Thursday, December 22, 2016

"Dear, Santa, This Is What I Want For Christmas This Year ..."

Christmas is the time of year when we are allowed to dream. As children, we used to think of all the things we could get Santa to bring us - regardless of how practical they were or the cost involved. We simply put these items on our "Santa List." Some of us started our list months before Christmas, and some of us had running lists that we added to all year long.

How many of us wanted Santa to bring us a pony, or a baby brother or sister, or a puppy, or something else that we had no idea how we were going to take care of even if it was possible to get it? Certainly cost was not a consideration.

Fortunately, Santa didn't oblige most of us with our large, playful wishes, and we did just fine with what we did get. Wonder what would have happened had we actually gotten some of the over-the-top things we wished for?

Back to the present. When it comes to aging in place and the businesses that we have to provide services to seniors and others desiring to remain safely living in their homes, we can put together our own Santa List for what we would like to see happen - for us and our businesses as well as the clients we currently serve and those we would like to attract.

Imagine that we could go down to our local department store, stand in line to see Santa, sit on his lap, and tell him what would like to get. Would would it be? What would we ask Santa to get for us?

For our businesses, what do we need? Do we need new clients or customers? A new website, social media profiles, a better office, more connections with strategic partners, a more effective process for producing estimates and getting them approved, a more efficient follow-up program, less procrastination, a stronger business plan ...?

Then again, if Santa really did give us what we asked for, would we be ready to receive it and put it to immediate use - or would it sit on the shelf because we weren't ready for it yet? It's one thing to ask for something because we know that it's possible to get it. It's another to ask for something because we intend to use it once, and if, we get it.

For our clients, what do we need or want specifically for them - or to allow us to serve them more effectively? Do we need a better assessment process or a stronger network of providers to come along side us to implement the changes we envision for their homes? Do we need more effective communication skills to be able to connect with them meaningfully and understand what their real concerns are and how to help them? Do we need stronger knowledge of possible solutions that we can offer to facilitate longer-term enjoyment and use of their homes?

The difference between asking Santa for something and actually getting it is that we have the power to make our dreams a reality by focusing on what is important to have and then concentrating on making them happen. We need to create priorities for our businesses and for the types of service we want to provide to our clients. We need to determine the clients that we want to serve also.

Remember that we have an inside track to Santa, and we have a real chance of getting what is important to us.

____________

Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, 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.