• Alex Pycock

September 2019 - HeadWindsCare Update

September is back to reality month.

With family holiday memories fading as fast as the suntan, the kids back to school and BREXIT continuing to divide the nation what can we look forward to?

It’s the start of the conference season with a busy few months ahead for LaingBuisson, Care England, HealthInvestor (anybody missed?) all eager to relieve you of cash with the promise of riveting healthcare discussions, exciting networking opportunities and fresh Cinnamon Danish pastries for early arrivals.

For Adult Social Care, the long-awaited Green Paper now looks like it’s on long term hold pending a Government having the will and majority to release it post BREXIT (how many hurdles is that?)

Meanwhile besides the normal client work, the major HeadWindsCare effort in August has been marketing. That included two major pitches and a total revamp of the brochures. So, we now have dedicated brochures not only for each major service but also for our client groups (SME operators, Corporate operators, Lenders, IP’s and Intermediaries). A combination of renewed insights (courtesy of over two years HeadWindsCare trading under the belt), redefining what we do best, and PowerPoint creativity, was actually very cathartic. Our growing numbers of clients know what we do well and the whole marketing thing is about finding the best way of getting the message ‘out there’.

Sometime in September I will be posting a new ‘talking heads’ marketing video on the website and LinkedIn. What will last just 60 seconds took 90 minutes to film and will take Alex Pycock, my webmaster and wizard of all things IT, about 3 hours to cut/edit/paste until the final version is good enough to release. Fingers crossed the final version will correspond to the script and not require subtitles. Again, it’s all about upskilling marketing because a business is judged by its quality and reputation which includes brand recognition. Branding can be the real differentiator- combined with good communication skills.

On that latter point, I remember hearing a story from a senior director at a national advisory firm about five years ago, who had received a report from a management consultancy commissioned to review the compliance/quality of a small care group. What had arrived was a report that although containing the relevant data/information, was so badly presented that it took two days to reformat before it could be inserted into a professional report destined for a major lender.

When considering setting up HeadWindsCare, it became clear that a healthcare consultancy new entrant needs to take on board a number of key marketing elements to succeed:

identify a gap in the market and/or the presence of complacent/poor existing consultants be better than the competition in your chosen specialitytry harder than the competition to overturn their market positionpossess excellent communication skillspush hard the key differentiator to prospective clients loads of self-belief‘stick at it’

Over two years on, I think the model still holds true.

I always like to end on a lighter note. This time it’s a care home joke.

‘A care assistant, a team leader and manager from a care home were taking a lunch break in the staff room. In walks a family member dressed in silk scarves and with rings on all fingers and toes. “I am Tabitha and I am so pleased with the way you have taken care of my auntie Agnes that I will now grant all of you a wish!”

With a wave of her hand and a puff of smoke, the room was filled with flowers, fruit, and bottles of Prosecco, proving that Tabitha really did have the power to grant wishes before any of the staff could think otherwise.

The care assistant wished first. “I wish I was in Majorca with single, well-built men feeding me fruit and tending to my every need.” With a puff of smoke, the care assistant was gone.

The team leader went next. “I wish I was retired and could spend my days in my static caravan in Prestatyn looking after my grandchildren.” With a puff of smoke, she too was gone.

“Now, what is the last wish?” asked Tabitha.

Without hesitation the care home manager said, “I want those two back on the floor at the end of the lunch break.”

Thanks to Scrubs Magazine (Margaret Morgan Tucker)

Back to reality (where’s my Danish?)

For a friendly informal discussion, please call Bryan Higgins on 07778 334077.