As home care business owners, we all operate on systems that we’ve so eloquently built in order to achieve proper care for our clients. Once we’ve mastered those systems and our care units are running efficiently and effectively, we naturally start to think about how to scale to the next level. In this series, we explore the key components to scaling your home care business while maintaining the highest quality care, optimal efficiency, and meeting your financial goals.
Today, we focus on saying no. This one might take a little practice but it’s worth it.
First, a reminder. The care of your clients always comes first. Occasionally we go beyond because we love our caregivers and our clients so much! Innate in us is a willingness to please. We didn’t stumble into the home care industry because we didn’t love people and making them happy.
But, related to our last discussion on setting boundaries, it is imperative for us as leaders in our community, business owners with fiduciary responsibilities, and models in our workplace to get good at “no”. Say it with me: No. No. No.
Why Do We Need No?
It’s said that a parent of a four-year-old child can receive as many as one hundred individual requests in an hour. As humans, we are innately curious, ambitious, and communicative. This is a triple threat for preschooler parents everywhere.
While our self-control improves as adults, signaling not to ask too many questions of any one person in a short time, there are lots of us adults in our home care agency. Being in a leadership position – like the mom peppered with questions – inherently positions us on the receiving end of dozens of requests from dozens of people in a given day. With our hard-working staff in the field, siloed in client homes, we may receive more requests in our line of work than an average manager as the banter of requests and answers isn’t in a common space.
“Can I stay an hour past our contract?” …“Can I work a double shift?” …“Will you sponsor our high school football team?” …” Can I skip this compliance step?”
No, you can’t.…. No…. No, thank you….Absolutely not.
Getting comfortable with no as a default answer is the strongest and the most loving position a director of a home care business can assume. There are few other industries with the potential for blurred lines, as there are in the home care industry. Establishing boundaries is the precursor to executing those boundaries, which often sounds like “no”.
When we get comfortable communicating our boundaries regularly, our constituents respect us more and trust our decisions. Clearing out what won’t happen, leaves a wide space to empower what will happen. No to fudging a policy, but yes to top-notch care. No to overreaching beyond our roles, but yes to excellent management. We can’t be all things to all people, and we are nothing without our boundaries. Constantly reminding ourselves of this – even if it is initially at odds with our hero complex to do it all – is the next critical key to scaling your home care business.
Embracing no is a sign of growth! Doesn’t it feel good to repeat it and be confident in its wisdom for your business? (It’s ok to say yes to that!)
We will say it today, and over this series: there’s nothing easy about growth. You’re not alone if it feels challenging. But if you establish early on that it’s not only OK but healthy and smart to say no and say it often, you have laid a critical foundation for growth.