Growing your business takes both discipline and creativity. You have to not only serve like a compassionate operator but also think like a buyer. The very best hospices build their business in a manner that creates real value. This value should be perceived by patients, family members, employees, as well as potential buyers who may want to acquire your hospice down the road. In all successful merger and acquisition events, buyers look for certain items to ensure they are purchasing a strong and well-managed hospice.
Here are 3 value drivers that if you focus on and maximize, you will realize significant growth, long term sustainability, and optimum value at the time of sale.
1. Build a strong support team.
Most hospices are far too reliant on the personality and drive of a strong leader. Great hospices that are poised for growth and a possible financial transaction must not rely on a single strong leader, but rather on a strong leadership team. In order to be a great hospice, you must hire people who can run with your ideas. These people are generally more expensive to hire but yield much better long-term results. It is important to remember that a strong team will require a strong commitment to additional financial resources, but once you give them room to run and the resources they need, you will experience growth like never before.
2. Be certain that you have legit differentiation.
Being different in the hospice industry is difficult to do but it is absolutely worth the effort. Great hospices take time to consider what it is that makes them special. When considering your specialization, think with your heart and not your checkbook. When putting your heart before your wallet, you will find your true self and your team will gladly follow. Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your patients and family members and you will quickly find your strong and discernible differentiation. If your employees don’t know what your differentiation is (i.e. What makes your hospice different?), then you don’t have one.
3. Establish and track key metrics.
Great hospices and hospice leadership teams are not afraid to measure and report on their processes and results. The best hospices in our industry hold each member of the organization accountable to the critical things that support your differentiation. Don’t be afraid to be at risk. Make sure everyone, from the executive director to the newest employee, knows what is expected and is held accountable to their results. Once you receive results that support your differentiation, make certain to celebrate those successes with all of your team members.
Now, go do it!
Once you have considered these value drivers and employed strategies to ensure their success, you are well on your way to building a strong and sustainable hospice. You now have a story that is easy to share with prospective patients, family members, physician referrals, as well as potential buyers. A great hospice uses a strong mind and a tender heart to build and celebrate a successful enterprise.