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Marketing 101 – Tips for Your RAL Business

Residential assisted living is a rapidly growing business opportunity that attracts a wide range of owners, operators, and seniors. 

Many owners and operators have minimal experience in running an assisted living business.

Marketing is one of the core concepts that can determine whether your business fail or thrive.

A marketing plan is an essential marketing tool for every small business. 

To create an effective plan, you’ll need to start by answering some important fundamental questions.

What do you want your assisted living home to accomplish and why? What is your target market? Who is your competition? 

Consider these important questions before taking any other action. 

There are ten critical questions every business owner and operator must answer in order to create an impactful marketing plan. 

10 Critical Startup Questions

  1. How Will Your Marketing Plan Support Your Business Goals?
  2. What Is the Mission You’re Trying to Accomplish, and Why?
  3. Who Are You Trying to Reach with Your Marketing Activities?
  4. Who Are You Up Against, and Where Do You Rank?
  5. What Makes Your Business Unique?
  6. What Will You Charge, and Why?
  7. How Will You Reach Your Target Market?
  8. How Much Money Will You Spend, and on What?
  9. Do You Need to Complete to Reach Your Marketing Goals?
  10. What Tasks Do You Need to Complete to Reach Your Marketing Goals?
  11. What Results Have You Achieved, and Where Can You Improve?

How Will Your Marketing Plan Support Your Business Goals?

Prior to developing your marketing plan, define a clear concept of what you want to accomplish. 

Your marketing strategy should be it’s directly related to your business goals and objectives.

A marketing strategy outlines expectations; a marketing plan provides details of how to execute the strategy. 

Afterward, break down your plan into short and long term objectives in an effort to script your marketing message. 

Remember, your timelines are important because they keep your plan realistic. 

Be careful to place emphasis on how your marketing strategy and marketing plan work together. 

Setting goals based on your business guidelines is the best way to get started. 

What is the Mission You’re Trying to Accomplish, and Why?

Your mission statement should be short, simple and memorable – it explains what you are trying to do and why you are doing it. 

Your mission statement should always be merged with your marketing plan. In fact, the mission statement is the foundation of your marketing plan. 

Incorporating your mission statement into your marketing plan ensures that your marketing activities are connected to your overall objective. 

Your mission is the most effective tool to repeatedly revisit to make sure your business remains on the right track. 

Finalize your mission statement before you do anything else. 

Who Are You Trying to Reach With Your Marketing Activities?

What is the specific audience you are trying to reach? The answer to this question will help you identify your target market. 

The more demographics and details determined about your target audience, the more your marketing plan will be able to target assisted living prospects. 

Market research will help you identify and find your target audience. It will also enable you to discover their values, concerns, and needs. 

A sketch of your residential assisted living home should identify your ideal seniors and help you personalize the specifics of your marketing message.

Who Are You Up Against and Where Do You Rank?

A competitive analysis is one of the best ways to research your target market, prepare your marketing strategy, and study your competition. 

Who are you up against? Is it another assisted living home, a big box facility, or false ideas about residential assisted living?

It’s important to consider what your competitors are doing right and what they are doing wrong. 

Competitive analysis helps you beat the competition, find your niche, and prepare for challenges. 

What Makes Your Business Unique?

Your assisted living home needs a unique selling proposition. Identify what sets you apart from everyone else in the industry. 

Prepares you’ve heard of the marketing term called USP, which means a unique selling proposition.

Your USP outlines how your residential assisted living home differs from your competition. 

Be unique in a way that makes your business a better choice than seniors will prefer over the competition. 

What Will You Charge, and Why?

Your residential assisted living home should have a pricing strategy based on the model you follow. 

Your business plan should already have many suggested price points for your assisted living home. 

Relate your pricing information to your marketing materials and marketing message. 

Your marketing plan must convey the value of your price points. A high-value proposition often leads seniors to fill the beds in your home.

How Will You Reach Your Target Market?

Create a promotional plan that covers all the communication materials needed to promote the key elements of your assisted living business. 

Your promotional plan should combine advertising, public relations, content marketing, internet marketing, and other publicity efforts. 

Only use 3-5 specific marketing variations to execute your marketing strategy, isolating your marketing campaigns is paramount. 

How Much Money Will You Spend, and On What?

As you outline your promotional plan, define a marketing budget so that you will know what activities you can afford. 

New small businesses often have a limited marketing budget. This is why creating a promotional plan that works is vital.

You may have an annual marketing budget, but you should also break it down into monthly increments. 

This will enable you can track results and modify the promotional plan to focus on the activities that provide you with the best return on investment.

What Tasks Do You Need To Complete To Reach Your Marketing Goals?

Outlining an action list is an important part of your marketing plan. This outline becomes the task list to guide you through each promotional activity. 

Action steps help successful business owners and operators stay on track and maintain consistent progress.

Action step prevent assisted living marketing teams from re-creating the wheel for every marketing campaign. 

Evaluate your end goal and break it down into a series of single-step tasks to create the best action plan possible. 

Each action item should also include a due date.

Typically, smaller steps empower you to complete easier tasks and build marketing momentum.

What Results Have You Achieved, and Where Can You Improve?

Marketing metrics will enable you to track and measure your results. A metric allows residential assisted living homes to transition your marketing plan from a one-time endeavor to a static document that consistently grows your business. 

There are different ways to track and measure marketing results. For example, online marketing can be tracked using analytics using search engine optimization. Offline marketing methods require a more manual approach.

The more standardized your tracking system, the more relevant your results will be. 

Marketing is difficult to measure without a system in place. 

Measuring your results will enable you to tailor your marketing activities to focus on the areas where you have the most success.

Get Connected to Mentors and Models for More Tips

The RAL Academy is the nation’s leading resource for assisted living, mentoring new business owners and offers an assisted living model that works nationwide.

Contact to learn more detailed professional tips about marketing your home.

Students who attend the 3-day course at Residential Assisted Living Academy to learn how to meet the high demand for senior housing, marketing strategizing that work, and everything from A-Z about owning a RAL business.  

Do you have a support system in place to help you ensure that your business succeeds?

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Gene Guarino


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