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Starting 2021 Right (with guests Steve the Hurricane and Ginny Kenyon)

This inaugural episode of the home care heroes podcast features two of the industry's best and brightest, Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss and GInny Kenyon, who give their best advice on how to get your agency off the the right start in 2021.

Both guests are spot on with their focus on caregivers, "the Heroes of Home Care." Steve focuses on planning, whereas Ginny focuses on recruiting. You will come away from this episode with ideas that you can put into action today!

Steve runs Hurricane Marketing Enterprises (https://homecaremarketing.net). Steve and his team run boot camps and provide consulting services to help agencies to blow away their competition. To engage further with Steve, he recommends first that you check out all the free content that they've put on YouTube (search for "Steve the Hurricane.") If you like what you see and want to learn more, please send email to info@homecaremarketing.net. They'll give you a free initial consultation if you mention the podcast.

Steve's team is offering a top-notch program on caregiver recruiting and retention called Momentum. You can learn more and sign up at https://homecaremarketing.net/momentum and get a $500 Discount with the code ANKOTA500.

Virginia "Ginny" Kenyon runs Kenyon Home Care Consulting (https://www.kenyonhcc.com/).  If you need an outstanding and updated home care policies and procedures manual, you can get these right on Ginny's website (pick the right  206-721-5091 x101 gkenyon@kenyonhcc.com)

Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.

Here's the transcript:

Ken Accardi (00:00):

We've got a great episode today on how to get 2021 started off. Right. And we have two of the best in the industry. Steve, the hurricane and Ginny Kenyon. Enjoy

Announcer (00:14):

Welcome to the home care heroes podcast, featuring trending topics and practical wisdom for success in home care. Here's your host, Kim Accardi.

Ken Accardi (00:29):

Hey, so here I'm online with one of our favorite podcast guests. I have Steve the hurricane here, Stephen Weiss,. What I thought we would talk about today is starting the year, right for 2021. Really 2020, has been a crazy year for the entire planet and certainly for home care. I want to get your perspective on Kestarting the year. Right. Is that something you're up for?

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (00:57):

Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for having me, Ken. I didn't get to say that before, but I just, it's an honor and a pleasure to always be here and be able to serve and talk with you and our fellow home-care business owners out there. So when it comes to, starting off a new year, I actually just had a call with my mastermind clients like 25 minutes ago. We've wrapped up a call talking about preparing for the new year. And one of the things that we talked about was best years ever, or hitting new milestones and breaking records, those things don't just happen. You have to plan and prepare for it year after year after year in order to have these records setting years. And so here it is, it's 2020 it's COVID. We all are aware of what's a place this year, yet every single one of my mastermind clients who have been with me for the full year or longer all had their best year this year, how did they do it?

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (01:55):

We plan for it in 2019. So at this time of year, what I'm encouraging everybody to do is number one, know your starting point, which means calculate your KPIs. How many referrals did we bring in this year? How many people started care, how much revenue is generated per start of care. So that when I know those KPIs, then for next year 20, 21, I can plan and budget accordingly. How much money did I spend to get these? And if I want to get more, I have to spend a certain amount more and then you can make your plan from there. So it's plan your work now, the end of 2020 to make 2021 your best year yet.

Ken Accardi (02:39):

Yeah. Fantastic. I love that as an intro and before we move forward into 2021 smart, let's look back for a minute. So I remember, pandemic hits everybody and this home care pulse report comes out and it says, I mean, Hey, home care is doing okay. But a lot of people are a little bit down on their sales and down on their referrals. And, and even if we think of, those techniques, let's get out there, let's visit our power partners. Let's go to that assisted living. it seemed like some of the agencies, they fell off because, even if they were good at making the milk run, it's like the world is shut down. But then, I, and we've been in touch throughout the year.

