March 20, 2024

What should your care business’ profit and loss look like?

Table of contents

Navigating the financial landscape of domiciliary care in the UK can be challenging. For SMEs in this sector, mastering the Profit and Loss (P&L) statement is not just about keeping the books in order; it's about steering your business towards sustainable growth and thereby ensuring the highest quality of care for more recipients. This article offers some quick ways to effectively get back on top of you P&L statement, getting you in control and ready for whatever comes your way.

Mastering profit and loss basics for care businesses

Understanding the components of a P&L statement is crucial. It breaks down your revenue - the income generated from services provided - and your expenses, which include costs incurred during operation. This balance sheet reflects your business' financial health over a specific period and is vital for making informed business decisions.

In the context of domiciliary care, where income can come from varied sources like private pay clients and government-funded programs, comprehending these figures is crucial for sustainability. A monthly review of your P&L can reveal important trends, such as changes in the cost of supplies or variations in demand for services.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) underlines the importance of such financial monitoring. Regular reviews not only help in compliance but also in maintaining the financial viability of your services.

What can I do right now?

If you don’t have one already, put a standing fortnightly appointment into your calendar to implement a regular P&L review process. This process will help you better identify trends that could be potentially harming your business, and flag areas for improvement - and the regularity of it will help stop things from spiralling and becoming intimidating.

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Optimising operational expenditure in homecare services

Domiciliary care agencies face diverse operational costs, from staff salaries to equipment and transportation. Optimising each of these expenses is key to maintaining a healthy bottom line. For instance, spotting where you can put in place more adopting energy-efficient practices or negotiate better rates with suppliers can quickly lead to significant savings.

What can I do right now?

Conduct an initial audit of operational costs, starting with one week worth then expanding out to a month and a year - look at everything that comes in, and goes out, of the business. You may be surprised at how much you’re spending in certain areas, and be able implement at least one cost-saving measure without compromising care quality!

Diversifying revenue for long-term care business stability

Diversifying revenue streams can offer financial stability against market changes. For example, expanding services to include specialised care or extended support can open new revenue channels. The UK Homecare Association's 2021 report points out the increasing demand for personalised homecare services, suggesting this as a potential area for growth. So - could you offer other services, such as handyman or gardening services? Could you train your team to deliver more complex care? Is live-in care an option for you? There are a huge range of steps available to you and the team to help you diversify your business and meet growing demand.

What can I do right now?

Get your core team together to explore and identify at least one new revenue stream for your business, looking at all the different types of domiciliary care service types available as your key starting point. You may find that your team has some great ideas that could unlock that new revenue stream faster than you’d think!

Future-proofing your care business with smart budgeting tools

Effective budgeting and forecasting are essential for the future stability of your care business. Did you know you could be losing money simply by not having the right support in place? Utilising technology to monitor day-to-day incomings and outgoings, combined with technology that can forecast accurate financial projections on your behalf allows for better preparation for all future expenses and revenue changes.

What can I do right now?

Digital tools are not the enemy - in fact, once you get comfortable with managing invoicing, payroll and more through one intelligent platform then you’ll start to take key strides to becoming a truly competitive business. It also frees up hours a week on manually inputting financial details (and helps avoid human error!). Consider looking for a platform that can take your finances and bring them into the digital space.

Navigating compliance in healthcare financial management

Adhering to financial reporting standards is crucial in the UK's regulated healthcare sector. In fact, having balanced books with all things accounted is something the CQC look for as a part of their inspections! This means having a simple system to not just generally manage P&L, but to be able to track and share it with auditors on request. Digital tools not only make this whole process much easier, but can help regulators and inspectors look at historic data to show improvements and learnings.

What can I do right now?

Review your financial reporting processes to ensure they are fully compliant with UK healthcare regulations - and get digital if you want to impress the regulators.

Harnessing financial insights for growth

Your P&L statement is more than a financial document; it's a narrative of your business' financial journey. Accurate and deliberate management of this statement can guide your business towards success and enhanced care quality. Embrace continuous learning and adapt your financial practices to the evolving landscape of domiciliary care - most importantly, start looking at technology to help you get on top of your P&L, and you may quickly spot some ‘leaky holes’ you didn’t even know needed attention!

Every number in your P&L has a story to tell — a story of challenges faced, opportunities seized, and decisions made. By understanding and interpreting these stories, using digital tools to help do the heavy lifting, you can make strategic choices that not only keep your business financially healthy but also ensure that you continue to provide exceptional care to those who need it most.

Don’t be afraid therefore to embrace and see your P&L as a way to grow, even if it seems intimidating at first. And remember, technology is there to help, and support you as you start to use your new P&L to benchmark your progress, and as the compass that guides smart business decisions.

Want to read more on this? Click the button below to read our article ‘Worried about your cash flow?’

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