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:
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!