Good Business for Community Based Care
In the last 10 years we’ve seen considerable change in the Community Services sector with more coming. We need to look at our operations from a business perspective now rather than a government led and funded medical model. Aged Care services now, more than ever, are operating in a competitive market.
The next few podcast episodes form a series focused on small to medium, independent community care organisations and those who specialise in supporting CALD and Indigenous clients and Local Government operators.
We will investigate the topic of whether to stay operating in the market and how to best do this. This is important as we are seeing more discussion around whether smaller organisations should continue operating or if they should consider exit planning.
We don’t have all the answers however, using our experience we can talk about some of the things that we’ve seen work well across businesses generally. Most small organisations may not have had to look at business strategies in any depth in the past. Hopefully we can provide enough information to give these smaller organisations more confidence in moving forward.
We will be looking at:
- Understanding your market
- Understanding your product
- Strategic approach
- Marketing and Promotion
- Collaborative Approaches
- Brokerage and
- Exit Planning
Topic 1 – Understanding Your Market
When you operate any business you need to understand who your target market is and what they need and want.
You may want to operate in the aged care industry but do you actually know what the people you will be marketing to actually want from you. Are there any unmet needs that these groups have that you can fill; this might make it easier to move into an area – be that location or service type.
Businesses, or potential business owners, conduct market research to help them understand the needs of their potential client group. They may do this via desk top auditing and reviews or field research. The importance of understanding your potential client group cannot be underestimated, get it wrong and you won’t have a business.
Understand the demographics of your client base; their age, nationality, education level, marital status, income can assist in understanding their potential needs.
By further defining the psychographic profile of your target client base you’ll understand their buying choices and be better able to market to them. Psychographic profiling includes understanding the values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles of your target consumer. The more you understand your market the better you can match their needs and desires with your product offering.
Ways you can understand the aged care market better
- Attending industry related webinars
- Attending forums and workshops (Dept. ACSA, LASA, COTA)
- Joining Peak organisations focused on supporting an ageing population e.g. COTA
- Reading newsletters (including those of potential competitors)
- Taking to individual consumers about what they like, want, need
- Talking to consumer focus groups such as senior citizens groups
- Reviewing the ABS latest data e.g. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4430.0
- Read Magazines and Newspapers e.g. The Senior Newspaper (free) https://www.thesenior.com.au/ , 50 Something Magazine from National Seniors http://www.nationalseniors.com.au/be-informed/50something
This Podcast Episode is part of a series about the business side of community aged care. Check out the other podcasts on this topic: