Thursday, May 26, 2016

"We Have To Wear Many Different Hats To Create Effective Aging-In-Place Solutions"

As aging-in-place providers, we wear many hats. We wear a hat (so to speak) for our primary area of expertise, and then we must translate and share our knowledge across a wide spectrum of other specialties and areas of interest. As we build our businesses, we also have to wear many hats to make that happen. Some get very heavy. When we have to leave them on for extended periods of time or wear more than one at a time, they can get quite heavy.

Regardless of what type of profession or specialty we represent, and whether it it our business or one in which we take a strategic role for a larger organization, we have various responsibilities to make the business run successfully, particularly with the administration or management side, the revenue producing or sales part of the business, and the delivery or installation part of the work through the production or fulfillment part. Each of these major areas require several hats for our involvement in it.

For the management part of running and growing the business, there is hiring and interviewing, evaluation, training, compliance, purchasing, accounts payable, receivables, supervision, planning, budgeting, performance tracking, and more. For sales, there are sales calls, marketing campaigns to design and manage, websites to create and update, social media profiles and posts, follow-up letters and calls to complete, sales management, lead generation and management, and order processing. In the order fulfillment and completion, there is installation, warranty, delivery, selections, inspections, and related items.

Each of these tasks or areas of focus require that we wear the hat specific to that activity. Throughout any given day, we might wear multiple hats - and quite often have on more than one at a time. This can complicate our ability to focus on multiple tasks, create stress, dilute our effectiveness, and make us tired from the added weight of wearing those additional hats of responsibility and activity.

As we create specific aging-in-place solutions for our clients, we may have the ability to complete the entire job from start to finish - depending on how complex it might be and what our area of expertise happens to be. Even at that, we likely still manage to fulfill different roles and figuratively wear different hats during the process. When we have to reach out to involve others in the process, however, we might function as an assistant, observer, active participant, or strategic partner of the others we have selected to work on the solution with us.

As a contractor or remodeler, if that is our main function and focus, we may need to involve and seek the advice of an occupational therapist or other health care professional for their expertise in planning and assessing how to meet the special or medical needs of the client. Our training and expertise would not allow us to wear that additional hat, so we need to defer to the other specialties or professions and let them take the lead role for that part of the project.

The same is true if we need to involve the services of a designer, engineer, architect, or durable medical equipment specialist to create their part of the solution.

When there needs to be an electrician, plumber, painter, drywall installer, flooring contractor, cement mason, or others involved in the process, we may have an advisory, supervisory, or management role to play as we allow them to make their contribution to the project.

There are so many moving parts in structuring and running an effective business and in creating appropriate solution for our clients. Some of those hats we can wear, and others we must employ for their specific roles in the process. 

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.