Having a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place is integral to running a successful business. SOPs create a consistent set of steps for all staff and employees to follow in order to fulfill the goals and agenda of their organization. SOPs are largely responsible for the success of businesses like fast food chains. They succeed because customers know what they’re going to get every single time they visit a franchise, whether they’re in Chicago or Miami. This consistency stems from employees following the company guidelines for everything from maintenance to food preparation.
Senior living organizations are a far cry from fast food restaurants, but they can still utilize standard operating procedures just as effectively, especially in terms of growing in size and success. In an industry that can be hectic and endure a high degree of turnover, employees will appreciate the consistency of SOPs, and in the unfortunate event of their departure – it will be easier to train new employees with well-defined guidelines.
According to Jennifer Williams of the Houston Chronicle, “Sales SOPs are steps that standardize routing sales functions so that every employee of an organization involved in the sales process performs the sales functions the same way every time.” She continues by writing that in addition to standardizing tasks, SOPs can help expedite or eliminate work by removing the decision-making process from the equation. Senior living organizations can implement sales SOPs by identifying their ideal resident persona and designing sales processes to target these individuals. One step further can be taken by trying to sell to the adult children of these individuals, as they are often the ones doing the research on senior living organizations. Once the target audience is in place, design a script based on past successes which uses language that highlights your organization’s key differentiators and competitive advantages. Don’t forget to anticipate frequently asked questions by having your staff learn responses before they are even asked. This will help inform the audience while maintaining an air of confidence and knowledge that will help build trust.
Marketing SOPs may be a bit more uniform. Bizfluent suggests beginning with budgeting. Budget for your marketing goals and proposed projects, and if possible, allow 10-15% of the budget to be set aside to cover unexpected marketing expenses that may arise. Next, cover project management, new services and pricing strategies. In the senior living industry, it can be beneficial for organizations to have new service marketing strategies in place in case they ever decide to expand.
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