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How do I know who to hire for a Home Care Agency?

I have a home care agency in Florida that I opened last year. I spend almost all the money on Google, hiring/firing a salesperson, training employees... the job is well done but to find patients/clients is from nowhere.

I was thinking of hiring a marketing company but the 2 options I've started to talk to have asked me for a 6-month contract. To do that, I would have to borrow money, and then... what happens if they don't bring in any customers? What if I am in the same situation? No calls, no clients... more debt.

My son is taking care of Google, which means 1-2 phone calls every other week... usually looking for a job. I paid for an article by a freelance writer and the content and wording did not make sense, even after I wrote a long explanation of the business.

The person I hired was not doing the things I asked him to do... so... paid for almost 3 months with not 1 referral/call... nothing.

It is very frustrating. Any idea regarding what I can do is very much appreciated.

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The bad news here? You will have to spend some money - you get what you pay for in marketing. The good news is that this is do-able.

I know a little about in-home care operations - the competition is fierce but the 'hours' are there. I think you will find that if you can survive, hiring (candidates) will eventually be a bigger issue than prospects.

(Warning: most of the following is geared towards your online presence)

You mentioned that your son is "doing Google" - I assume he is optimizing your website (SEO), however, you may want to consider hiring an SEO/PPC agency to help out. Your site is likely at a disadvantage for a couple of reasons to start: the age of your domain (website) and the authority of your domain.

With some work, you should be able to rank your site in the 3-pack (the map pack) but that only gets you so far. To rank organically (below the map) you will need to develop some content on your site and optimize that for user searches - no, not keyword stuffing but content that does a couple of things - some pages that explain your services in detail (one for respite care, another for dementia care, etc.) and article that deliver value to users (i.e. 5 Ways To Prevent Falls).

There is much more that needs to be done but I would encourage you to either decide to spend some money getting some help or have your son completely focused on SEO at least one day a week (8 hours). PPC (paid advertising) is another option but that will also cost some money - someone to set up and manage a campaign and then you have to pay Google for the clicks your ads receive.

I hope this helps you some if you decide to go it alone for SEO endeavors try posting a question or two (or searching) on Quora. There is some pretty good information there.

All that aside, most experts will tell you to spend 8-12% of top-line revenue on marketing to grow a little - given the high amount of churn for in-home care you should try to hit the top side of that number. I would also recommend you use your GMB (Google My Business) listing to its fullest (posts, reviews, owner questions, etc.).

For some non-digital efforts, as an owner and the face of your agency you need to be out networking as much as possible building a referral network (or hiring a community manager/marketing director). This won't happen overnight, some owners do not see a tangible ROI from networking for a year. Paying for leads (a la care.com, caring.com...) is another avenue but most successful owners do not use those sites instead of getting their name out there with Meals for Seniors, Alzheimer's Assoc walk(s), etc.

I am not sure of your background but as you consider ways to 'get your message' out - take time to decide what your message will be. What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Differentiate yourself from your competitors - people may not want to spend the money at first but when it comes down to it - this is their family and they want to know their loved one is being taken care of properly by an agency who has properly vetted and trained their caregivers.

Good luck!

Thank you so much, Richard,
Very detailed and helpful message. Regarding my background, I am a Registered Nurse and working in the Healthcare field for almost 13 years.
I think I have to hire a company that does all that. My son does his best in helping me but his time is very limited. I was in touch with LTC Experts... any idea? Suggestions? Do you know them? Do you know any other trustable companies for this job? I'm scared by contracts.
I will go back to networking, meetings, and expos. Hiring is difficult but there is a lot of good people that want to work. Besides that, I have my own training/orientation program for every person I hire, so I know what they really know. I have a strict policy of "no cellphone while working" and I always encourage them to have good communication. If you like it, check my website www.smilinghhc.com.
Once again, thank you!

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