By Steve Moran

You know you have these feelings. You have this senior living organization where you are working harder than you ever thought possible. You feel like you are a slave to it. You want to pull your hair out because the profits you expected to come are not there.

What is so insanely baffling is that, for all that, there is one other company out there that competes with you and is doing better. They have more residents, higher margins, and are selling more of their products or services. Even though you are completely non-violent, sometimes, in your head, you have this little tiny tiny picture of them completely imploding. You know it’s not nice but you can’t help it!

I hate to tell you this but there are reasons they are succeeding and you are not. You don’t want to hear this, you might even be grinding your teeth mad at me for saying this. The good news is that you can be that company that causes others to grind their teeth by changing what you do.

Here are the reasons they are cleaning your clock:

  1. They are not trying to make a profit by cutting expenses – Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you shouldn’t control costs, because you should. But focusing on costs is a focus on cutting corners. Not a way to win.
  2. They are spending lots of time listening to their team members – I have a whole article coming on this topic. But they know that your team members know the business better than anyone else and have great ideas about how to make it better.
  3. They are actively and continuously listening to customers and prospects – They have discovered that prospects and customers are telling them things they need to hear and that will make the company better. They love the negative more than the positive because that is where they learn things.

    They also know one more thing – that when customers feel like they are listened to, they are a lot more loyal.
  4. They spend even more time listening to team members – No, this is not a duplicate mistake. They know that when they listen to team members those team members are more loyal and work harder.
  5. When something is not successful, they stop doing it (or fix it) – They look at companies like Blockbuster, Palm Pilot, Kodak, or Blackberry and know they failed because they kept doing the same old things even when it was clear there was a better way. They are not waiting for the Age Wave because they know that will not fix anything.
  6. They want every customer to be delighted – This one probably applies more to solution providers than senior living operators. They’ve figured out that finding one or two purchasers who are delighted, when most are not, is a recipe for disaster. Their goal is to appeal to a broad audience because that equals success and security.
  7. They believe their customers are the smartest people in the world, and that they desire a product or service that’s easy to access and use and that is priced rightThey have figured out that if a product or service is too hard to use, access, or figure out, then it is actually no good, no matter how good it is.
  8. They invest big in marketing – They know that no matter how good the product or service is, unless people hear about it in the right context, they will not have a business. They are baffled and delighted when their competitors with great products cheap out on telling their story.
  9. They are always running experiments – They know markets are changing all the time and that there are always better ways to do things. They run lots of experiments to improve what they do and to find new revenue streams.
  10. They abandon experiments early that are not working – They know some experiments won’t work out for a whole bunch of reasons, which is why they start with small experiments they can walk away from without doing damage to the company. They know every abandoned experiment is a learning lesson.
  11. They build lots of relationships – They know that no matter how good they are at what they do, they need fans and partners. They give and get advice, they share leads, resources, and ideas. And they know that by working together they all have more success.
  12. They are committed to something bigger than making money – It’s not that money and making a profit is not important because it is, but they know that making some part of the world better is a 2nd profit that people are able to get behind easier. 

That’s it. That’s a great recipe for success and it’s why they are kicking your ass. It’s your turn to go out and be the ass-kicker.

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