Business Insight: Get Google Working for You

Stop what you’re doing and start making your marketing efforts intentional. Before you make another decision about your web-based marketing, consider optimal strategies.

Prior to posting your next blog consider the competitive totem pole – your content will determine whether your digital analytics move up or down.

Do you understand how the content you write in your next blog can determine if your site is positioned on page one or get lost in a long line of internet searches?

This means you must deploy the right set of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics. In order to help your website become more discoverable, there is a process you should use to increase traffic through search engine results.

Search terms related to your brand is critical.

Google uses algorithmic updates that work to the advantage or disadvantage of marketers that understand the importance of targeting a specific audience.

Google goals are similar amongst all users:

  • Serve up the best possible content for your audience
  • Create a user-friendly and positive web-based experience
  • Prioritize content that offers significant value

ACHIEVING YOUR ONLINE ASSISTED LIVING MARKETING GOALS

Every company has a unique and different strategy to accomplish their goal of achieving the right analytics.

Google analyzes millions of websites, while you’re analyzing your specific audience’s behaviors.

Google uses more than 200 ranking signals to decide what happens to a piece of content.

The algorithm pays careful attention to specific search signs.

This is why keywords must be intentional in web-based content if businesses plan to focus on their SEOs.

Writing blogs for residential assisted living without paying close attention to semantics and search intent is a sure way to get lost in the world wide web.

Focus on SEO to expand your web audience by using the following strategies:

  • Using specific keywords
  • Write creative content that benefit readers
  • Format metadata information in ways that Google can better understand

Optimizing your website will allow you to guide visitors to specific goals to advance your business objectives – be intentional.

Remember, Google aims to provide users with the specific content they are looking for, is your content aligned with Google’s objective?

Understanding how to achieve your business goals for residential assisted living requires optimizing your website for SEO to create a better relationship between your website and search engines.

BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT BLOGS AND WEB CONTENT

Search engine optimization will determine your entire digital presence. So, being intentional can cause your business to launch to the next level or waste a lot of marketing dollars.

“People don’t realize how critical SEO is,” said Debra Gawet, Social and Digital Content Strategist Supervisor for SageAge Strategies. “For instance, if someone is googling communities in your area and your profile is optimized, you’ll appear high on page one. If not, you won’t show up at all.”

Having a solid residential assisted living business marketing strategy will determine the outcome of your SEOs.

This is one way the Residential Assisted Living Academy is giving students a head-start in the industry. It takes great content to grow your brand awareness and build relationships in today’s digital society.

Gawet says, “If you’re not doing this, you’re missing the point.” Always start with providing helpful and relevant content that will help prospects.

This intentional approach will increase your SEOs which makes all the difference with your digital imprint and industry influence.

5 KEY AREAS TO OPTIMIZE IN THE SENIOR LIVING MARKETING INDUSTRY

  1. Listings
    Optimize your assisted living home on Yelp, Google My Business (GMB), and any other listings you have. Monitor your profiles. They also need to be optimized and updated for SEOs.
  2. Blog Posts and Other Content
    Relevancy, quality and quantity are equally important. Be sure your content contains keyword phrases, page header, and tags for SEO optimization.
  3. Social Media Posts
    Make use of all information on social media channels – these platforms are very relevant, especially in the assisted living market. When your content is shared on social media by others, it will help drive more traffic to your website. Social media posts have the potential of seriously boosting your web rankings.
  4. Digital Ads
    Use pay-per-click advertising and paid social media advertising to increase your web presence, all these strategies work hand-in-hand.
  5. Assisted Living Website
    It’s definitely worth hiring an expert team to optimize your website. Your site must be easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, and regularly updated. This is where you really need to hire a professional team to optimize your website, making sure it’s easy to use, updated regularly, and mobile-friendly.

Assisted living is a competitive marketplace. There needs to be a content marketing strategy behind everything you put out there.

AUDITING CONTENT YOU POST

Resist the impulse to avoid intentionality by recognizing that each piece of content, whether a blog or a post, is always connected to the goal of your assisted living home.

There are several key factors to consider about blog content:

  • Length and format of your blogs,
  • Links embedded into your blogs,
  • Keyword phrases needed within your blogs, and
  • Content Optimization.

Always go deeper into optimizing your web-based content by repurposing your content to give each piece a longer shelf life.

THE HIGHER PURPOSE BEHIND MARKETING CONTENT

Remember, it’s not just about keywords, but intentional and informative content that is useful to your audience.

Make sure there is a higher purpose behind your content. For instance, this current blog that you are reading is not only beneficial for an assisted living business.

The content within this blog has a higher purpose of educating business owners, operators and marketers about the importance of how to get Google to work for your business.

Without a higher purpose, a story within a story, you might waste a lot of time and money on content that no one will ever see.

WEB OPTIMIZATION AND CONVERSATIONS MATTER WHEN MARKETING RAL HOMES

Optimizing your website for conversions by improving the user’s experience will accelerate your marketing goals.

Are users able to easily navigate throughout your site?

It is very important that users are able to quickly and easily find what they want. This means it is important to have a web team that focuses on the smallest details to keep users satisfied and coming back for more resources, reading, and relationship building.

There are several things to consider for site conversion:

  • Homepage Identity
  • Logo
  • Navigation toolbar
  • Sidebar
  • Format

If removing or altering one of these elements would harm your user’s experience, get rid of it. Everything on your page should be focused on driving your traffic toward the call to action that you want users to take.

GOOGLE OUGHT TO BE WORKING FOR YOU

When you take the step to starting your own residential assisted living business it’s important to understand how you will market your brand.

A large part of that comes down to your online content and how to grow your web presence.

SEO can prove extremely complex but knowing the basics will give you a running start.

Begin by collecting as much data as you can and conducting thorough research. Write content geared toward your audience, but make sure it’s better than your competitors’.

Create separate campaigns for on-page and off-page SEO.

Make sure your site loads quickly on both desktop and mobile and that you’re attracting backlinks as much as possible.

Then figure out how to optimize your website for conversions so you don’t waste all that good traffic.

Focus on the user experience and the patterns you detect through user behavior reports.

Over time, you’ll see traffic and conversions increase based on your hard work.

Furthermore, even older content can continue to work hard for you. Don’t discount your efforts as only relevant to the moment.

If you create solid evergreen content, you can attract traffic — and generate conversions — for years to come.

Visit www.RALAcademy.com to learn more about owning, operating and marketing a successful assisted living business.

What Does Retirement Look Like to You?

How much thought have you put into what you want your retirement to look like, and how much effort have you placed into it?

There are many options people take on their journey to retirement – the choice is yours.

  • Some people simply focus on the now and aim to make as much money as they can.
  • Others try to save and grind while investing only in an IRA or 401K plan.
  • Few individuals try to build their own nest eggs – with little luck.

Due to the silver tsunami of seniors, with 10,000 people turning age 65 every day, owning a residential assisted living home can significantly increase your monthly cash flow.

In addition to properly preparing for a place to live during retirement, owning and investing in assisted living allows individuals to pass down something other than poverty to future generations.

Residential assisted living is a cash cow business waiting for the right people to start the process.

STEPS TO TAKE IN PREPARATION FOR RETIREMENT

Estimate how much money you will need in retirement. This amount typically ranges from 70 to 100 percent of your pre-retirement income.

Determine your available income sources. These sources include things like pensions, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, TSAs, IRAs, inheritances, equity from mortgages and social security payments. Afterward, calculate how much you will need to save every year, in order to retire when expected.

This could almost feel like a complicated math equation. More important than the financial calculation is where you fit into the process.

Retirement could actually mark the beginning of an exciting chapter of a new life experience as an assisted living entrepreneur. It’s important to ask yourself 7 critical questions in order to paint the perfect picture of what your retirement is expected to look like.

  1. When do you want to retire?
  2. Do you plan to stay in your current home, trade down to a smaller one, or move to a different city?
  3. What debts will you still be paying off?
  4. Will you continue to work after retirement?
  5. How will you spend your free time?
  6. How will you pay for medical costs?
  7. What would happen financially if your spouse died?

Answering these questions should give you a clearer picture of what your retirement will be like and how much you should be saving now.

Creating a retirement vision can help you stay motivated over the years as you continue saving.

8 THINGS TO DO IN ORDER TO MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME

Most people simply fail to plan for their golden years. If you’ve procrastinated in planning for retirement, you may not be as far behind as you think. You’ll definitely need to make up for lost time.

