The Four Part Target Customer: NERD

Hi folks, Steve, The Hurricane here and on today’s episode of “A Drink with The Hurricane” We’re gonna discuss sales and marketing strategies for 2022.

So I’m so excited and it’s 2022, and this is my 10 year anniversary coming up later on. What I’m most excited about though and sharing with you is that I’m actually changing the name of my company. For the last five, six years I’ve been operating, I’m always been Hurricane Marketing Enterprises, but I’ve been operating as home care marketing by Hurricane Marketing Enterprises. And so I’m excited and proud to announce that we will now be known as Home Care Evolution by Hurricane Marketing Enterprises, with a focus on helping home care business owners adapt to changing circumstances, transform their businesses so that they can now thrive in the brave new world that is the post COVID generation.

Now with that said, I also have this amazing focus of where the business and these “Drink with the Hurricane” episodes are going to be going. As you see on the screen right now, there’s a beautiful infographic that we’ve created, which shows you and your business. And from there, we’re gonna be helping you and these videos are gonna be discussing on all five of the following areas: Obviously our bread and butter has always been sales and marketing. So we’re gonna talk about the latest strategies and how we can develop referral sources and what kind of clients we’re going after. We’re gonna talk about operations as we are bringing on more customers. Well, how are we gonna be able to manage those customers? How are we gonna be able to manage our clients? How are we gonna able to manage our caregivers and what systems and processes do we need to be able to do so effectively? Then we’re gonna be addressing the biggest challenge in the home care industry, which is the labor shortage. All things recruiting and retention of caregivers, because we need people to do the work. How do we find them? How do we attract them? How do we keep them working for us? Finally, we’re gonna be discussing all things financial. Making sure that your business is operating in 18 to 20% profit margin. And then when we have an abundance of the resources, what should we do to reinvest in the business and maybe even develop multiple revenue streams? We’re gonna talk a little bit about investing. We’re gonna talk about getting into real estate and other vehicles that are gonna allow our money to make money for us. And finally, as if that wasn’t enough, we’re gonna also discuss, setting your business up to exit.

Whether you are just getting started or even thinking about starting a home care business, at some point in time, you have to realize that you should be running your business every single day as if you’re going to one day sell it. So that this way, when you do go sell it, you can get your maximum return on investment. This is the home care evolution model, and this is all things we’re gonna be discussing from this point going forward. Now, for today’s episode, as I said, we’re gonna be discussing sales and marketing in 2022.

So we’re gonna just take it right from the top with that first part of this infographic here. The things that I’ve learned over the last 10 years of doing this with folks is really helping folks to understand who the target customer is. Above all else, when you think about your sales and marketing effort, especially in today’s time where we can’t take all the business that’s coming at us. So a lot of folks are thinking, well, what should I do for marketing if I can’t take clients? I say, build your business around the kind of clients that have the greatest urgency. You maybe have heard me talk about this in the past, where I’m talking about the N.E.R.D client.

What is a N.E.R.D client? A N.E.R.D client is a four part customer. The first part is the N in the word nerd, which stands for need. We must be marketing for clients with a great need. Gone are the days of people really looking for companion level services. Gone are the days where somebody is really looking for somebody to come in once a week or twice a week. And even if people are looking for that, that is not smart to build your business around folks who are looking for odd jobs here and there. You will spend way too much time operationally trying to staff those cases and not getting enough return on your investment all for one shift here, one shift there. But when you have a client with great need and the great need that I’m gonna say is five or more chronic conditions. When someone is suffering from five or more chronic conditions, that person needs a lot more than a couple of hours here and there. They need help almost every single day of the week, if not every day of the week. And they need help almost every waking hour, if not more, that is a target customer. And when you think about it, look at who’s sitting in a nursing home right now. Those are total care patients. Look at people who are spending top dollar for the highest level acuity that an assisted living community offers. We’re talking about 10, 12,000, maybe even $15,000 a month to be in an assisted living with total care services on top of it, not entry-level, but total care. That’s somebody with five more chronic conditions. That’s the first part of the N.E.R.D client.

The second part of the N.E.R.D client is that they are elderly. This is obvious, all right. We’re looking for people 65 and older. Really we’re looking for people more like 75, 80 years or older because that’s your total care patient. Somebody who’s 65 is somebody who’s retirement age. They probably are not a target customer. Yes, several of those exists, but really we’re looking for people who are what I would call an older adult. So not an old person, but an older adult. So not just the senior, but somebody who is significantly older than 65 years, which qualifies them as a senior citizen. Then you have your R, your R stands for resources. These are folks who can financially afford the services. Now this is a really, really big point, because again, we’re talking about sales and marketing here. I need to build my business around this N.E.R.D customer. I need to build my marketing effort around finding the person who can afford the services.

