The age-old saying “spend money to make money” has long served as a mantra for driving business and that’s no exception for private duty home care providers, many of which are spending more on certain business channels and seeing those investments pay off in the long run.
Sales and Internet marketing are among the top business lines in which private duty home care providers are boosting their investments in efforts to further drive operations, said Aaron Marcum, founder and CEO of Home Care Pulse, BestofHomeCare.com and creator of the Private Duty Benchmarking Study, during an online conferece Monday.
Now in its fifth edition, the 2014 study—the focal point of the session—is a survey that gauges the national and regional benchmarks on finance, sales, marketing and operations of hundreds of private duty home care agencies across North America.
A key finding in this year’s study is that private duty “leaders,” defined as companies with revenues of more than $2 million, are investing greater percentages of their revenues in their marketing operations, particularly in how much they spend on sales representatives and their Internet advertising, compared to their competitors.
“They know where to spend money and invest in certain areas of their businesses they know will get the greatest return,” Marcum said.
In 2014, leading companies spent a median 1.7% of their total revenues on marketing, which included advertising, networking and events, as well as sales rep salaries and bonuses. In comparison, providers in the $1 million-$1.99 million range spent 1.1% and those with revenues ranging between $500,000-$999,000 spent 1.5%.
When it comes to marketing, providers largely agreed that an Internet presence does make a difference, especially for boosting the company’s brand recognition and appealing to more consumers, many of which are online shoppers.
Those who spent on the Internet/SEO strategies had a median revenue that was more than the industry overall by over $400,000—$1.8 million compared to $1.39 million. Additionally, 11% of providers named Internet/SEO as the top revenue generator among consumer marketing methods, with approximately a median 15% of revenue attributed to investing in this source.
“A strong Internet presence does make a difference. A lot of referral sources go to the Internet to validate your company,” Marcum said. “In order to get the phone to ring, you have to be recognized, and sometimes you have to spend a little bit to make that happen.”
Written by Jason Oliva