For the rest of your retirement needs, here are eight things you can do to catch up.

  1. Use income tax returns to pay off credit cards as soon as you can to avoid paying high interest.
  2. Scale down rather than up in order to save money.
  3. Put as much as you can into retirement plans to eliminate excessive taxes.
  4. Boost your income by finding a better job or second job with enhanced benefits.
  5. Postpone your retirement.
  6. Make your money grow faster by investing in stocks and mutual funds.
  7. Add to your investments each month, the secret to financial success is to keep investing.
  8. Rely on professional advice.

WHAT DO YOU ENVISION YOUR RETIREMENT LOOKING LIKE?

Retirement looks different from person to person. Some people simply want to relax at home, read good books, watch award winning movies and spend time with their grandkids. Others want white sand beaches, turquoise waters, crashing waves, or exploring scenic national parks.

The choice can be yours.

No matter what you want your retirement to look like, how are you going to get there unless you plan accordingly?

The Residential Assisted Living Academy can help you plan in ways you probably haven’t imagined.

If you have failed to plan for your retirement, you are going to fail as a retiree, but this doesn’t have to be the case. When you retire, your bills will not automatically stop.

Investing and owning a residential assisted living home will not only prevent you from running out of money, but it will ensure that you’ll have an appropriate place to live.

It’s important to find a financial solution to help you set a retirement plan that is as bulletproof as possible.

THE INCREASING LANDSCAPE OF RESIDENTIAL ASSISTED LIVING

It’s never too late. You can start your retirement plan now. The Residential Assisted Living Academy will teach you how to earn generational wealth that your family can be proud of.

The model of senior housing offered at www.RALAcademy.com can ensure you the future you’ve always wanted, including the stress-free retirement of your dreams.

During the 3-day course, students are learning everything they need to know in order to invest, own or operate a residential assisted living home.

With this model, owners are creating a cash flow of $5,000 to $15,000 net monthly profit.

The experts at RAL Academy are teaching students the strategies needed to build a legacy based on the rising need of assisted living due to baby boomers reaching retirement age.

Do not procrastinate any longer, contact www.RALAcademy.com today to register for the next course, which could change what your golden years will look like as a retiree.

How to Start A Business Around Your 9 to 5 Job

Work produces more than a product or service; it builds purpose and generates engagement – work is honorable.

However, some work while important leaves the worker wanting more, desiring more, yearning to do or be more.

Perhaps you remember the 1980s hit, “Workin’ 9 to 5,” by Dolly Parton. Her description of work was “a way to make a living.”

She was right – in part.

Some people need to do more than live – they need to thrive. If you fall in this category of business minded people, entrepreneurship is for you.

What do you dream of doing if work was not necessary? What personal dreams do you have? Will your current employment help you realize those dreams?

START YOUR BUSINESS AROUND YOUR 9-TO-5 JOB

Many have asked about starting a business while working. Certainly, leaving a job may feel good at first, but without steady income, Dolly Parton’s song will be more a prayer to you than a sweet tune.

You can, however, do both.

You can have the cake with the icing, but make sure you can handle both.

How do you accomplish this? There’s a question you need to answer first: “What is it you are trying to achieve with your life?”

Sound philosophical? It is.

You are more than skin and bones. You are a person with a distinct mind and many gifts.

Think about what you want to contribute to your community, city, state, country, even the world.

While you ponder that question, think of these as well…

  • What do you dream of doing if work was not necessary?
  • What personal dreams do you have?
  • Will your current employment help you realize those dreams?

Assuming you cannot just walk off of your job, what is your daily schedule? Do you have time during the day or night that is unencumbered?

If entrepreneurship is your goal, you will need to make changes that will foster your growth and preparation.

So, let’s do a little math.

Let’s say you work roughly 10 hours daily, which encompasses commuting. When you arrive home, you’ve got a child or two needing attention and a spouse looking to discuss the day. That may be another 3 hours.

If your devoted time for work begins around 7 a.m. and concludes near 5 p.m. and your family needs another 3 hours on top of that, you may be looking at entrepreneurial preparation beginning around 8:30 p.m..

Now, with that understood, how much brain power do you have left – an hour or two possibly – before you collapse from the day’s activities.

So, with 2 hours a day, Monday through Friday, and maybe double that on the weekends, you have approximately 18 hours per week to prepare.

That’s plenty of time to get ready to establish your own assisted living home. Time management is important when starting a residential assisted living home while continuing to work an eight hour job.

PREPARATION IS KEY

The great fear of entrepreneurship of any kind is lack of preparation.

Many avoid becoming business owners because they fear not being able to get ready to be successful. While the fear is not ungrounded, it is misplaced. If owning a business is a yearning for you, the time to prepare is present as well.

You need only dig in a bit further to discover the time and space to grow and go.

Below are three keys to getting prepared and obtaining success.

  1. Decide What You Want to Do With The Time You Find

Having determined you have time to prepare, you must determine what you will do with it. Finding time with nothing to fill it is like gathering water to drink without a glass. Consider the following:

  • What are your personal goals?
  • Why entrepreneurship?
  • Assisted living homeowner? Investor? Both?
  • What do you care most about in life?

These questions are vision focused. One must have a clear idea of what and who one is pertaining to entrepreneurship.

Personal vision is a leading factor in business selection and investment. So, is assisted living the business for you? If so, begin preparation by:

  • Who will be served by your assisted living home? Why?
  • What needs to happen in order for the doors to open and accept residents?
  • What kind of leader are you? Will you in fact lead? Will you advise?
  • Will you be an investor only?
  • Do you have a spouse? Will he or she be involved?
  • In what way will your spouse be involved? Daily? Weekly? Very little?
  • What kind of knowledge do you need to acquire to be effective?
  • Can you perform a market analysis?
  • What about real estate analysis?
  • Demographic study?

There are more questions to pose but these are sufficient to begin your journey. Does this seem overwhelming?
Where to begin? Do not fret.

The best way to engage in business as either an owner or investor, especially in the assisted living industry, is to network.

Connect with us at the Residential Assisted Living Academy. Let the learning begin here with our industry leaders and professionals.

  1. Start Looking for Time/Activity Trade-Offs

To invest, own or operate an assisted living home you need time to prepare.

Earlier, we determined what time you had available, and you have also begun to understand your vision for life, now you need to allocate and reallocate time. To do this, begin by taking note of what is more important to you.

To really get an assisted living home up and running, you will need to make sacrifices. These sacrifices include:

  • Finances
  • Increase time
  • Brain power
  • Additional resources

So, what will be the trade-off? Certainly, you understand the initial time you found was sufficient for establishing your personal vision, but more time will be needed for preparation and execution.

Trade-offs might include:

  • Ending work earlier, if this is an option.
  • An extra cup of coffee could give you more evening hours.
  • One day of the weekend might be needed.
  • Possibly both weekend days?
  • Enlisting the help of others: spouse, adult children, trusted friends.
  • Professionals: CPA, Attorneys, Tax Specialists

Do not shoulder the burden alone.

Share your personal vision with your family. Surely, your vision includes them. Involve others in your family. Their involvement will mean time spent with you in building something for everyone. If everyone makes a sacrifice, everyone is invested.

When everyone is invested you are able to move forward together.

But like any decision in life there will be trade-offs. Trade-offs are often viewed by those not bold enough to undertake them as an unnecessary risk, even selfish.

This is untrue.

It is a trade-off to catapult the family from one station to another. Working a “9 to 5” is not as secure as people would like to think.

Owning a business, while tedious at times, offers far more financial security.

Making the hard choices to invest, own, and operate an assisted living home will certainly be worth it. The time reallocated and the trade-offs made will benefit not just your family, but the family of every resident who finds care, safety, and solace in your assisted living home.

Anything of consequence will require the sacrifice of time.

Money cannot solve all issues nor meet all requirements. Time, a resource so precious, common to all, yet rare will be required and maximizing it is essential to the success of any enterprise.

Nothing could be truer than investing and/or owning an assisted living home.

  1. Use the Time to Create Your Business

Now that you have your personal goals established, time allocated, trade-offs agreed upon, you will need to get to work.

Your family will appreciate witnessing you work and make good on the sacrifice. Furthermore, nothing beats progress.

Your family will see the progress you are making toward the investment or ownership of an assisted living home. Coupled with their involvement, even sacrifice, the pride and satisfaction that comes from the days of building a business will never be forgotten.

