Nearly 45 percent of senior living communities are independently owned. For many family- owned and -operated companies, a passion to help others or personal life experience with a loved one is often what drove them to create a family-oriented business.
Although there isn’t a shortage of unique challenges when it comes to a family-owned and -operated structure, the benefits of branding your business and communicating your story in your marketing efforts has a direct correlation with increased lead generation.
Most Common Challenges of Family-Owned and -Operated Senior Living Companies
If your senior living organization is family owned and/or operated, you’re probably aware that there is a unique set of challenges you face. Here are three of the most common:
- Heightened emotional stress: When it’s not only your livelihood that’s affected but also other family members whom you care about, financial problems among family members can greatly impact the day-to-day operation of the business.
- Informal culture and structure: For many companies, having a laid-back culture is a positive. But the informal structure and culture found in many family businesses can equate to a lack of documentation, policies, and defined strategy and goals.
- Pressure to hire family members: It can be difficult to resist the pressure that comes along with family members who want to join the business. This becomes especially complicated if they lack the skills and experience needed for the position and can also lead to high turnover of non-family employees who feel that greater opportunities exist within the business for those who are a part of the family.
Although a family-owned/operated environment can be difficult, it also has some unique marketing benefits. Research shows marketing your organization as a family-owned/operated business will only increase consumer confidence.
Creating Lasting Success
As a family-owned senior living organization, one of your most powerful marketing tools is your story. Family-owned/operated businesses are proud of what they’ve built—and rightfully so! The question is, does your marketing tell your story well enough for families to identify deeply with your mission? Telling the family-owned/operated story is perhaps the most underutilized marketing strategy in the senior living industry. From the About Us page on your website to your print marketing materials to the type of conversations sales counselors are having by phone or in person with prospects, your family history needs to play a key role in your marketing and sales strategies.
Family businesses in the senior living industry rarely (if ever) began because of a desire to turn a profit. Share the social purpose behind what you’re doing. Sharing your story through your marketing not only helps customers build relationships with your organization, but it also enhances their loyalty. When there is a face to your name, you seem more stable, more customer-friendly, more approachable, and more trustworthy.
A Trusted Resource
Brand and culture are often driven by the key players within an organization. Family-owned companies embody stability, prosperity, and longevity. Although not every family-owned business is reliable and moral, family businesses are typically seen as more trustworthy than other types of businesses.
Connect your prospects, customers, and influencers, such as key business professionals in your markets, to your core values through your marketing.
An Entrepreneurial Legacy
The senior living industry is growing, and organizations are scrambling to find ways to differentiate themselves.
In your marketing, communicate the investment you’ve made in new talent and how you’ve prepared the next generation for succession, been able to implement better systems, maintained an entrepreneurial spirit, or innovated and grown.
Becoming Part of the Family
With a family-owned senior living organization, business is personal. It can be hard thinking about marketing when you’re focused on developing cohesiveness and shoring up relationships between and among family members. But family-business branding is a key ingredient in generating better financial returns in the business.
If you are a family-owned senior care provider trying to overcome occupancy barriers and convert more leads into sales, perhaps it’s time to sit down with key family members to discuss the necessity for creating a marketing plan or maybe an outside perspective might be just what you need.
A marketing agency that recognizes the value of your family’s back story, communicates your core values in all marketing messaging, and builds cohesion among your team will help your family senior living organization improve performance. And the best marketing agency won’t feel like a stranger because, in a way, they become part of the family, too.
Ready to see how to leverage your unique family history to generate more leads?
Elite has a strong track record of partnering with family-owned and -operated senior living providers. Our ability to align operations, sales, and marketing efforts coupled with our unique agency structure allows us to create individualized solutions for our family-owned and -operated customers.