MISTAKE #1. You’re in the wrong location. You found a great deal on the house you want to convert to an RCFE. It’s not far from where you live, so it’s convenient. Or someone told you that was a great area, even though you live 45 miles from there. Or any of the following:
· Not close enough to hospitals, SNFs, and acute or Sub-acute, so they don’t want to refer their patients to you.
· Too many other Board and Cares in a 5 mile radius around you.
· Unsafe neighbor or the neighborhood has changed dramatically. People no longer want their parents there.
While it may be impossible to relocate, and you cannot or will not sell and start over, there are marketing ways to overcome this big, big problem. The system will show you how.
MISTAKE #2. You do not understand who your customers really are. Your residents are really not your core customers. Oh, they’ll be living with you, and what they feel is vitally important. BUT, you actually have a much stronger decision makers—the influencers—their boomer kids, the doctors and discharge planners, and the clergy and professional referral agencies who will help Mom and Dad make the final decision. Did you realize this? Probably not.
And it’s up to you to market to these simultaneous audiences with different marketing messages.
MISTAKE #3. You did not analyze your competition before or after you set up the facility. This is a big mistake. Let me give you an example:
I had a client two years ago who insisted on buying into a campus RCFE property in Orange County. The owner had been there for 25 years. She sold my client a big bill of goods that was no good!
A 21 bed facility was the agreement, and he paid tons for the right to become the eventual owner. After he had taken the licensing test for administrator, he came to me. I check the CCLD website immediately, and saw that there were over 42 other competing B and C’s in a 5 mile radius. When I asked how many he had visited to see what they did versus what he did, the answer shocked me! Just three!
Needless to say, he is no longer in the business.
In my system, I give you all the forms, charts, and scripts you need to find out:
· What your competitors are doing—their strengths AND their weaknesses.
· What they say they are doing—could be different from above.
· What their prices are—real vs. listed
· How to get inside for a “looksee”
· How to develop what makes you special or the USP.
· And more.
MISTAKE #4. Not enough time spent marketing. Let’s face it—most RCFE administrators know they must market, and market consistently. Yet, there are crises all the time: this caregiver got sick, the other one quit, CCLD is on your case and you need to defend yourself, one patient is on hospice, another sent to the emergency room, your taxes are due… on and on and on til you scream “why did I get into this business? I want to help people, and I barely find the time!”
Here is the reality: YOU MUST SPEND THE FOLLOWING TIME ON MARKETING, IF YOU WANT TO SUCCESS:
· 2 HOURS PER DAY MINIMUM – using letters, blogs, email, newsletters, calls, scripts, etc.
· 4 HOURS PER WEEK IN VISITS to SNFs, Hospitals, etc.
· YOU MUST HAVE A WRITTEN MARKETING PLAN AND SCHEDULE, with forms, letters, and templates so this stuff is taken care of like clockwork. Once you use MY SYSTEM to set it up, it’s relatively easy.
MISTAKE #5. Not enough understanding of how the Internet can help you market.
Most of my private consulting clients, when I ask them how they market on the web, say: I have a website, but it doesn’t really work for me. When I question if they use Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and other social media, as well as the FREE internet directories that allow them to advertise for free, the answer is “Huh?”
So let me ask you:
· Do they use email for marketing? No.
· Do they use Social Media? No.
· Do they have a blog with constant new content and articles? No.
· Do they have a static or active website? No.
Well, here’s the reality folks. YOUR COMPETITION DOES!
MISTAKE #6. NO WRITTEN MARKETING PLAN.
You know, it’s funny. The State requires you to have a written assessment info form, and a written care plan. I just wish they’d require Board and Cares to have a written marketing plan. It would save a lot of grief. Unfortunately, they do not. So if a few B and C’s go belly up, they really don’t care, do they?
My success system will teach you all the different timings, strategies, and abilities you need to be successful, along with all the forms, templates, and sample letters, news releases, and other marketing tools you’ll need.
MISTAKE #7. No Understanding of the Basic Marketing Tools needed for B and C’s.
How many of these do you have in a binder or folder, ready to use at a minutes notice:
· Sales Letters to SNFs, Hospitals, etc.
· Proposal for Referral letters to same
· Letter sequence to elicit inquiries
· Newsletter template
· Phone messages script and voice mail script
· Publicity event calendar
· Press release templates
· Yellow page ads for phone book
· Ads for your local 5 mile radius newspaper
· Open house schedule and planning forms
· Workshop and seminar templates, forms, and schedules to show you as the expert in RCFE
· Writing skills templates and lessons
· Persuasive skills for making the sale
· Speaking skills for the owner and the staff – scripts to practice