With all of the extra time, what exactly should you do?

  1. Establish entities for protection and proper taxation. You will certainly need the help of good attorneys for establishing businesses and estates.
  2. A good CPA. Budget planning, allocation, tax preparation, bookkeeping, banking and much more must be handled appropriately.
  3. A financial planner is key for personal investment of proceeds. Decide on one prior to needing one.
  4. Proper training. This is perhaps the most essential in terms of business execution. Obtaining proper training that encompasses everything necessary for functioning is hard to find in many industries. This is not the case in the assisted living industry.

The Residential Assisted Living Academy was created to educate, train, and support assisted living homeowners and those aspiring to be one.

Aspiring assisted living homeowners as well as those who already own one or more find this organization to be invaluable. The organization:

  • Provides extensive training for new homeowners.
  • Provides ongoing support for homeowners.
  • Provides an extensive national network.
  • Actively collaborates with the government to advocate for assisted living homeowners.
  • Hosts annual conventions where legal and industry-wide updates can be given.

The benefits of aligning with the Residential Assisted Living Academy are extensive and cannot be completely enumerated here.

Aligning with the Residential Assisted Living Academy will propel your business building efforts from dream to reality.

All of the work you have done alone, with your family and others will culminate under the proper guidance of the Academy.

LEARN HOW TO TRANSITION AWAY FROM A TRADITION JOB

Working 9 to 5 may be your present reality but does not have to be your future.

Continue to work, continue to build and organize, and continue to learn.

However, in your attempt to own an assisted living home, no better success will be realized than combining your efforts with the experts.

Visit www.RALAcademy.com to register for a proven 3-day training that offers systems that will ensure your success.

In Business, Timing Is Everything

Timing is perhaps the most valuable asset a business owner seeks – timing is everything. Some owners have the best concept of timing, and others do not.

Timing can transform a declining business into a conglomerate.

The opposite is equally as true – bad timing can cause an implosion beyond repair.

THE SCIENCE OF TIMING FOR SUCCESS

Sadly, many people, including business owners, consider perfect timing a coincidence or a gamble they call luck. This is deceptive.

When a business owner embraces and studies time as trends, ebbs, flows, and forecasts of various markets, one finds luck is absent from the equation.

The equation which leads to success has everything to do with timing.

Timing is the essential factor in business. It should be the guiding light for conducting business, especially in:

  1. Business Planning
  2. Negotiation
  3. Customer Relationships
  4. Product Launch
  5. Product Presentation
  6. Marketing Campaign
  7. Business Proposals

Timing determines the success of the above seven activities. Some of the brightest business professionals consider timing an afterthought.

This is a mistake – timing should always be evaluated first.

When to strike is more important than what to strike. Knowing the moment when to initiate your assisted living business plan determines how to strike.

Where to strike can also be driven timing. So, what is time telling us now with respect to residential assisted living?

FEW THINGS MATTER MORE IN BUSINESS THAN TIMING

What is more important than timing? Who said you can create perfect timing?

Understanding the timing of the assisted living industry and the factors driving it is a wonderful tool for negotiations.

Understanding how other assisted living businesses are faring in spite of market factors is priceless.

Remember, timing affects businesses differently.

Some businesses may collapse, others can withstand and there are those that are unaffected. Knowing the timing for competitive businesses in your market is essential to the success of your residential assisted living home.

So, again, what is time suggesting now?

What Time Is It in the Residential Assisted Living Industry?

It is time for America’s most rambunctious generation to enter their senior years. Baby Boomers are entering their golden years at record rates, with more than 10,000 seniors turning age 65 every day.

What might time suggest about this reality?

  1. What do Baby Boomers want?
  2. Where will Baby Boomers live?
  3. What greatly influences Baby Boomers?
  4. How are Baby Boomers families structured?
  5. What impact is the aging of Baby Boomers having on the economy?
  6. How long is this trajectory anticipated to occur?

While many more questions could be posed, one should ascertain exactly what time is suggesting?

There is a great need for comfortable senior living where socialization and active involvement is intertwined.

Therefore, it is time to invest, build, own and operate an assisted living home.

The experts at the Residential Assisted Living Academy can help you gain a better understanding of these times.

CAN YOU CREATE PERFECT TIMING?

Who said you could create perfect timing? Timing has a mind of its own that changes within every generation and crisscrosses between cultures.

Therefore, one does not create perfect timing; instead, experts identify it – some might say the best among us study time.

Therefore, ascertaining perfect timing has nothing to do with creating and everything to do with understanding.

Below are four things a business owner or investor can do to ascertain perfect timing.

  1. Network:
    Business owner connecting with a wide variety of people in the industry or associated industries. Networking opens the investor up to the plethora of opportunities, challenges, pitfalls, and dangers existing in a particular industry.
  2. Study:
    Investing brain power in understanding that which is written. In other words, what is the industry, opportunity, or idea? How did it begin? Who are the leaders? What are they currently doing? Why are they doing that? What is the terminology? Where do these opportunities exist? One answer only generates another question. The discipline of study has no end date. The investor continuously studies and becomes increasingly knowledgeable while growing in wisdom from having networked.
  3. Market Research:
    Gathering data from the source. While networking and studying certainly have their importance, there is no data like that from consumers. Find out directly, through social media, online surveys, zoom calls, or any other safe method what consumers really want. It could be that they have grown tired of the standard and need an improvement. Who better to provide that improvement than you? This would make a great entry into an existing marketplace.
  4. Industry Leadership:
    Vital information is most often provided by those who have been successful. What created their success? What maintains it? Where do they see the industry going? How are they driving the industry forward? Talking with, following via social media, or gaining access to industry leaders is invaluable.

Assisted living homeowners must do more than capitalize on timing, but they must comprehensively understand the very nature of it. Timing is Arizona is different from California, which will differ greatly from Alabama.
Success is more than monetary accomplishment, it is sustainability.

What good is perfect timing if your business cannot endure?

Perfect timing is understood and respected, not manufactured by business owners.

VIGILANCE IS AN IMPORTANT QUALITY TO HAVE IN BUSINESS MANAGEMENT.

Vigilance is associated with the word vigil, meaning to keep watch.

The vigilant assisted living homeowner understands the demographic trajectory and shifts their business objectives accordingly.

The vigilant investor keeps watch over market trends that affect not just vacancy rates, but also income sources for residents.

The vigilant assisted living homeowner also takes their study of timing and weighs it against the economic balance of supply and demand.

In other words, what will residents and their families demand in five years and how will the present supply meet it?

  • Can the present supply meet it?
  • Should we begin to change our mode of operation?
  • Should we upgrade our properties?
  • Will we need new properties?
  • How long will the current residents continue to be satisfied?
  • Will a change in demand affect current residents at all?

The role of an assisted living homeowner or investor to be vigilant about finding the right location – location is key.

The Residential Assisted Living Academy teaches entrepreneurs how to find the best locations in the business.

FIVE PROFESSIONAL TIPS ABOUT TIMING

Below are five keys to help you build and sustain a thriving residential assisted living business. It takes into account professional tips that matter most.

Market timing and your timing must learn to dance to the same tune.

  1. Be Ready
    In Texas, football coaches tell their players, “Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.” The saying really has effect when spoken in a West Texas twang, but you get the point here.
    Preparation is key. Remember, proper networking, studying, market research, and understanding industry leadership is essential to being ready.
    Ready for what? Ready to make the move at the perfect time. So, “stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.”
  2. Don’t Obsess About Being First
    The American phenomena with being first has become cultish, even insidious. It is unnecessary. You need not be first to market in order to be successful and have longevity.
    Truthfully, the first takes all of the hard blows. Can you sustain such blows?
    Find the sweet spot between market timing and your own timing. Competitors may open their homes first and fill them quickly, but they will also draw the attention of regulatory agencies. They will certainly want to make an example, good or bad, of the first homes.
    Make sure your timing is perfect, not that you are simply trying to be first in your market.
  3. Make Some Noise
    When the timing is right, let the world know. Do not drop a pebble in the lake; instead, hoist a boulder. Make such a splash the marketplace thinks it is a tsunami – momentum is central to driving market entrance and sustaining a business. Let the world know about your new assisted living home, what it offers, and the great care that will be given there.
    Do not be bashful.
    Remember, “It’s a mighty poor dog who won’t wag his own tale” – make some noise.
  4. Do Your Homework
    While you have done sufficient studying leading up to the grand opening of your new assisted living home, the homework now begins. Ask yourself:
  • What are the greatest needs among my staff?
  • What deficits exist in terms of care for our residents?
  • How long will this furniture last before needing to be replaced?
  • What training do we need immediately?

