Organizations in the field of long-term care such as providers of assisted living, community-based care, long-term care, senior living, and more are facing thousands and millions of dollars in lost revenue associated with the outbreak of COVID-19. As a result of deaths caused by this recent pandemic, senior communities have witnessed a large fall in population.
It might be safe to say that COVID-19 has completely disrupted the balance sheets of these organizations and it will certainly have a lingering impact on the overall dynamics of the business world; for-profit and non-profit organizations. While some businesses are able to cope with assistance from ownership or financial partners or receive the necessary federal funding, others might need to accept that COVID-19 is far from over and its effects may be long-term.
If you own a business in the healthcare sector, or work at a non-profit company or a similar workplace setting and are looking to limit your financial and reputational loss, and avoid a long-lasting margin compression, you have come to the right place. After conducting extensive research, we have come up with a detailed guide to the impact of COVID-19 on business dynamics and why organizations need to revisit their strategic plan today. So, let’s get started!
Top 4 Reasons Why Organizations Need to Revisit Their Strategic Plan Due to COVID-19
To Increase Inquiries
When it came to people visiting senior living communities to either meet their loved ones or get a tour of the place, the COVID-19 outbreak made it mandatory for a lot of states to put several restrictions in place to make the environment safer for the pre-existing members of the community as well as the new ones coming in.
These limitations caused the number of inquiries by people considering moving or having their loved ones move to community housing to drop majorly. For instance, according to year-over-year statistics, inquiries were down by 50% in independent living in the Southeastern United States.
In order to stay relevant in the market, it is important for senior living and other healthcare service providers to adapt to the situation by using creative marketing and arranging effective virtual tours to gain customers. While senior adults or their loved ones might not be able to physically get a tour of a facility, virtual assistance can help them make an informed decision.
To Increase Interest
Residential senior living facilities and similar healthcare facilities are often filled with older adults who suffer from several underlying chronic diseases. Therefore, these individuals are at high risk of being affected by COVID-19. This is the main reason why a lot of individuals in need and their families have been losing interest in enrolling in such facilities.
Additional factors that contribute to lowered customer interest include unavailability of tours, limitations on family visits, and mainly failure to take all the necessary precautions to protect the customers. For this purpose, if these businesses desire to succeed again, it is important for them to provide the elderly with the best quality service possible. As a community-based service provider, you can start by immediately notifying the health department if any of the following occurs:
- If the virus is confirmed or even suspected among facility personnel or residents
- If any of the residents in the facility develops a severe infection that mandates hospitalization
- If three or more facility staff or residents develop symptoms of the virus within 72 hours of each other
The three aforementioned scenarios are crucial. It is essential for businesses to revise their strategic plan and incorporate the implementation of precautionary measures in their business strategy to provide the residents and facility staff a safe and secure environment to live and prevent further spread of the infection.
To Increase Occupancy Rate
The National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care is an institute that provides the analytics and data that operators and investors in senior housing and care settings require to make informed decisions. According to the organization, the occupancy rate of private-pay senior housing dropped from 87.7% to 84.9% (from Quarter 1 to Quarter 2) in 2020. COVID-19 directly and majorly contributed to this fall as it was also partially responsible for the decrease in the overall number of admissions and inquiries in housing facilities.
Businesses need to adjust their strategic plan accordingly and maintain a balance between easing the restrictions and taking the necessary precautions to build the trust of people interested in investing in their business or of those interested in enrolling in the programs they have to offer.
To Keep Up with the Changing Marketing and Sales Tactics
Along with incentives such as virtual tours and increased safety and security that service providers are offering to prospects in order to drive them to their community settings, businesses are also now conducting virtual and outdoor events and hosting entertaining and educational programs that can help potential customers and investors learn about their offerings without getting bored.
Therefore, if you own a community-based business, it is important for you to find creative ways to reach out to prospects and attract them toward your business. Since COVID-19 has put a damper on business progress, it is important for you to optimize your strategy as much as possible!
How Can Businesses Revise Their Strategic Plan?
Now that you have learned all the reasons that might require non-profit institutes and other similar businesses to revisit their overall business strategy, here are some recommended steps that you can take in order to optimize your strategic plan that can help you cope with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and its harsh effects on the business world.
Don’t Forget About Your Pre-Existing Customers
While it is important to create a new business strategy that can help you gain more customers, it is also essential to value the pre-existing ones. While revising your strategic plan, make sure that you focus on keeping your current residents happy. You can do so by taking the necessary preventive measures and providing them with all the medical care they require to remain healthy and satisfied!
Work On Your Online Presence
With the rapid development in technology today, along with using referrals and call-ins as sources of leads, it is important for businesses to work on their online presence in order to reach a greater audience. Keep your social media pages and profiles updated and try to incorporate SEO in the content you post. You can also use digital marketing tools such as email marketing, inbound marketing, affiliate marketing and more to increase the traffic on your online platform and in result increase your customers.
Be Straightforward About Costs
Most senior living and care providers are not forthcoming when it comes to total costs. Since COVID-19 has put a damper on a lot of businesses and practices around the world, people are usually looking for cheaper senior care and assisted living solutions. Therefore, it may be best to put your prices online as it may lead to shorter decision-making time and more qualified leads, eventually helping you improve customer experience and forming stronger relationships with them!
Improve Your Tour Process
When it comes to business settings that include services such such as assisted living, community-based care, long-term care, senior living and more, tours play an integral role in the customer support process. Senior individuals and often their loved ones need to clearly see why your institute is the best among the rest. Therefore, it is important to include revamping your entire tour process when revising your strategic plan.
We hope that with all the aforementioned information on the impact of the coronavirus on business dynamics, you found something worth your while. The COVID-19 pandemic teaches us that it is essential for organizations related to the health sector to modify their strategies if they want to cope with the ever-changing business world and provide premium-quality patient care, which should be their top priority as professionals in the healthcare industry!
Feel like you need someone to help you out with updating your strategic plan or help you formulate a process on how to go about it? Contact Harpeth Consultant Advisory Group to discuss your needs and how we can help.