Ken Accardi (03:12):

So I know that the, the people that you work with, they're up, right? So like, I mean, so what were some, what were some of the things that you did? I mean, nobody really, probably in their KPIs and their planning the year for 2020 was thinking it was going to be this big global pandemic, but it sounds like, you have to have a plan. And then like, I think it was Eisenhower that said, like, like plans are, you throw them away, but planning is indispensable. So what did you guys do to coach your people to kinda, make a lemonade out of lemons when the pandemic hit and to see their growth go up

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (03:48):

So I can get tell you it's like a three part answer here. Like the first part of it without a doubt is, is 100% my faith in the greater good God, Jesus is my Lord and savior. I always give him the credit and the glory because when this first hit, I became, I was afraid. like I was just talking about this with Nicole a couple of minutes before we jumped on my executive director here about how we overcame stuff this year. And I was like, when my first thought initially, when COVID was, Oh my God, I don't want to get COVID. Am I going to die? What's going to happen to my company. What's going to happen to my wife and my kids. And that was my initial thought when everything happened. So I turned to my faith first and foremost, then after getting through that and getting my confidence back, Hey, my faith has been, faith has been around forever.

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (04:37):

It's been around during pandemics, before whatever. I started taking a look at my own personal history. And this is where I can say my benefit from having done direct referral marketing. Back in the day I went through the H one N one pandemic, when this, when the swine flu was a thing and everybody was worried about getting it, then it didn't affect the world the way this did, but lockouts and shut downs. And you can't come into this community unless you are related to somebody. All of that happened. So this is not the first time the health care industry went into lockdown mode before I lived through it. And during that time, when it happened in 2010, if you remember the economy was also equally as bad, nobody could sell their houses for housing property without unemployment was above 15. I'm sorry. Yeah, I'm a bunker.

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (05:28):

It was about 15%. Just like everything, a history almost completely repeated itself. And yet during that time, how did I still see double digit percentage revenue growth over the year before? So I then took all of my programs, my hurricane university. This is a, a course that all of my clients sign up for where I am, the one, teaching them. They get modular training where they watch the videos and then they get live classes with me. I had every one of my clients, even if they've already taken hurricane university, I had them all take new classes with me, how to do this with lockdown situations. And so I had a hundred plus agencies in all these classes every single week, April and may. And then they were executing and doing everything that I taught them to do on how to do it with lockdown parameters.

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (06:19):

And then all of a sudden may, June, July, they all exploded. And then what ended up happening for us by the grace of God is word, got out all these companies that used to be able to market their marketers couldn't they didn't know how to do it. So then they started calling us, seeing that we were getting results, and then we started helping more people get results nationwide. And the world changed forever for us that day when we started to do this. And that's how things happen. So, one part was faith. One part was taking the look at the history and then the last part was being flexible and adjusting how I deliver my services to meet the current situation that people are facing.

Ken Accardi (06:54):

Yeah. Fantastic. And I, I think you got, and of course, I mean, one of the big things that hurricane marketing is known for is the boot camps. And of course, it's all, Hey, I'm going to go in, I'm going to meet elbow to elbow, with these other people. And of course that hasn't happened this year, but I understand that you did have, a focus on your late summer, early fall boot camp, which was really all about, what, what these agencies have learned. And I, and I pretty much understand that you did pretty well on that boot camp. Is that right?

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (07:22):

Yeah. I mean, it's, it's like, so as we were talking at the very, very beginning here, plan your work, work your plan, right? And then when COVID hit, for, at least for me, I, I had a plan. I actually found a post on Facebook about a month ago, right. At the very end of October, beginning of November. And it said, I know 2020 is going to be an amazing year because I'm planning it now. And that was when I started to plan a year in advance. I always do November, December is my year in review and planning for the next year. And then when things happen, this case, COVID, you have to adjust that plan and switch it out and then take a look at your metrics and then adapt and figure out ways to be flexible moving forward.

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (08:03):

So when I couldn't do in-person events, I thought canceling the Houston bootcamp back in March, it was just going to be a one temporary thing. When it turned out, this is going to be for the long haul for at least a year, year and a half. I had to figure out another way to be able to continue to generate revenue for my company, continue to educate people that have a need. And so that's where once again, going through all of this with my clients, teaching them how to market during a lockdown, and then they had all these amazing results. Then I was like, all right, well, now that I've done this with my clients and they're killing it, let me put out some, some two-day event. Like I would do it in person, do it virtually and teach them how to be able to market under this current climate, which led us to have an amazing record setting third and fourth quarter, because all of these people who weren't used to working with us saw content, and they were like, man, this is amazing. This is just two days. What can we do if we do a lot of work together, and now everyone's having these amazing results going into 2021.