Getting answers to questions like these will help keep your assisted living home moving in the right direction. While the perfect time for launch was ascertained, the need for timing has not changed. You will forever be in partnership, bitter or sweet, with Father Time.

So, do your homework daily.

  1. Keep A Big-Picture Perspective
    The day-to-day grind of owning and operating an assisted living home can be grievous. It is easy to allow yourself to be caught up in the daily problems and challenges that may or may not have a lasting effect.
    As an investor or owner, you must embrace the big picture. Keeping the big picture in the forefront of your mind will prevent you from burn-out.
    If a problem in your home is not affecting care and will be obsolete in two or three months due to changes, why would you devote your time to it? Leave it be – it is already obsolete.
    Furthermore, focusing on your vision reminds you of why you entered the residential assisted living market.
    Many opportunities will present themselves; it is your job to know which opportunities fit your big picture.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GREAT OPPORTUNITIES

One thing is certain, the equation for perfect timing has one obvious variable. The advancing age of Baby Boomers has created a market demand for assisting living homes in tsunami proportions.

That much is known and concrete.

The other side of the equation is you. Are you ready? Do you have all the knowledge you need to leap into action when the opportunity presents itself?

Contact the Residential Assisted Living Academy now.

Coaches, experts and experienced trainers will teach you everything you need to know from A-Z about assisted living, real estate and operating a business.

The first step is to prepare yourself to take advantage of this great opportunity – remember, timing is everything.

Employment Rules & What You Need to Know

There are general employment requirements and regulations that are specific to assisted living homes. The more you know about these rules and guidelines as they relate to your state, the better off you’ll be when you hit the ground running.

This article will provide an overview of 9 employment stipulations owners and operators need to know in order to be successful:

  1. Laws of Employment
  2. Department of Labor Laws
  3. Workplace Rights
  4. Minimum Wage and Overtime
  5. Independent Contractors
  6. Disability and Other Claims of Leave of Absence
  7. Protection
  8. Taxes
  9. Identification

LAWS OF EMPLOYMENT

Employment law is relatively streamlined, regardless of your state. However, in many instances, employment law can vary depending on the city where your assisted living home is located.

Therefore, it is critical that you know the employment law as it is enforced in the state where your business is located.

Employment law encompasses a variety of subjects. These are just a few for your consideration.

  • Minimum Wage Requirements
  • Posters regarding reporting complaints
  • OSHA Requirements
  • Department of Labor Contact Information
  • State/Local Government Agencies supporting employees

The U.S. Department of Labor is the agency responsible for employment law regulations and oversight at the federal level.

Typically, states and other municipalities enact laws and policies in accordance with this department to ensure enforceability.

Likewise, it is imperative that owners of an assisted living home recognize the importance of these laws and build business policies that are aligned with them.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S FIRST STEP

Employment law is not a one size fits all approach. There are different laws that apply to certain business types.

The laws vary based upon:

  • Type of Business
  • Size of Business (revenue and employee count)
  • Type of Work Performed (Hazard/Non-hazard)

Knowing the employment laws that govern assisted living homes is significant. Employers must make certain visible postings in the workplace.

Visit the Department of Labor’s website to determine what notices are required in assisted living homes in your state.

Recently, the Department has added a program called First Step to aid business owners with this process.

This program also offers support as it relates to:

  • Consumer Credit Protection
  • Garnishment
  • Contract Work Hours
  • Fair Labor Standards
  • Family/Medical Leave
  • Immigration and Nationality
  • Child Labor

Knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it can mean the difference in compliance and noncompliance. The latter can be costly or detrimental to the vitality of your assisted living home.

WORKPLACE RIGHTS

Many may ask, “Why would I bother with employment law? Employees can just call the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Center) anyway?”

This is true.

Employees do have the right and ability to contact their local EEOC office in your area. However, as an employer of an assisted living home, employees need not contact this agency if your home offers an environment where employees feel safe, respected and heard.

The owner and management of an assisted living home should be the greatest advocate for their employees.

These people care for the income producing stream of your business – the residents.

As such, be the leader in your assisted living home as it pertains to employment law. Enlighten your employees on:

  • Total compensation
  • Equal employment
  • Health plans
  • Retirement plans
  • Issues and Reasons for termination
  • Wages and unemployment insurance

Be the expert in your assisted living home. It will foster trust with your employees and maximize care for your residents.

MINIMUM WAGE AND OVERTIME

You need to know the answers to these questions:

  • Do you have workers in your assisted living home who make minimum wage?
  • What are the laws pertaining to overtime in your state?
  • Do you have care workers who may work overtime voluntarily?
  • Can you mandate overtime in your state under certain conditions?

Generally, overtime pay begins after 40 hours, but under certain contracts it may be different.

What about weekend pay? In some states, certain jobs have higher wage requirements if performed on the weekends. Does this apply to your assisted living home in your state?

Do you have persons in your home who earn tips in addition to an hourly rate? If so, make sure those people understand the nature of their wages and the inclusion of tips for services rendered.

Most often if employees understand the nature of this type of employment, issues and challenges don’t become an issue.

Get the answers you need before starting your business.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Independent contractors can be a slippery slope in certain states.

Again, not to sound like a broken record, but understanding employment law in your state is crucial.

In some states, if an independent contractor is mandated to perform services, that person may no longer be a contractor and must be regarded as an employee. As a result, owners will be forced to provide all of the protection traditional employees are entitled to in your state.

Conversely, in other states, if a contract exists, regardless of the nature of the work, the person can never be considered an independent contractor.

  • What makes a worker an independent contractor versus an employee?
  • Can independent contractors work in an assisted living home in your state?
  • Do these individuals have to have a registered business in order to render support services for residents?
  • What power does an independent contractor have in your state?
  • Can employees also be independent contractors in your state?
  • Can someone work as a Medical Assist and secure a cleaning contract in the same assisted living home?

Many more questions could be posed, but you should begin to get the gist of this necessity.

Knowing what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and with whom a thing should be done makes all the difference.

DISABILITY AND OTHER CLAIMS OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, also known as OSHA, protects employees working in hazardous environments. It is best to know:

  • What constitutes a hazardous environment?
  • What protections must the owner provide for these employees?
  • Do employees have any responsibilities for their safety?
  • How is fault determined?
  • Who is responsible for proper training and/or certification?

The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, protects:

  • Pregnant women
  • Spouses of employees
  • Children of employees

This act was created because of the gross maltreatment of women in the workplace.\

The adverse effect of this treatment on the family forced the hand of the government to act on behalf of citizens.

Families were forced into poverty for the most trivial reasons, which were rooted in discriminatory practices that had silently ruled the workplace for over a century.

Support the employees in your assisted living home well and you will find that your employees are more likely to support your business as if it were their own.

PROTECTION

The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, contains several federal laws related to:

  • Minimum wage
  • Overtime pay requirements

It is important for the owner of the assisted living home to understand these laws do not apply to contract workers. However, know the laws of your state.

Should you treat a contract worker as an employee in certain states, these laws may be enforceable to some extent. It sounds contradictory but understanding state law is vital, even if you have to hire an attorney.

In general, when employees and contractors are treated and paid fairly, issues in this body of law rarely arise.

TAXES

Owners of assisted living homes are not exempt from withholding taxes. How this happens depends on the nature of the relationship between the assisted living home and the worker.

A W-9 is required of all independent contracts prior to any payment for their services.

A Tax Identification Number or Social Security Number should be listed on the form.

If these contractors earn greater than $600, they may be responsible for any taxation. Contractors must settle their tax burden with the IRS.

Owners of the assisted living homes must render a Form 1099 to each contract worker. This will be filed with the IRS to report their annual earnings and to determine any additional tax liability.

The majority of taxes for employees are withheld by the employer and paid accordingly.

IDENTIFICATION

According to federal and state law, the owner of an assisted living home should make sure they understand:

  • Is John an employee or contractor?
  • Can Sally be an employee Monday through Friday and a contractor on the weekends?
  • If the owner provides tools for Henry, is he still a contractor?
  • Mary agreed to work additional overtime hours without an increase in her hourly rate. Is that legal?
  • Keisha is 15 years old. Can she work in my assisted living home on weekends as an activity assistant?

HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS IN ASSISTED LIVING

Be sure, as the owner of an assisted living home, you are fully aware of the answers to these questions and a host of others.

Compliance is key – noncompliance is both costly and can be detrimental.

Owning and operating your first assisted living home can feel stressful and overwhelming without the right support.

Partner with the Residential Assisted Living Academy and get all the answers you need to operate a successful business without encountering unexpected glitches and setbacks.

The Investment Potential of Memory Care

The rapid aging of America is not a secret. Baby Boomers, the largest population demographic this country has ever witnessed, is entering their senior years in mammoth numbers.

While they have lived and continue to live as the high-spirited strong-willed phenomena, many of the ills that made their predecessors, the Veteran Generation, vulnerable now threaten them as well.

Dementia is a worldwide challenge with approximately 10 million cases diagnosed annually.

In the United States, more than 65% of adults over 65 years of age will require long-term care support. However, it is estimated that nearly half of these individuals will require memory care.

At one-time, memory care was thrust in the rear of a skilled nursing facility. It was a wing where people were contained to protect them from wandering. Many were medically treated with drugs that altered their personalities or made them sluggish and non combative.

This has changed.

Memory care is no longer a backroom problem. It has attained center stage status. Treatment options have increased, understanding of the causes of memory loss has enhanced care.

One of the best places for patients suffering from dementia, of relatively any type, is an assisted living home. The specificity of care in these types of residential care homes suits the needs of memory patients best.

Have you considered establishing an assisted living home focused solely on memory care?

If not, do not let this train leave the station without boarding.

Specialized residential assisted living homes focusing on memory care are quickly drawing investors.

The reason is clear.

The increase in these types of assisted living homes is growing because the need is so great.

Also, the potential need for memory care is projected to continue growing. So, residential assisted living homes that focus on memory care are in high demand.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASSISTED LIVING AND MEMORY CARE?

Traditional assisted living facilities are for active seniors. These individuals do not have health conditions that require continual nursing support.

They mere need assistance with any number of basic activities of daily living that can include:

  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Meal Prep

In many instances, residents of traditional assisted living may relocate to a facility due to aging and loneliness.

Sometimes couples move to traditional assisted living because one may have had surgery and require help that their partner is unable to fulfill.

Others move in because living at home is unsafe.

Memory Care, however, is different.

These facilities offer staff who are specially trained to work with and support residents who have cognitive and memory challenges. Assisted living homes specializing in memory care are outfitted in such a way that residents are safe from self-harm or wandering. Yet, residents are not degraded, medically restrained, or physically restrained.

Memory care focused assisted living homes are free spaces for dementia residents. Residents have room to walk, work, craft, sing, dance, and talk. Their specialized needs are the sole focus of these facilities.

Today, due to advocacy from many organizations, dementia patients are understood much better than even a few years ago.
The stages of dementia are well-documented, and families are counseled much better about the changes in the status of their beloved senior who is memory-challenged.

The result is complete transparency as well as understanding.

Today, a memory care facility focuses on the specific needs of dementia residents at the appropriate time.

These are the realities associated with caring for dementia patients. Nonetheless, these residents need support with:

  • Cognitive Skill Development/Support
  • Self-Awareness
  • Exercise
  • Activities of Daily Living (Basic and Executive)
  • Quality of Life
  • Emotional Support
  • Psychiatric Support
  • Nutritional Support

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY FREE-STANDING MEMORY CARE?

Freestanding Memory Care is a term that really means focused primarily on memory care.

In other words, these assisted living homes are for residents who have a dementia diagnosis and need continual care and support.

The history of memory care reveals a care model transitioning over the past 20 to 30 years.

Traditionally, when a family member began to suffer from dementia, the family was ashamed. These patients were contained in the rear of nursing facilities, in locked wings.

They were heavily medicated and often physically restrained.

Memory care then evolved into a more active wing in nursing facilities as the aforementioned treatment was considered, as it should have been, unethical and cruel.

The need for memory care became more apparent and organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association removed the negative stigma attached.

As such, families began to come forth with their dementia challenged loved ones and sought help.

Nursing facilities adapted quickly by offering wings with specialized care where movement was permitted. Assisted living big box facilities quickly entered the fray and offered greater independence with enhanced security. Continual care retirement communities established memory care as an option for residents who may require such support as they age.

Money and infrastructure was invested as education around dementia became more common and the stigma was removed.

The prevalence of memory care needs in the United States is skyrocketing.

Rents in all of the above-mentioned facilities increased. Memory care patients may have single units or semi-private units.
Rents range from $3,000 to $12,000 a month depending on need and want.

Freestanding memory care communities are becoming available in many markets. Construction costs are nominal because the design is simple.

The rental income is very attractive, and more investors are seeing the cash flow potential. Essentially, the residents require similar types of care, so staffing is relatively simple.

RISK ASSOCIATED FREE-STANDING MEMORY CARE

As with any business model, freestanding memory care faced a risk.

Because these facilities were not associated with a continual care retirement community, a skilled nursing facility, or a long-term care hospital, vacancy was an issue.

Memory care can be rather transient, because residents may develop other health conditions, adult children may relocate to another area and want their parents closer to them, or as with the aging process in general, some pass away.

So, what’s the solution? Build associations. It’s simple really, one need only cultivate relationships with various organizations, nursing facilities, city governments, and the like.

In other words, create your very own network for attracting and discovering new residents. Guess what? It works.

Successful owners of assisted living homes where memory care is the only focus have found these relationships to be invaluable.

Hiring a sales agent or marketing specialist who understands the needs and power of the following 13 organizations will serve to be invaluable:

  1. Alzheimer’s Association (community branch)
  2. Area Agency on Aging
  3. Municipality’s Adult Daycare Program
  4. The Lion’s Club
  5. Veteran’s of Foreign Wars
  6. Rotary Club
  7. Skilled Nursing Facilities w/o Memory Care
  8. Long-term Care Hospitals
  9. Interdenominational Pastoral Alliances
  10. Geriatric Psychiatrists
  11. Neurologists
  12. Internal Medicine Physicians (Geriatricians)
  13. Long-term Care Pharmacies (Closed Door)

Partnering and supporting the above organizations will keep a continual flow of residents into your memory care assisted living home.

These organizations are powerful. Their reputations are highly regarded, and their recommendations or referrals are taken seriously.

Your assisted living home will have no vacancy if the relationship with these organizations is cultivated and maintained.

While the list is extensive, the skill set and knowledge base to engage these organizations, while operating your assisted living home can appear daunting.

It does not have to be daunting.

GET THE MEMORY CARE TRAINING NEEDED TO COMPETE

America’s population is aging and the need for assisted living homes is mounting. Baby Boomers prefer these facilities over skilled nursing facilities or in many instances, traditional assisted living facilities.

Connect with the Residential Assisted Living Academy to learn how to build a successful and vibrant assisted living home focusing on memory care today.

Memory care is needed.

Do not delay – register for the next 3-day course now and join a network of other successful assisted living homeowners.

Learn how to maximize your investment dollars in a way that makes a difference today, tomorrow and for many years to come. Contact the Residential Assisted Living Academy now and learn how to get started.

Training Staff Makes All the Difference

Individualized training optimizes employee improvement and assures the success of your assisted living home.

Nothing is truer in the residential assisted living home industry. Owners and operators of assisted living homes must embrace the idea and practice of continual training as one of the greatest business investments available.

The marketplace is competitive. Employees within the assisted living home industry have multiple options in terms of employment.

What makes an employee a really good and dedicated person? What makes these good employees willing to work in your home as opposed to another?

Many employees have said they appreciate continual learning and the option to grow as a professional.

  • Will your home offer training to its employees for the improvement of both the employee and the resident?
  • Will your home adopt and put into practice adequate training for personnel that advances their skills?
  • Will it be common in your home for employees to move from one job to another because they have acquired training that qualifies them internally?
  • Will you end up seeing good employees leave your home for opportunities at other facilities, or will you make your residential assisted living home an irresistible place to work?

There are questions that need to be answered when starting an assisted living business if you expect to thrive.

THE FACTS ABOUT TRAINING

There can be no doubt about this basic fact: Trained, knowledgeable and skilled employees provide the absolute best care. The converse is equally as true: Untrained, unknowledgeable and unskilled employees render the worst care.

Who do you want working in our home with your residents? The effort required to produce well-trained employees is never in vain.

