How In Home Care Franchises Can Earn Early Referrals
Referrals are a crucial source of business for in-home care franchises. But for new franchise owners, they represent something of a chicken-and-the-egg situation. On the one hand, you need referrals to generate new business. On the other, you need existing business to generate referrals.
Thankfully, there are proven strategies that you can use to solve this conundrum. While earning your first clients and generating early referrals can be tough, it’s an essential part of starting an in home care franchise. So if you’re wondering how to generate early referrals for an in home care franchise, here are 4 techniques that we recommend.
Generate Early Buzz for Your In Home Care Franchise
Most referrals for in home care agencies come from existing clients or their families. But if you can generative positive buzz around your agency, you don’t necessarily need clients to provide your referrals. You simply need a way to make your location stand out in people’s minds.
To give a quick example, let’s say you open your franchise by offering free rides to local seniors in need of transportation. Even if you don’t earn the business of these seniors, you’ll make your business a conversation topic and you can attract press attention, both of which will help you generate word-of-mouth referrals from non-clients.
Make Local Connections in Related Fields
Word-of-mouth referrals are the bread and butter of most in home care franchises. But there’s another valuable source of referrals to consider: local providers of senior services and medical care for seniors.
While it’s easier to earn these referrals with a proven track record, there are many ways to make early connections in these fields — especially if you can distinguish yourself from other local in home care providers.
Many in home care franchises generate early referrals this way. They introduce themselves to local doctors, physiotherapists, and senior centers, and when they do so, they make a pitch for why they offer care that’s uniquely valuable.
Get It Right with Your First Clients
In the field of home care, the strongest referrals come from satisfied clients. So if you’re trying to generate early word-of-mouth, the best thing you can do is get things right with your first clients.
That means you’ll need to take things one step at a time — something that can be tough to do as a new business owner.
When you’re starting out with an in home care franchise, you want to grow your business. That can lead you to overextend yourself by taking on too large a caseload, offering care to clients who require care beyond your capabilities, or focusing your mental energy on where you’ll be in 1-2 years instead of your current workload.
All of these things can undermine the quality of care that you provide, making it much harder to earn referrals and grow your business. Instead, it’s better to approach your work with patience, doing everything you can to get things right with your first set of clients.
Leverage Your Franchisor’s Brand and Resources
One of the biggest strengths of a franchise is the fact that it comes with a built-in image and brand. Most in home care franchises also provide their franchisees with local marketing materials to help them spread the word about their business. These resources can give you a valuable edge when you’re trying to generate early referrals.
Take Visiting Angels®, for example. Our brand is one of the most widely recognized names in the home care industry, recognition that helps our franchisees earn business both directly and via referrals. We also provide a full suite of customizable marketing materials for local marketing, helping you spread the word about your services.