Ken Accardi (09:05):

Fantastic. I love it. Hey, listen. I mean, this has been the year of Kobe. We're actually recording this in December of 2020. It's probably going to hit the waves in the beginning of January, but it's been all COVID all the time, but, as I, I mentioned to you just before we turned on the camera, so first vaccines out in the UK first vaccines out in the U S so so I'm gonna, I'm gonna like ask you the question that basically says, like without anything to do with COVID, we're now looking into 2021 and and you I mean, I maybe want to follow up on what you talked about, earlier, which is putting your plan together. So like, let's say that I'm a home care agency I've just hit, my first half million in sales or I'm coming up the ladder, but, I've never really, I didn't go to business school.

Ken Accardi (09:52):

I was a nurse, I started as home care agency, were thrown out, key performance indicators and business measures and all that. And this might be a new concept to me. So if you were going to say, Hey, if this is new for you, let me tell you, two, three, four things, to start measuring today and start planning how you're going to improve those measurements. What would be those two or three or four, key measures. You'd, you'd say to somebody who hasn't really set their planning and KPIs to to go after

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (10:20):

The, the KPIs that I always take a look at is what is the weekly billable hours per client, because that's a hugely important one. When you look at all the problems that people are facing in home care, the biggest problems are it's two part. One is can't get enough caregivers and keep them. And then the other part is I can't get enough patients and keep them either because people sign up for services and then they cancel within two or three weeks caregivers come in and then they're gone in two or three weeks. And then it's just this revolving door of clients and caregivers constantly back and forth. So if I know, and I find out that my average billable hours per week per client, meaning how many hours per week a patient is receiving is anything less than 20 hours per week. That's a major red flag.

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (11:05):

I've got to be able to get that number up as an agency. I like to, when I work with, as a consultant, when I work with home care companies, my goal is to get them to have 30 to 40 hours per week, per client caregivers stay on services, working for agencies longer when they have consistent hours. So if they have a patient that has 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, nine to five, eight to four that's 40 hours a week, that caregiver, they're not going to cancel that. They're going to go look for another job because they're making 40 hours with one patient, conversely clients who have that level of care. They don't cancel services because they need care every single day. So when I'm looking at my metrics, if anything, anything less than 30 hours, anything less than 20 major red, anything less than 30, you still have to get those hours per client up at the end of the day, a million dollars, right?

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (12:01):

You could have, you can have a [inaudible] 80 clients getting 10, 15 hours a week for an entire year. That's going to generate a million dollars, or you can have 20 clients getting 40 hours a week. And that's also going to generate a million dollars. What's going to be easier for you to maintain. What's going to be easier for you to manage. What's going to be easier for you to staff. What's going to be easier for caregivers to be able to stay with the job and the company. It's going to be those larger clients that are getting your services weekend and week out, build your business around those type of clients. And that will make you successful in the long run. And you're going to be helping the population has the greatest need.

Ken Accardi (12:53):

Yeah. Fantastic. I mean, I think that's fantastic. That's really great. I mean, so it's, if there's one metric to go after, it's like, average, I mean, look at all your clients, and it sounds like the ones that are asking for five hours, those are the ones that are going to churn. And if you could get over 20, you should all, you should almost be setting that as a minimum. And if you hit your average up in the 30, 40 range, and that's where you're really cooking with gas, right?

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (13:19):

My call that I had before I jumped on with you, every one of the people on their exception of one have all gone to the 20 hours as their minimum. All of their average clients are between 30 and 40 and they all had their best year ever. And it makes it easier for scheduling, for recruiting, for retention, for client services there F it, that is the magic metric of success for these home grown businesses.

Ken Accardi (13:47):

Fantastic. All right, listen we're keeping the podcast short, so we're going to end this one here, but let me let me ask you just, how do we tell the people who are listening today and say like, Hey, I've heard of this, Steve, the hurricane guy, but I've never really engaged with them. How could they get in touch with you and learn more about the programs and things like mastermind that we're talking about?

Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss (14:05):

So there's two ways you can do it. One, if you want to see like all the free, we put a ton of free content out there. Cause I really feel that if I'm going to ask you to spend money with us and our services are not seeing everything, everything costs thousands of dollars, right? So as a consultant, I don't want you to come to me and be like, yo, help me see my free stuff. Look at what I'm giving you for free. Go to YouTube, look up Steve, the hurricane I'm the only one in the world is a registered trademark. Find me there, watch my videos. Then after watching the videos and you get an idea as to how we do things and what specifically you'd want from us, then I'd say email us at info at home care, marketing.net info and home care marketing.net. We'll give you a free strategy session and we'll go over how we can scale your business and get it from where it is to where you want it to be.

Ken Accardi (14:49):

All right. Fantastic, Steve. So we'll end it here.

Speaker 4 (14:52):

And thanks again for being on the home care heroes podcast. Thank you. Advice from Steve, the hurricane, but stay tuned. Our next guest is Jean Kenyan. Let's see what Ginny has to say about starting off 2021 on the right foot. Well, hello. Welcome back to home care heroes podcast. I'm here with actually one of my mentors in home care. Ginny Kenyan, Ginny runs Kenyan home care consulting. And actually she's been a mentor before we even met and we've known each other for a pretty long time. So, and the reason for that is that Ginny has religiously over the years, she publishes Kenyan connects and she shares best practices on her website. And, we're, we're in the, in the presence of royalty here, Ginny has run successful agencies and she's also helped, watch so many agencies she's out of the Pacific Northwest, but she helps people nationwide.

Speaker 4 (15:48):

So thanks for being a guest on the podcast today, Ginny, how are you? I'm great. Thanks for inviting me. Can, and interestingly, when you, you did join the meeting today, you said that you were just doing planning with your staff and making sure that your starting 2021 off, right. So why don't we start with that question today? so we're mostly at home care heroes. We mostly talk to nonmedical agencies, but if you were advising these non-medical agency leaders, what should be their top priorities for the start of 2021? What should they be thinking about and doing right now?

Speaker 5 (16:21):

Well, with the massive changes in our environment, particularly COVID and what is pushed on us. There are a couple of things that agencies have to think about if they're going to be successful and they have to take care of their most valuable asset, that's their people. So projecting them while they're in the homes, taking care of people and also how are you going to recruit and get the best and keep the best. And those are the two big challenges for the year coming up protecting them and getting them and keeping them. So agencies are going to have to really focus on this and many have been, there's so many changes going on. Many agencies are overwhelmed, and I know this is not something that rises to the top, but it has to in 2021, if you're going to be successful.

Speaker 4 (17:11):

Yeah. Hmm. Well, fantastic. I think that that's really the, I mean, that's why we're starting. We really started home care. Heroes is really to, have the agencies value their caregivers as, as much as possible and really to do right by their caregivers. So let's go on. I mean, I know you've run successful agencies and as part of what you do, you help advise the agencies on how to recruit talent, how to retain talent. So what are, maybe a top two or three ideas that come to mind for, for agencies, we're really trying to say, maybe I haven't embraced and love my caregivers as much as I need to in the past, but this is, really this, this whole business about, you

Ken Accardi (17:50):

Know, having quality caregivers and keeping them on my team. So what are, what are two or three great ideas that you might share with these agency owners? Well,

Speaker 5 (17:57):

The first thing you've got to recruit the right people. And when I go in to help someone get started or to help them fix things, one of the first things I ask is create a profile of what that, that person's going to look like. And it does make a difference what position it is in your organization, whether it be a caregiver in the field or an staff person in the office, they, they all work as a team and they all have to be compatible together. And so that profile is the objective things, of course, how many years experience in whatever, but the subjectives become critical. And so many people don't recognize that just because the person you liked and they interview well doesn't mean that they're going to be best for that position. I've been a victim of that. And that's why I started creating profiles.