Employees who know they can obtain training, especially advanced training do not resign haphazardly. They become one with their workplace and regard it as their responsibility to ensure its growth, survival, and reputation.

While the owner has paid and provided the training, it is the employee who invests both the brain and body power to accomplish it. They want a return as much as the owner – typically, they want an even greater return.

There is also training that is mandated in the assisted living industry. Federal standards for staff training are rather non-specific. However, as an owner of an assisted living home you must know your state and local regulations.

Certain states require extensive training for assisted living homes. Be sure these training sessions are conducted timely, with staff understanding the frequency and certification standards. These training sessions must be taken seriously.

State mandated training tends to not be the most well-liked, but it is essential. It guarantees the safety of residents, especially in terms of medication management, CPR, physical lifting of residents, and qualifications for assisted living stay.

TRAINING RECOMMENDATIONS

While states vary on training requirements, there is some facility-wide training that should be enacted.

  1. Fall Risk Assessment and Prevention
  2. Emergency Preparedness
  3. Dementia Identification and Support
  4. Resident’s Rights
  5. Elder Abuse
  6. Elder Neglect
  7. Proper Communication with Residents

It is essential to know who should take which training and when. There are many trainings that are specific to medical professionals and care professionals.

These trainings vary from the following:

  1. Medication Management
  2. Wound Care
  3. Physical Therapy
  4. ADL Support
  5. Body Care
  6. Cognitive Assessment
  7. Memory Care

The above listed trainings tend to be similar, but not exactly the same across multiple states. The Residential Assisted Living Academy provides education and support with training that exceeds the minimum requirements.

These trainings create an environment where employees and residents thrive.

INDIVIDUALIZED TRAINING

Identifying the proper training needed for your home can make a difference between success and failure.

  • What will make your assisted living home different from the others in your community?
  • What will result in your home functioning at full capacity?
  • What ensures no vacancy?

Specifically, individualized training can oftentimes take place internally amongst those you have already hired.

As the assisted living homeowner ask yourself the following:

  • Who is the leader among your staff for specialized care?
  • Who shows genuine care for the residents?
  • Who exhibits ambition?
  • Who wants to learn more about this business?
  • Who works with integrity and dignity?
  • Who goes beyond the norm, beyond the requirement?
  • Who do the residents absolutely love? Why?

These are the people you speak with specifically. Find out what they want in their career.

  • Is this industry of interest to them?
  • Do they long to possibly own a home for the elderly?
  • Do they want to rise into management?

If you as a homeowner desire to own more than one facility, the people who can make this happen most are already working in your assisted living home.

Develop them now.

3 STEPS TO ACCESSING EMPLOYEE SKILLS

  1. First, be sure you know the level of education. If there is a need for more education determine what that educational requirement is. Does this person show the capacity and drive to accomplish it? If so, find a way to support them in that pursuit.
  2. Second, what job specific skills do they lack to get promoted? You want them to be promoted in the workplace. It is the greatest source of energy. It fuels the environment with possibility and others will get onboard with your program.
  3. Third, make sure the employee is supported and not overwhelmed. Overwhelmed workers collapse, get sick, miss work, and burn out. Create short- and long-term goals. If the employee really wants to grow, they will.

Determine the Future Outlook

  • What future need will your assisted living home have?
  • Do you plan on opening multiple homes? When? Where?
  • Will your assisted living home expand? Will new residents with different diagnoses be admitted?
  • What internal needs will expansion create? Will new positions create backfills?
  • What is your 5, 10, 15-year outlook?

WHAT’S NEXT?

Connect with us at the Residential Assisted Living Academy.

Founder Gene Guarino and his nationwide team of experts have helped many entrepreneurs and assisted living homeowners develop their business. During the comprehensive 3-day course, individuals are trained from A-Z on how to start, own, and focus on operating a successful business. The results are phenomenal, and the instructors experience such joy watching entrepreneurs excel.

Contact RALAcademy today and register for the training you need to thrive.

Keys to Success: Your Business Plan

In the 1980’s, drivers navigated the highways using an atlas. In the 1990’s, digital satellite images enabled us to print directions from the computer using MapQuest. By the early 2000’s, smart phones allowed users to access google maps to easily project turn-by-turn directions.

Business plans are like roadmaps.

You can maneuver without a directional guide, but your likelihood of getting lost is much higher. Why take the risk of going in circles when you’ve already committed to traveling the distance?

A business plan allows owners and operators to advance their residential assisted living homes without having to stop-and-go, getting lost, or spinning their wheels unsuccessfully.

Entrepreneurs often use business plans as helpful guides.

They help business owners see the bigger picture, plan ahead, make important decisions to improve overall success.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF A BUSINESS PLAN?

Ultimately, a business is your recipe for success. A well-written plan gives entrepreneurs the ability to lay out their goals and track progress as the business grows.

Just like getting directions to a foreign location must be your priority before traveling, likewise, formulating a business plan should be the first thing done when starting a new business.

Also, business plans attract savvy investors.

A good business plan is typically comprised of at least 8 components:

  • Market analysis,
  • Competitive analysis,
  • Customer segmentation,
  • Marketing,
  • Logistics
  • Operations plans,
  • Cash flow projection, and
  • Overall path to long-term growth.

Despite how tedious and time-consuming, business plans must be your first priority if you plan to succeed in a competitive market.

Even if you own or operate a small business, there are 10 concrete reasons why you need a plan to excel.

10 FACTS AS TO WHY YOU NEED A BUSINESS PLAN

1. Help with Critical Decisions

All businesses are created with a purpose or primary importance, yet, in order for the business to effectively grow a business plan will help you make critical decisions. Entrepreneurship is all about decision making, crisis management and engaging solutions. A business plan allows entrepreneurs to consider ramification prior to problems occurring. A robust business plan with a savvy marketing strategy provides the answers for all the tough scenarios that may arise in the future of the business.

2. Iron Out the Kinks

Assembling a business plan demands that entrepreneurs evaluate every aspect of the business in order to come up with well-researched and insightful answers. If nothing else, a business plans helps entrepreneurs to be able to articulate the vision and mission. Putting together a business plan requires entrepreneurs to ask themselves a lot of hard questions and take the time to come up with well-researched and insightful answers.

Ironing out all the kinks in the early stages will help eliminate the gaps in your strategy.

3. Avoid Big Mistakes

According to the small business administration, about 50-percent of small businesses fail. This is
often because many of them lack an adequate business plan.

Some of The Most Common Reasons Businesses:

  • No market
  • Lack of capital
  • Inadequate team
  • Stiff competition
  • Pricing

Ultimately, an adequate business plan can help you avoid these major mistakes by spotting some of the critical mistakes ahead of time.

4. Proof of Business Viability

A great business idea requires more than sheer passion to survive. A business plan is proof that a great idea excels with market research. Turning a great idea or dream into success is done through a business plan – this is how a concept becomes a successful reality. Market research can offer deep insight into your customers, your competitors, and your chosen industry. It will inform and instruct you on best business practices.

5. Setting Objectives and Benchmarks

Without a business plan, objectives often become arbitrary. A business plan helps make benchmarks more intentional and consequential. A business always reels owners and operators back into focus as the years progress

6. Communicating Objectives and Benchmarks

A business plan also empowers you to become more time conscious. It defines the next steps needed before difficult circumstances arise. Sharing your business plan with team members also helps ensure that all members are aligned with what you’re doing. Your “big why” is important to the entire team.

7. Provide A Guide for Service Providers

Small businesses typically employ contractors, freelancers, and other professionals to help them with individual tasks like accounting, marketing, legal assistance, and as consultants. The same is true for residential assisted living businesses. Having a business plan in place allows you to easily share relevant sections with those you rely on to support the organization, while ensuring everyone is on the same page.

8. Secure Financing

Prepare to pitch. It’s impossible to effectively pitch your company without a business plan. This will enable pitching to venture capitalists, borrowing from a bank, or consideration for sales. A business plan is the most effective way of showing your requirements for seeking outside financing.

9. To better understand the broader landscape

No business is an island. Writing a business plan can go a long way in helping you better understand your competition. It also illuminates consumer trends and preferences, potential disruptions and other insights that aren’t always plainly visible.

10. Reduce Risk

Entrepreneurship can involve a certain amount of risk. You can manage most risks with a well-crafted business plan.

When entrepreneurs create revenue and expense projections, devising logistics and operational plans, an understanding of the market and competitive landscape helps reduce the risk. Leave less to chance. Make better decisions. This starts by writing a clear business plan. Having this important tool allows you to leave less up to chance, saves time and money, and illuminates the clearest possible view of the future of your company.

