March 27, 2024

Need to run a care agency under tight margins?

Table of contents

Constantly worried about your bottom line? You are not alone! For every domiciliary care business, every decision counts - and efficiency becomes not just a goal but a necessity for survival and growth.

This article offers a few actionable strategies for owners and registered managers of domiciliary care businesses to optimise their operations, reduce costs, and enhance the quality of care despite financial constraints.

Firstly, how do you know exactly where your money is going - and how much you should be spending in each area to match up to the most successful businesses in the UK?

The Birdie team recently hosted a webinar on how to benchmark your agency’s finances. Our industry experts discuss exactly how much you should be spending where per hour of care - from travel time to equipment costs. You can watch the full webinar here:

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Want to use the benchmarking tool from this webinar? No problem! Access that here, and get a clearer picture of what you’re spending where, and how that matches up to other domiciliary care businesses in the UK.

Now that you’re in a good place to understand where your main outgoings are, here are five ways to get a grip on that bottom line.

Maximising efficiency in scheduling and routing

Efficient scheduling is crucial in domiciliary care, where staff are constantly on the move. Optimised scheduling and routing can significantly cut down on travel time and costs, enabling care professionals to spend more time with care recipients, which is essential for quality care.

  • First Steps Towards Efficiency:
    • Implement a Digital Scheduling Tool: Utilize software like Birdie to optimize routes and manage appointments efficiently.
    • Manual Route Planning: For agencies not yet ready to digitize, manual route planning focusing on geographical practicality can be a cost-effective alternative.
    • Regular Schedule Reviews: Conduct periodic reviews of schedules to identify areas for further improvement.

Streamlining administrative processes

The administrative aspect of domiciliary care, while essential, can often be a significant time and resource sink. Streamlining these processes can free up valuable resources.

  • Streamlining Strategies:
    • Transition to Digital Record-Keeping: Implement digital systems for efficient documentation and reporting, reducing manual paperwork.
    • Simplify Paperwork: For agencies less inclined towards digital transformation, simplifying existing paperwork processes can also yield efficiency gains.
    • Train Staff in Efficient Administration: Regular training sessions can enhance staff proficiency in administrative tasks, reducing time spent on paperwork.

Strategic resource allocation

Effective resource allocation is key to running a care agency under tight margins. It's about ensuring that every resource – be it staff, equipment, or funds – is utilized to its fullest potential.

  • Resource Optimisation Steps:
    • Conduct a Resource Audit: Regularly review how resources are currently being used and identify areas for better allocation.
    • Adjust Allocations Based on Demand: Be flexible and willing to reallocate resources as per changing needs.
    • Involve Staff in Resource Planning: Their insights can often lead to more efficient use of resources.

Fostering a culture of cost awareness

Creating a cost-conscious culture among your staff can contribute significantly to saving costs. When every member of the team is aware of the importance of cost-saving, small changes in daily operations can lead to substantial savings.

  • Building Cost Awareness:
    • Organise Cost Awareness Workshops or Webinars: These should aim to educate staff about the importance of cost-saving and how they can contribute.
    • Encourage Cost-Saving Suggestions: Involve staff in brainstorming sessions to identify potential areas for cost reduction.
    • Recognise and Reward Cost-Saving Initiatives: This can motivate staff to continuously seek ways to reduce expenses.

Investing in staff training and retention

Investing in staff training might seem counterintuitive when discussing cost-saving, but it is a long-term investment that pays off. Well-trained staff are more efficient, provide better care, and are less likely to leave, reducing recruitment and training costs.

  • Training and Retention Strategies:
    • Develop Comprehensive Training Programs: Focus on efficiency and quality care to enhance staff skills.
    • Explore Online Training Resources: Online modules can be a cost-effective way to provide ongoing training.
    • Implement Mentorship Programs: Pairing new staff with experienced mentors can improve onboarding and retention.

By focusing on these areas, it becomes a little easier to navigate the challenges of operating under tight margins. Embracing both digital and manual strategies for improvement, care agencies can not only survive but thrive, providing high-quality care while maintaining financial sustainability.

Click the the button below to find out how Wiltshire Support At Home doubled discharge capacity without losing quality.

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