Speaker 5 (18:42):

And in that subjective area, you want to put all the things that are important to you, loyalty to the company integrity shows high integrity, reliable. I mean, whatever those subjective qualities are at the top five, everybody in your organizations should meet. And there are tests out there that actually tests for that validated tests. And Steven tweet has one. And I use a lot because it can't be, you can't fool it. If you're, if you don't have high integrity, it's going to show up. So these are the kinds of things that you really need to pay attention to the other things that you need to what, so, so you've got this profile and you, you want to go out and you gotta, you gotta look at the ads that are out there for other, for the same position for other companies. I always looked at him and said, okay, what's important to the people that are filling that role.

Speaker 5 (19:34):

So I had focus groups with my aides and with my nurses and what the aides and the nurses both told me as what, what brought them in and why they stay is because the work I offered was meaningful. So I rewrote my ads that said, come make a difference in somebody's life and see that's really what the hook was for the AIDS and for the nurses. That's why they, why they practice and why they do what they do. So make sure your ad is speaking to the group. You're trying to recruit, of course, wouldn't do that for a, a bookkeeper or a clerical support in the office. They come for different reasons and you need to know that. So do your profile, recruit the way and make ads that are enticing to the emotional things that they come to the job for. And then we talk about retention, same thing, what's important to them.

Speaker 5 (20:28):

And it's said over and over in the HR literature, people do not leave a job. They leave a supervisor or a manager, so you better stay connected. And there are lots of ways to stay connected with your people. But when they're in the office, of course your door is always open if you're the manager or the owner so that anyone can walk in and chit chat with you or let  if they have problems that they would like you to help them with. Open door policy is critical and knowing people and recognizing their birthdays. How many of you automatically send out birthday cards to everybody in your organization and recognize them at all staff meeting? Do you recognize their tenure? I did. I had little pins. They all got after six months after two years, they got a lab coat with their name and the company name on it. I mean, you have to decide what's important to them. I asked them what they wanted and the aides were really easy. They wanted business cards with their name on it. You wouldn't think that that would be important, but to them, it made all the difference in the world. And I found they were actually passing their business cards out in the grocery line at Safeway, and we got customers as a result of it. So find out what's important to your staff and organize yourself around that.

Speaker 4 (21:52):

Wow, fantastic advice. I mean, a lot of it, if I take one word, I'm not sure you said this word. It was like pride in the job. I mean, you're making a difference in someone's life. you're there, they're asking for something like that business card, because it's, I'm proud of the role I have and they're passing out the people in the grocery store and it's, it's building a culture. And I love the fact that you said, objectively, you want their experience and blah, blah, blah, but also are they just going to fit in this team and are they going to, really, really work out well. And those are, those are some great pieces of advice. Well, thank you for that. I guess shifting gears. I know that, one of the things that you helping agencies with right away is making sure that you have the right policies and procedures on the back end and like this, this whole recruiting and retention.

Speaker 4 (22:36):

I mean, that's probably like a big, a big point in your policies and procedures. So let's say that, some agency may be started with some policies and procedures a couple of years ago, but that was before COVID and maybe it was, even before, not that it hasn't been around for awhile, but before this struggle for really, getting and retaining caregivers. So now they're going to get what their staff and they're going to say, Hey, I heard this podcast, Ginny Kenyon told me, we're going to recognize the birthdays. We're going to recognize the tenure. We're going to do this. We're going to do that. So how does this all tie into, maintaining and using your policies and procedures as a strong tool for running your agency?

Speaker 5 (23:15):

Well, every state is different. There's still, I think 20 States that don't have any licensure at all. So you're out there free floating. And the good news is you don't have anyone knocking on your door is going to tell you you're going to, you're doing it wrong. And they're going to find you, the bad news is you don't have any parameters to follow. And we do have national templates that we have created for everybody regardless of the state. So that if you're in a state that's licensed, we help you embed the state rules. It's critical that you as managers know the state rules and then help translate it to your staff state rules. Aren't always for me, they're very easy. I can do them in my sleep because I've done them for so long, but for someone starting out, they don't make sense.