EXPERT TRAINING FOR ASSISTED LIVING BUSINESS OWNERS

Now that you have a solid grasp on the “why” behind business plans, consider what elements you would include in your own business plan.

The residential assisted living industry is unlike any other. So why flounder around trying to create your own comprehensive business plan?

Why not use the knowledge and experience of our experts who have been in this industry for decades?

Our expertise can set you on the path to success and help you avoid costly mistakes that can drain you of valuable time and money.

As a new assisted living homeowner, you will need the support and guidance of the Residential Assisted Living Academy.

It will be vital to navigate the unique oddities of the regulatory environment in your state.

An experienced team of nationwide experts will help you understand the federal guidelines, decipher your state’s requirements, and how best to implement policies and procedures that are effective.

Interesting Rules to Be Aware of In Assisted Living

The regulatory world of senior living can be complicated without the proper training and necessary support.

Welcome to the world of senior living, where regulations have regulations. All jokes aside, it’s really not so bad, but interesting for many to discover the degree to which governments, both federal and state, go to protect the elderly.

We agree that keeping seniors safe and thriving must be our chief concern. Although many of the rules to follow aren’t mandated from the federal level, there are general guiding principles that cover most locales. In addition, as you begin to make your plans to build your own residential assisted living business, there are regulations specific to your state and city that you will want to know.

Some regulations may seem odd for the uninitiated, but with the proper help, support, and guidance, a new investor or owner can navigate the oddities of senior living without any major setbacks.

Nonetheless, oddities included, as we cannot eliminate them, applied knowledge is powerful. Become knowledgeable today by obtaining the education, training, guidance and consultation of the Residential Assisted Living Academy.

Your ability to navigate the multifaceted world of senior living regulations will be vital to your success and ability to deliver quality care to seniors.

THE SOURCE OF REGULATIONS

The regulatory environment for senior living is largely driven by the primary payor of such services, Medicare.

Federal guidelines provide the type of guidance that makes state regulations easy to create and enforce. It is wise for residential assisted living homes to have policies and procedures in place for optimal operation, but alignment with Medicare regulations is essential to ensure overall compliance.

Also, depending upon the level of care administered in your residential assisted living home, certain guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of both the resident and the care provider. Adherence also prevents or thwarts unmerited lawsuits and citations from regulatory agencies.

For the most part, residential assisted living is an intermediate level long-term care housing option. Therefore, regulations vary state by state. That’s right, although federal regulations are in place, state regulators are the lead compliance arm for senior living.

Since residential assisted living homes are intermediate, there is no symmetry between one state and another as to how and what is regulated.

THE 8 ODDITIES OF ASSISTED LIVING REGULATIONS

1. The Band-Aid Application Ban:
Any assisted living facility is meant to be exactly what the name suggests, assisted living. These facilities are not Skilled Nursing Facilities, however, in many states they function as such because residents refuse to relocate. The idea of the residential assisted living home is to provide limited care for elderly patients who are otherwise healthy, active, and desirous of an independent life. In some states, basic wound care is prohibited. Therefore, one must be knowledgeable to the extent of care permissible in a specific state and gear policy and procedures to meet but not exceed those limits. Again, assisting with living, not maintaining life is the idea.

2. The Care Plan Command:
Most states require residential assisted living homes to conduct a complete assessment of needs prior to admission. The purpose is to gather information that is necessary to determine compliance with state regulations about who can live in a residential assisted living home, or any assisted living facility for that matter. Some states require the needs assessment be done a week or two prior to admission, while others require 30 days prior to admission. This assessment also contributes to the resident’s comprehensive care plan, which must be documented, on file, and enacted daily. Changes will occur over time, but the baseline assessment and plan must be in place or compliance will be a major issue.

3. The Medication Adherence Mandate:
In the assisted living space, seniors can refuse medical services including medication. There is a catch, though. In many states, if medication is refused eviction can occur. That’s right! If a resident says, “Meds No,” the RAL homeowner can say, “You’ve got to Go.” That’s powerful. Now, the administration of medications in a residential assisted living home can be a little hairy. Only certain staff members are permitted to administer, handle or dispense medication. In most states, medically certified staff persons can handle medications, but in other states it is more selective. Be sure to know who can do what with medication.

4. The Continuous Medical Care Cut-off:
When medical care becomes a 24 hour a day responsibility, in most states, that resident should or must be placed in a Skilled Nursing Facility. Regardless of family requests, that level of medical attention is to be administered in a nursing home, where the majority of the staff is certified to render that level of care. Assisted living facilities can assist with medical care but are not ideally created to deliver said care. I know it sounds like semantics. However, it is not. When a resident’s care is unable to be led by the resident, the resident has experienced a significant reduction in activities of daily living, both executive and basic. Therefore, that resident should be relocated; however, this varies from one state to another. So, once again, know your state.

5. Leisure Activities Requirement:
Residents in a residential assisted living facility should have no problem at all participating in social and leisure activities provided in the home. Some states even have exercise requirements that residents should be able to perform to some degree. When residents lose the ability to participate in activities, that resident may be declining to the point of needing to relocate to a more nursing based facility. However, the activity requirement is one that varies state by state; therefore, be clear on the regulation in your state.

6. The Toe-Nail Care Condition:
I know it may sound, well unseemly, but toenail care is a big issue. It is directly tied to the overall health of a resident, especially a diabetic one. In some states, the clipping of toenails of a diabetic patient must be done by certified medical professionals, while in others states anyone is permitted. The challenge with clipping the toenails of diabetic patients is infection, which can quickly develop into a major infection that can cause death. Therefore, it is imperative that you know what your state requires in terms of footcare for all residents, but especially diabetic patients.

7. The Dementia Directive Training:
States normally require specialized training to be provided pertaining to assisted living community employment. This training covers much of the general information relative to caring for the elderly, but also combs through key regulations which can result in liability of the residential assisted living home and the employee. Of specific importance is the training for dementia. The most common dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, is a disease of which the majority of seniors moving into a residential assisted living home possess several risk factors. Other forms of dementia, specifically Vascular, are associated with cardiovascular complications or challenges of which many seniors are under chronic medical management. Therefore, employees are trained to be able to identify, mitigate and report changes in behavior, balance and the like to prevent these diseases from intensifying unknowingly. The safety challenges that accompany dementia are sure to be a problem if employees are unaware of the prevalence and warning signs for dementia.

8. The Ineffective CPR Exemption:
Believe it or not, CPR can be a problem in senior living. The effectiveness of CPR is under scrutiny, as some residents end up hospitalized for broken ribs, punctured lungs and other challenges. Also, some residents have a DNR in place, which is a Do Not Resuscitate order. It is a legally binding document, but in some states not as enforceable as in others. Some residential assisted living homes may be cited, fined, or sued by family for performing CPR on their loved one who had a DNR in place. So, once again, know your state regulations. They become your only protection in these circumstances. Also, be sure to have all medical and legal documents relating to the care of each resident filed in a location easily accessible to your RAL home’s management staff.

EXPERT TRAINING FOR ASSISTED LIVING BUSINESS OWNERS

As a new assisted living homeowner, you will need the support and guidance of our professionals at the Residential Assisted Living Academy, who have seen and experienced it all in this industry. It will be vital to navigate the unique oddities of the regulatory environment in your state.

Know Your State:

  • Have you seen the regulation manual for your state? It’s usually thicker than the bible.
  • Do you understand both medical and legal jargon conflated into one cohesively written anthology, or do you have someone in your corner who can explain it to you and your staff?
  • Lastly, are you able to interpret the regulations and draft policies that comply seamlessly?

Yes, these are loaded questions but so is the regulatory environment. Do not attempt to do this alone. The survival of your residential assisted living home is contingent upon this being done right, the first time.

Contact the Residential Assisted Living Academy, immediately.

An experienced team of nationwide experts will help you understand the federal guidelines, decipher your state’s requirements, and how best to implement policies and procedures that are effective.

Startup Keys to Success: Communication

Communication is a critical component to any successful business, and this concept also rings true in the residential assisted living industry.

Unlike manufacturing and retail industries, assisted living is quite different because there are no goods and products involved.

The kind of quality care required amongst residential assisted living businesses is a unique service.

Owners and operators of assisted living homes directly impact the health and well-being of seniors in their care.

Quality care in this industry demands communication skills.