Now a lot of folks say to me, Steve, not everybody can afford home care. And that is a true statement. Not everyone can afford home care. As a matter of fact, here in the United States, because I know I have a lot of folks around the world who are watching these videos, but here in the United States, more than 40% of the senior population are getting assistance through Medicaid, right? Meaning that Medicaid is paying for caregivers. Medicaid is paying for services coming in and out of the house. Many of them are getting other assistance with their rental assistance and their security and other things that are helping to pay for services. That is not a target customer. There are systems and processes and different things that those folks can do to get the care that they need. That’s not what we’re talking about here in the private pay home care business.

What I’m talking about is the other 60% who have some resources. Those folks can afford it. How do I know those folks can afford it is because you look at all of the assisted living communities in your area. How many assisted livings are in your market? How many CCRCs, Continuous Care Retirement Communities are in your market? Do you realize that the average price of an assisted living is around 7,000, $7,500 a month entry level. That means when they first move in and they don’t need a lot of help, they start at $7,500 a month, a month. We are literally talking about $90,000 a year people are paying on average to be in an assisted living. And with that said, notice how full those assisted livings are. Many of these continuous care retirement communities have a waiting list. They open they’ve been around for four or five years, and that building is full. And then all of a sudden, they start to go on a waiting list until people have availability and then you can move in. If that isn’t proof that people can afford home care services. I don’t know what is. So then with your marketing effort, you need to be talking to your marketers. You need to be out there, marketing yourself, finding people, great need, elderly, who are that target customer that I just described, which there are plenty in every single market around the country.

Last but not least is the D in the word nerd, the D stands for disabled and or dementia. When you look at what I just said, using the example I just talked about with the resources and the assisted living communities, look at how many memory care communities exist in your marketplace, or how many of those continuous care retirement communities/ assisted living communities have a memory care unit. Those memory care units are often four. Those memory care units are often have a reservation waiting list for folks trying to get in. And those memory care units, those memory care communities are among the highest priced communities you could possibly go to. Many people are paying well over $10,000 a month. We’re talking $120,000 a year to have a loved one in one of these memory care communities, because there is not many options available for a dementia patient, an Alzheimer’s patient. And that’s the D from nerd.

The other part of the D is disabled. And when you think about growing your business, you wanna have clients that are gonna be on services for a long period of time, right? It’s very difficult to sign up and staff a case, get a caregiver to go in there only to have that client discontinue services two weeks later, and then you lose the caregiver or you have to reassign them to somewhere else. That’s an operational nightmare. So this is why I’m talking about this 10, really understanding your target customer. And I’m spending all this time. I talked about this before, but never at this much depth and this much understanding because for 2022 and all the years going forward, we must build our businesses around this type of customer. All of your marketing and sales efforts has to be around attracting and finding this type of customer. The disabled customer, the one that I love to talk about the most is stroke. When I think about my home care business that I own for seven years, that business scaled and grew. We had a number of stroke clients who were on our services for years. These are folks, yes, they had the resources. Some of them have long-term care insurance policies. In another episode, I’ll talk about that. But many of these folks had strokes and a stroke is the number one cause of long-term disability.

When you think about somebody who has a stroke, most of the time, a stroke ends up killing somebody, but for the elderly patient 80 plus, when they have a stroke, if they survive it, they are total care client and it takes years to recover. If they ever fully recover. This is so important that we understand the disabled and or dementia. If you’re able with your marketing effort in a full 12 month period, able to get just 200 of these N.E.R.D target customers that I’m discussing right here. I know for a fact, you will be able to sign on at least half of those, which is a hundred new patients, but your average billable hours per week per client will be north of 40 hours per week per client. Think about how much you’re charging for your hourly rate right now, if every single one of your clients was one of these N.E.R.D customers, and you’re billing out more than 40 hours per week per client on average, and you sign on a hundred of those, you’re gonna bill out close to 3000 hours per week, 52 weeks a year, which will put your business well over $5 million annually. I know that this can be done because I have been helping folks for the last decade do this. So the tip that we talked about here is knowing your target customer from sales and marketing perspective. It’s all about the N.E.R.D, great need, elderly with resources, disabled and or dementia, make it happen. And I promise you will blow away the competition.

Steve
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