Speaker 5 (24:02):

But when I read a rule, I know exactly what the surveyors are asking for. So it's important that you keep it updated. And we do update our manuals on a regular basis because the world does change. And you did mention, with COVID in everything, the feds now are imposing on everybody, a really strict infection control. So look at your policy and procedure on infection control. If you have not updated that in the last year or so, go on the line with the federal government and see what they're recommending and make sure you're compliant with it. I'm pretty sure if you're in a licensed state, they're already telling you, you got to update that the other one is emergency preparedness of which a pandemic now is being added as an emergency preparedness. How prepared are you to deal with another huge pandemic and your state or the federal government should be able to give you information? And if you haven't, if you're a Medicare agency and you have not updated your manual, and last three years, you might as well just buy a new one because the world changed so dramatically and they're doing it again. I've got to go in again and update this Jan this first quarter, because again, they have changed things. So it's going to be minor changes this time, but still every year we do have to update our manuals so that we stay current with the rules and the changes in the environment.

Speaker 4 (25:27):

Got it. So let's say, I mean, let's take the easy case maybe, or maybe it's, maybe it's not an easy case. Well, let's take the, the States that, don't have a licensing requirement and maybe they didn't even start out with policies and procedures, but now, that was fine when they had three clients and eight clients and 12 kinds. But now they're, they're really turning into a big agency. They're, getting close to their first million in revenue. We're trying to move from 1 million to 2 million and they need a policies and procedures manual. Like, how is that something they should just like, start doing internet research and writing themselves, or, how could they get help from somebody like you,

Speaker 5 (26:02):

They would do better to just, there are others besides me that have policy and procedure manuals that are written for the different kinds of businesses. If you try and write it yourself, it's going to be months and months and months of writing. Because when I first wrote the manuals, I think I took two or three months to, and I know what I'm doing. I had to distill all the different rules around the country and pull it all together and look at the accrediting bodies and see what they were saying. And that's how the templates were created. It's cheaper for you in the long run to just buy when it's already done. And then if you need help in understanding it or modifying it to match how you're going to run your agency, if you're not in a licensed state, you per you're free to do that. Except there are federal rules in those manuals that you absolutely must follow. And if you don't understand them, I'm always here to help translate it for you so that, yeah, you can do, you can eliminate that way, but no, that's a federal rule. You cannot eliminate violence in the workplace. And some of the other policies that are in there, because those are federal standards and federal rules. And even though you're not in a licensed state, you're still held accountable to the federal rules.

Speaker 4 (27:13):

Got it. Okay. Well, listen, why don't we we'll just wrap up the segment here, but how do people get in touch with you Ginny, if they, they're saying, Hey, I either need to get my policies and procedures put in place for the first time, or I need to get, I had them and they have some dust on them and they really need better ones. how do they get in touch with you to, to get some help with that?

Speaker 5 (27:32):

Well, manuals could be bought online. They can go into Kenyon, hcc.com go into the store and they will find the manuals. The manuals at the very beginning are all accredited. And so though, unless you are required to have accreditation or you want accreditation go down lower and then you'll see that all the templates that are non accreditation ready, and be sure you pick the correct one. If you're a skilled agency, be sure you pick a home health. If you're a, non-skilled be sure you pick a non-skilled home care so that you are getting the right template. And in order to get ahold of me you can reach me at (206) 721-5091 extension 101, or you can email me at gkenyon@kenyonhcc.com and either way you will get ahold of me and I'll respond.

Speaker 4 (28:24):

Fantastic. All right. I have all that down. So Keny0n, hcc.com. So they could just go get the if they want to get their policy procedures online, make sure they pick the right one, but they can get started right there. And then you gave me your phone number. You gave me your email, so that's fantastic. I think we have things covered. And so thank you for helping kick off the year on home care heroes journey.

Speaker 5 (28:44):

Thank you so much, Ken. It was a pleasure to talk to you.

Announcer (28:48):

Thanks for joining us today on the home care heroes podcast, home care heroes is produced by Ankota the software for the heroes of home care. You can listen to back episodes by visiting 4homecareheroes.com. That's the number four, then the words, home care, heroes dot com.


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