Communication in assisted living is not merely a key strategy for potential leads, it is a critical aspect of running a successful business by putting seniors and their families first.

As a result, communication in your residential assisted living home is about being genuine and showing compassion to the senior population.

If you plan on being the hands-on manager of your assisted living business then this communication guide will be incredibly helpful.

Additionally, if you plan on being a hands-off operator, then it is key that you hire the right people with these communication skills to ensure that your business reaches its full potential.

15 COMMUNICATION SKILLS CRUCIAL TO LOCKING ON LEADS

Without good communication skills, your business will lack one of the most important components that is crucial to success – locking in leads.

Sounds obvious, right?

How do you lock in leads to fill every bed in your residential assisted living home? This starts with understanding the art of communication and the strategy of engaging solutions.

Caregivers can’t solve problems if they are unable to get seniors to communicate.

So, communication is key.

Let’s unpack 15 helpful skills to cultivate across your assisted living business.

15. Communication Skills for Generating Leads

  1. Pay full attention.
  2. Practice active listening.
  3. Read body language.
  4. Master the nuance of voice tones.
  5. Be empathetic.
  6. Understand what’s not being said.
  7. Speak in specifics.
  8. Be a subject matter expert.
  9. Be genuinely curious.
  10. Don’t act like you know everything.
  11. Assume good intent.
  12. Always be honest.
  13. Don’t make assumptions.
  14. Be persistent, not pestering.
  15. Be comfortable with silence.

THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION IN RESIDENTIAL ASSISTED LIVING

The ability to gather and provide information effectively and efficiently aligns prospective residents with your assisted living business. Propositions, pricing, and placement does not matter unless you’re able to get your prospects to communicate with you – this means you must listen to what others have to say.

Listening is a critical part of communicating.

4 Tips You Must Understand About Prospective Residents

  • How Your Prospects Learn,
  • What They Care About,
  • What Communication Style They Prefer, And
  • Adapt Your Strategy Accordingly.

Verbal and non-verbal communication are equally important. Listen to what prospects are saying audibly and read between the lines.

What seniors don’t tell you is sometimes their way of communicating difficult subject matter.

Be tuned in with seniors and their family members when providing tours or just talking on the phone.

Prior to immersing yourself into aspects of the senior transitional process, work on your communication skills to ensure that you always send the right message.

Let’s explore these 15 professional communication tips to make sure you are in sync with your prospective residents and their family members.

15 COMMUNICATION TIPS TO BUILD YOUR ASSISTED LIVING BUSINESS

1.     Give Your Undivided Attention

Life gets busy and business gets even busier, and it’s no surprise that your mind might be wandering as you try to keep up with the day. With pressure-filled careers, it’s important to give prospective residents your undivided attention. You have to dedicate 100% of your attention to each call, visit, and tour. Remember, it’s obvious when you’re not paying attention, even when you’re on the phone.

2.     Actively Listen

Listening is not enough. You have to actively listen. Conversations that lack an active listener often spin in circles. Not only do you have to listen, you have to listen actively, otherwise your conversation won’t really go anywhere. Instead of thinking about what you are going to say next, start actively listening by processing the information you are hearing. Do not listen to respond, listen to understand.

Four-Step Process to Actively Listening:

  • Actively listen to the prospect.
  • Offer feedback.
  • Confirm what you heard.
  • Use questions for clarification and understanding.

3.     Pay Close Attention to Body Language

When the person speaking is looking away, scrolling through their phone, slouching, or physically engaged in other activities, bad body language can alter a conversation. Even if you are listening, depending on what you are doing, your words can be heard very differently. Our body language often reveals our true intentions or meaning. Great communicators know how to read others’ body language. Body language is a great way to anticipate the direction of a conversation. Make sure your body language isn’t sending mixed signals.

  1. Master the Nuances of Voice Tone

Voice tone impacts how your voice pitch, volume, speed, and even your word choice affects how your words are interpreted. This is especially important if you are contacting leads on the phone – your tones can set the first impression. Aim to be understood.

5.     Be Empathetic

Seek to understand other people’s point of view, even when you don’t agree. Showing people that you understand their challenges and struggles goes a long way. Being empathic makes you far more likable. As a result, it increases the chances of closing a deal with another senior moving into your residential assisted living home.

6.     Aim to Understand Words That Are Not Being Spoken

Sometimes, prospective residents and their loved ones don’t tell the whole truth. They have their reasons. Even still, it can be helpful to recognize when this happens. It’s crucial that you are able to sense the vibe of each prospect – learn to read between the lines.

7.     Be Specific When Speaking

Great communicators are not persuasive because they speak in dramatic, sweeping rhetoric. They’re able to convince people because they can point to specific anecdotes. Be as specific as you can. Do not rely on catchy phrases – it is important that you are understood.

8.     Be A Subject Matter Expert

It’s important to be a well-versed expert and know as much as you can about assisted living. This allows you to be specific. Seniors and their family members will never trust business representatives that don’t seem like they understand the process, so become an expert in senior assisted living.

9.     Accept What You Don’t Know

Remember, being an expert doesn’t mean you have to know everything. Every senior comes with a different background, unique family makeup, and distinct needs for certain activities of daily living. So, don’t act like you know everything about them. Give them space in the conversation to be heard as an individual. You should know enough to sketch out the outlines of their situation, but always rely on your prospects to fill in the little details. Be aware of the gaps in your knowledge, accept what you don’t know and then ask questions to fill in the empty spaces. Seniors and their loved ones will appreciate your honesty, and you’ll avoid turning away prospective residents because of false assumptions.

10. Be Genuinely Curious

Always be prepared to ask good questions. Seniors respect when you ask the kinds of questions that help make their transition easier. It’s easy to slip into your elevator pitch, but always establish a personal relationship in order to keep the conversation relevant during each phone call, email and tour. Always ask questions first, before you start offering answers that do not suit the circumstances.

11. Assume That Others Have Good Intentions

One of the most important decisions you can make when communicating with anyone is to assume that they have good intentions. Some people make a commitment before they’ve gotten all the information and financial resources in order. Unfortunately, sometimes, they lie on purpose. While these situations can be frustrating, it is because people usually make genuine errors. Don’t jump to conclusions about misunderstandings. Jumping to conclusions about your prospect’s intent will color the rest of your interactions in a negative light. It will cause you to subconsciously treat potential residents unfairly – this is no way to fill the beds in your residential assisted living home. Always assume good intent.

12. Always Be Honest

Be upfront. This is important because you will not always be given the same “good intention” courtesy that you extend to your prospects. This means you have to be honest about the questions they ask and the ones they do not. They will expect you to tell them everything they need to know, even without making you aware. This means always be upfront when you don’t know something, so they believe what you’re saying when you do know the answer.

13. Avoid Making Assumptions

It’s so easy to fall into a routine and make assumptions. Avoid doing so. Even if the majority of prospects fit into a specific profile, that doesn’t mean everyone does. So, treat each prospect as an individual. Unless you have independently verified a piece of information or the potential resident has said the words to you, never make an assumption about their situation. Do not make prospects feel ignored or forced to interrupt you with corrections to assumptions. This kind of communication is sure to cause a negative ripple effect. Remember, it only takes a few minutes to ask follow-up questions in order to avoid assumptions.

14. Be Persistent Without Being A Pest

Be persistent, but don’t be a pest. When taking potential residents on tours it’s crucial that managers and caregivers understand this. Excessively calling and emailing prospects when you get no response is counterproductive. Avoid annoying and alienating potential residents while being persistent at the same time. When you do not receive a response to follow-up messages, try a different approach. Do not send repeat messages. Once you re-engage them, steer the conversation back to business.

15. Be Comfortable with Silence

Most people are strangely uncomfortable with silence. When they ask a question and the prospect gets quiet, most intake managers and caregivers immediately try to fill that silence by asking clarifying questions. It’s okay for pauses to occur before speaking. Silence helps to avoid interruptions and the loss of important thoughts. Set the precedent that silence is welcome in your conversations.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR RESIDENTIAL ASSISTED LIVING BUSINESS

Communication skills are by far the most important weapon intake managers and caregivers can keep in their arsenal.

Make sure to keep yours sharp and ready to use.

Get in touch with the Residential Assisted Living Academy today to learn how to keep your senior living home filled.

So often, you only get one chance to do this right.

Register for the next 3-day course to learn everything you need to know to own and operate a cutting edge residential assisted living home.