Saturday, February 3, 2018

"Creating Aging In Place Solutions Is A Team Activity"

Depending on the nature of our aging in place services business and the type of solutions we want to create, we don't have to try to do everything ourselves. In fact, it is highly impractical that we would be able to to do so.

We can do more things, be in more places, provide more in-depth services, and be more effective in serving our clients when we involve a team approach rather than just relying on what we can do ourselves.

We all have certain talents and abilities that we can use to work with our aging in place clients, but we don't need to do everything alone or by ourselves. We have the ability to seek out, attract, and enlist the help of other capable individuals and providers.

Sometimes we might be able to do a home assessment or a simple repair or installation (depending on the nature of our business and what we typically offer) without assistance, but often there are going to be areas that we want or need to be involved in where we simply are not qualified or licensed to do the work the clients require. Therefore, we necessarily need to ask for and get help in the form of some type of collaboration and strategic partnership.

On our own, we might be able to find the job and get the process started with a client, but more than likely, we are going to need help finishing it from some of our professional colleagues and strategic partners. Creating a strategic alliance with remodelers, occupational or physical therapists, designers, durable medical equipment consultants, and others advisors - anything that we are not trained or licensed to provide - is an effective way to maximize market reach, extend delivery of the solutions we offer, and create effective results for our clients. In fact, it's the optimum way to sell, design, and implement our aging in place services and solutions.

Strategic partners or alliances are temporary bonds that we form with other professionals and the trades for a particular project or type of service that we want to offer. We create them between ourselves and two or more other independent providers or companies. This way each one complements the services and expertise of the others, and the client is the beneficiary. With aging in place services, these bonds can be more long-term as long as all of the participants are happy with the other's performance and abilities and desire to continue working together to provide more services and solutions.

We can add and combine as many collaborators and strategic partners as necessary for a project, and the number of individual participants can adjust up or down by the specific project - depending on where it is, what it entails, and what needs to be provided by various team members to make it a successful venture. Generally, having more than one provider in any given role is a good idea to accommodate people being busy or distances that are too far away for convenient travel.

The important part is to always be looking for individuals or companies that we can partner with - just once for something unusual special or on an on-going basis for what we typically look for as part of our business model - to broaden what we offer the marketplace and make our services more valuable and complete.

The strategic partnerships or alliances exist on a project-by-project basis and do not bind or align the companies to each other except through the terms of the working agreement they create for specific projects. Otherwise, everyone is free to pursue business on their own or with other strategic partners. Nevertheless, this creates a very effective delivery system that serves all of the participants and especially the client base.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Master 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. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.