Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year. Does that spark excitement in you? A clean slate to create and take advantage of new ideas and opportunities. Or is it just another day? The current competition in the senior living and housing market can be fierce so if January doesn’t make you take inventory and commit to make a change, you need to get in the game!
Do Not Rest On Your Current Success
Now, this doesn’t mean you must totally revamp your business strategy (unless it is drastically failing). But each year should bring new ideas and new goals. Even if business is booming, resisting innovative additions or changes can see that success falter eventually. Amazon is a great example of implementing new and innovative ideas into an already successful business. No one can deny that Amazon’s business has been on the upswing for an extended period. The secret to their success is that they are a step ahead with new ideas as the previous ideas run their course. The Apple iPhone is another great example. Same product, a phone, yet it is continually being updated and improved as to avoid letting the competition pass them up and it keeps their customers excited for what is new.
Where in your organization or community could you use some innovation? Taking a good look at resident satisfaction, employee satisfaction and operation performance is imperative. Where are you struggling or underperforming? Where do you need an infusion of life? Now this doesn’t mean you need a huge, out of-the-box idea, but if you have one definitely explore it. It can sometimes just be adding a little something special to what you already have.
Review With a Critical Eye
Have you reviewed your budgets, expenses, and income statement thoroughly? Even if you are not financially in trouble, don’t wait until you are. Where can you increase income, decrease expenses, implement new ideas (which often means expenses) that will bring you a better ROI? Both Jim Moore and Roy Barker of MDS have written how an aging plant and outdated living units can hurt your bottom line. Yes, you must spend money to update but if you don’t, you are likely to see your occupancy rates start to slowly decline especially if you have competition building new communities near you. The strategy is to know what to spend money on and how to perform these updates in order to get your biggest bang for the buck. (see Roy’s previous post What Else is Aging at Your Community). Sometimes the smallest additions can add great value
Take Cues From Other Success Stories
Also, looking at what others have done and seeing if that idea can be molded into something compatible with your community. For example, a couple of recently publicized programs: 1) incorporating a daycare into the senior housing community and 2) allowing college students to live in a community free of charge in exchange for a certain number of hours serving and spending time with the residents. How can these programs spark some ideas for enhancing your community? While you don’t have to implement such a huge undertaking, is there anything you can take away from these programs that would work for you? How can you promote interaction with these younger generations into your existing plans? Maybe arrange a daycare to come visit and do crafts with your residents once a month. Contact a local high school and offer community service hours for any student needing them for their graduation. Involvement with the surrounding community will benefit you, your residents as well as the volunteers.
These are just a small sampling of the many, many ideas out there that can influence your community. We will explore more ideas in future posts. Be open to new ideas. Grow in your expectations year after year. Being successful is not a destination, it is an ongoing process.
It can be extremely productive and beneficial to have your business strategies, operational plans and financial statements reviewed by a fresh and objective set of eyes. MDS can help you in your planning for success in 2017. Call us today and set up an appointment to see how we can help you succeed.