provision could also be traced back to training or could be down to a process not working as it should or that is missing entirely.

Focus at the business infrastructure level would eliminate most of these 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.

They focus on the infrastructure, systems, people and external relationships – the areas of the business that need to work efficiently and effectively together to ensure that customers or clients receive the product or service they need or expect.

They know that if they do that then far fewer issues will arise that needs their attention and that the desired outcomes – in your case the right care being given – will result day in and day out.

Focus on the business 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 mind set that is different.

Strong business = desired outcomes = quality of care

Weak business = daily issues = poor care

Be the business leader your care home needs and run your care home like you would a strong business, on a solid foundation that works well.

Do that, and the result will be the best of care being given to your residents.

If your days are spent reacting to problems and you aren’t able to step away, breathe and give the business that is your care home the attention it needs, then your care home will be vulnerable to something big going wrong.

Don’t wait until that happens. If you think you may need some help then contact me at chris@qualityofcare.co.uk and see if we can help.

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