Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"We Can't Be Everywhere, So We Need Help"

As involved in our community as we are and as connected with existing and potential clients as we attempt to be, we can't be everywhere nor be aware of all the needs that are present. We need help.

In order to provide the most effective services and solutions possible - whether we are aging-in-place consultants, health care professionals (such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, or case managers), contractors and remodelers, durable medical equipment suppliers, designers, architects, or other professional - we need to be in touch with people who need us.

Unfortunately, there is no directory or census that enumerates all of the people in a certain area that have the same type of illness, impairment, or need. If such a tool existed, it would be easy to come up with a plan of action - but then, our competitors could do this as well.

Therefore, we have to rely on our own observations and knowledge of what is going on around us - the physical needs of homes in our area as we see how they are aging and determine what general improvements seem to common to many of them. Of course, this is from what we see going on outside and what we hear from residents and others who know what is going on in the area about happenings inside various homes.

Since we may not have the opportunity to engage all of the people who can use our help or to have current knowledge on what needs to happen in many of the home where we can;t actually see the insides of them, we need our sources and resources to help us.   

We must identify and create an effective network of professionals who can help us remain informed about the area we want to serve. There are many places we can turn – including nonprofit agencies, government offices, trade contractors, inspectors, personal service providers, in-home repair services, in-home health service providers, and several others.

The point is that there are other several other professionals in our market (non-competitors) who are meeting with people in their homes or providing services in their homes where they are getting a first-hand look at what is going on inside those homes – observations that we generally don’t have the time or ability to gain for ourselves.

We need those extra sets of eyes and ears to engage people who can possibly use what we offer – to notice where issues exist, to discuss the subject with them, to bring our names into the conversation, and get permission to involve us in visiting with those individual potential clients to determine appropriate courses of action.

Creating strategic relationships with people who can help us identify where issues exist and also who can partner with us to create and implement solutions for those who need our assistance is how we can make inroads into our market area.

We can't be everywhere at once, and we can't see and know about everything that might be going on in our market that identifies or suggests a need that people have. This is why we rely on team members that we intentionally identify and ask to help us. We build a network that can help us serve the people who need services and solutions that we provide.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, C.E.A.C., 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.