Quality of Care Ltd

Recharge and Realign: How Your Holiday Can Help You and Your Care Business

Running a care home or home care business is undoubtedly demanding, and it’s all too easy to become entangled in the relentless whirlwind of daily operations.

For your own sake and for the sake of your business, you need to step away from the hustle and bustle, allowing yourself to reflect, recharge, and return with renewed focus.

In my previous article, 8 Tips on How to Enjoy a Peaceful Holiday Away From Work,  I talked about how to prepare those around you to take the strain whilst you enjoy a relaxing holiday with as few interruptions from work as possible.

In this post we’ll look at how your holiday can be a great time to take advantage of your relaxed, open mind and get those creative juices flowing…if you want to.

Your holiday isn’t just a time to unwind; it’s a chance to gain a fresh perspective on your business. (Through this article I’ll talk like you are the owner/leader of the organisation. If you aren’t, this is still all relevant. You have responsibilities and can influence its success, which in turn will benefit your career. If you had ideas that could resolve major problems but didn’t share those ideas and the company folded, where would that leave you?)

Only when you step back from the day-to-day and relax can your mind open to new ideas, to solving recurring problems and to seeing the big picture and the way forward.

Here are some pointers to help you.

Embrace the Pause

As you settle into your holiday, make a conscious effort to detach from work-related thoughts and immerse yourself fully in the present.

Engage in activities that inspire you, relax your mind, and encourage creativity. Whether it’s reading a book, exploring nature, or simply enjoying quality time with loved ones, these moments of introspection can set the stage for productive contemplation.

Reflect on Your Journey

Take some time during your holiday to reflect on your entrepreneurial journey or career.

Consider the milestones you’ve achieved, challenges you’ve overcome, and lessons you’ve learned along the way. What were the driving forces that led you to start a career in social care and to become the business leader or manager you are?

Has your initial vision evolved, or have you stayed true to your core values?

Reflecting on your history can help you reconnect with your organisation’s purpose and reignite your passion.

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

While lounging by the pool or sipping a cup of coffee on a picturesque balcony, dedicate a few moments to conduct an honest evaluation of your care business’s strengths and weaknesses.

What aspects of your operation work well? Conversely, where are the areas that could benefit from improvement or optimization?

Improving those less optimal areas, will result in better outcomes.

For example, do your systems and processes work efficiently and effectively? A well systemised business will result in fewer mistakes and less work and stress for you. Identify any challenges you face – could they be reduced or eliminated with more effective systems and processes in place?

Remaining compliant is an obvious area that would benefit from being well systemised.

By acknowledging both your successes and shortcomings, you’ll be better equipped to strengthen weak areas and build a more efficiently run, coherent business.

Identify Risks and Threats

This is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the greatest internal risks and external threats to your business.

For example, key to providing the quality of service you want and that your clients need, is your staff. You want the best people delivering the best of care. You want to keep your good staff and nurture them and find future managers and leaders.

Do you have the right level of staff? Is your staff turnover too high? Are you able to pay them enough to keep them? Are you building your future managers and leaders? Are you able to provide your staff with all the training they need?

If you can’t answer yes to these questions then there is a risk that you won’t be able to keep and nurture your best people.

The best way to mitigating a risk isn’t always an obvious direct link. You may have to work back a few steps. To eliminate this risk, we need to…To do that we need to…To achieve that we need to…and so on.

For example, the root cause for staff challenges may well be your financial situation. If you can’t deliver the training you want, or pay them competitive hourly rates, then are you making the profit your business needs or do you need to increase your fees?

The economy is a clear external threat to your business.

Councils and ICBs are saying they don’t have enough money and that care providers need to produce detailed evidence if they present a fee that is greater than what the local authority or ICB would like to pay, which will nearly always be the case.

If you can’t justify every aspect of your fee, from your fixed and staff costs to the average hourly rates of those delivering care, then you may well struggle to receive the fees you need.

This in my view is the biggest threat you face.

If you aren’t receiving the fees you need or don’t know if you are because you haven’t reviewed your fees for a while then don’t stress now, you’re on holiday. Instead, resolve to make this your top priority to address you return and then get back to relaxing.

Set New Goals

In the tranquil ambiance of your vacation spot, consider the future of your business. What are your aspirations for the coming months and years? Are there any untapped opportunities or innovative ideas you’d like to explore? Do you want to expand? Do you want to exit in a year or two?

Where do you want your care business to be? What is your next strategic destination.

By setting new goals or evaluating current goals and envisioning your desired outcomes, you’ll have a clear direction to steer your business toward upon your return.

Prioritize Self-Care and Delegation

As a business owner, it’s tempting to take on every responsibility and task. However, this can lead to burnout and hinder your business’s growth potential.

Reflect on your current workload and assess whether there are areas that could be delegated or outsourced.

Do you carry out tasks or resolve issues because no one else can to your standard? If so, is your team good enough? Would they benefit from extra training or do you need to performance manage some people out and replace?

Consider the benefits of prioritizing self-care and distributing tasks to capable team members. This reflection can empower you to cultivate a healthier work-life balance and foster a more resilient business model.

Use a Journal

Whilst you’re relaxing carry a journal with you to write down your thoughts.

Keep to big picture, top three priorities, kind of level and only delve in deeper if your relaxed mind wants to and you are enjoying the process.

It can be a cathartic exercise and help you to empty your mind and relax even more. “It’s down on paper so I don’t need to think anymore about it until I’m back.”

Set Aside Time in Your Calendar

It’s way too easy to fall back into the day-to-day on your return and simply carry on as before. It’s hard to set aside the time to act on your thoughts from your holiday.

Set aside time in your calendar before you return to work and keep that time precious so that only a full-on emergency will take priority. (And if one does, then set a new block of time.) This time could amount to several blocks over a few weeks.

Think too about how you are going to address these priorities you have identified. Map out the steps to resolution, the time needed to carry out the steps who is responsible for each step.

For example, if one of your top priorities is to review your fees, which I thoroughly recommend, especially if you haven’t in the last six months at least, how will you do this?

    •  Review each client’s care needs.

    •  Create a fee based on your current costs and average hourly rates and a healthy profit.

    •  Compare with the fees you are receiving to see just how much profit or loss you are actually making.

    •  Arrange a client review if necessary.

Make sure you have all the care and costs detailed and be ready to be challenged when you present your new fee.

Map out the steps like I have above, the time needed to carry out the steps, who is responsible for each step and how you or a senior manager will monitor progress to ensure it is being carried out accurately.

But do this only if your creative juices are flowing or make a note to do this on your return. Relaxing and enjoying your holiday is still your current top priority.

By-the-way, if this turns out to be an area of concern and hence a top priority then our Care Fee Calculator will help you carry out these steps and give you all the accurate information you need to justify the new fee you need.

As you soak in the restorative atmosphere of your holiday, remember that this break is not just an indulgence; it’s a strategic investment in your business’s future.

The act of stepping back, reflecting, and refocusing can be a powerful catalyst for positive change. By the time you return from your holiday, armed with a renewed sense of purpose and a clear direction, you’ll be well-prepared to lead your care home or home care business toward continued success.

Embrace the transformative potential of this reflective exercise and watch as your business flourishes in the wake of your intentional rejuvenation.