Slick Service Delivery

Aged and disability services has changed dramatically over the past few years. Funding is no longer as easy as it once was to access and the way in which funding will be provided in the future, (via competitive tender, or directly via client choice for individual funding), may challenge many organisations. The trend towards funding in arrears will also require significant change for small organisations.
Where once, service providers were predominantly Not For Profit organisations, there are now many For Profits entering the ‘market place’. This competition has resulted in a huge shift in culture; it has furthermore affected networking, information sharing and collaboration. Service providers are now operating in a very competitive market and in order to remain (in business) and ahead of the pack, will need to have sharp and slick business practices.
Becoming sharp and slick in the market place involves careful analysis and review of current practices and culture. It is important to know your business well, to know how it stacks up against other organisations and what it provides well (and sometimes, not so well).
There are a few standard things that your organisation could do to position itself in the aged and disability market place:

  • Have strong core values and ethical business practices;
  • Know your competition -who is your competition and what are they offering that you aren’t offering;
  • Know your clients-who are your clients, and where is there potential for new clientele?
  • Know what sets you apart from other businesses -what do you provide that is unique, or what are your strengths and where could you expand or focus?
  • Market your service well -this may involve marketing in a variety of ways such as social media, face to face, newspapers/radio, television, letter box drops;
  • Look after your existing clients well – provide an excellent service to your existing clients so they will choose your service;
  • Clear statements of ‘package’ income and expenditure and an explanation of costs to clients will promote trust and ensure they are getting value for money;
  • Improve your image – this may involve consistent messages amongst staff and volunteers, be more present in the community, market a common theme well so everyone knows who you are and that you are an excellent service;
  • Consider new income streams – survey the communities you work in and determine what may be needed in your community and see if you can provide this as a new ‘business arm’;
  • Employ the best people- take time in employing the best staff whom you can trust to do the best job and to promote the organisation. Put time and effort into looking after your staff and you may gain a reputation as an employer of choice;
  • Keep your finger on the pulse- keep learning and growing. This means continue being educated, attending conferences and educating your staff. Know what changes will be and be pro-actively preparing for these changes.

As well as all of the above, having a good strategic plan, policies, procedures and systems will of course help to guide your organisation and its stakeholders. The implementation of good systems/practices and procedures will ensure a service that is consistent and which ultimately provides excellent services to its clients.
Through all of these changes it is critical that your organisation remains ethical and maintains strong core values. Whilst it is important to be sharp and slick, this should not at any time involve being ruthless or playing games with the competition. You should be in the business to do the very best for the clients, the organisation and the community. Be distinguished and be excellent, be sharp and slick, but don’t be ruthless!

Find out how we can help your business thrive!