Today we are pleased to share the third post in our blog series, “What to Expect When Launching a New Home Care Agency.” We are discussing the key things to think about when choosing software for a home care agency to help manage your daily business operations.
So, the groundwork for your new home care agency has been laid. You did your research, established your company culture, and you have a vision of what you want your agency to be. But what about a software system to help you manage all of the day-to-day operations of your business? You’ll need a system that can seamlessly manage everything from caregiver scheduling to billing and payroll activities and more.
What is good software for home care agencies?
Good home care software should barely be noticeable if it’s working correctly. Still, that points to how important this next decision will be. If you end up signing a year(s)-long contract with a company whose product turns out to be unreliable or doesn’t provide all the features your business needs, you’ll be wishing you’d considered it more carefully. Let’s look to the future with questions now. Here are a few questions you have to ask to make sure you’re getting the software that fits your company.
1. Does it provide the features that my home care business needs?
This might seem like an obvious question, but that’s exactly why you should give it the thought it deserves. Sure, Software X has the scheduling capability you’re looking for, but that’s not the whole picture. Are they great scheduling tools or are the pretty but hard to use? Can it interface with your billing and payroll system? Does it allow you to stay in contact with your caregivers? Does it have many options to turn on or off as I need them with no extra charges? Does the sales person spend the time with you to help you discover the features that you might need or not.? Before you make any decisions, take some time to make a list of the features that are most important to you. That way you have something to refer to when evaluating all of your software options and the different features each one offers.
2. Is the software system affordable?
Again, a simple question on its face. Of course you want to choose a software system that fits within your budget! But think about the long term. If you experience a down period, will your software provider be willing to account for that in its cost? Look for a provider that offers a sliding pay rate, one that can adjust for any given situation situation.
3. Who does the provider work for?
On the same vein you may also wish to get the answers to these question: Can I rely on them for support and business guidance? Do they have an existing client base that isn’t just satisfied with the service, but enthusiastically so and is their customer support team dedicated to solving my issues, day or night? This is also a question about the client base itself. Do they work with companies like my own, just getting on their feet? Or do they seem to only work with bigger companies and national franchises? Is the software company so large that their number one constituent it their investors and stockholders and not their customers?
The trick is, that you want software company that works to help you grow no matter what stage of business you are in! With hard work and dedication, your agency is going to grow. You want software that can facilitate your growth! So, naturally, the answer to the question, who does the provider work for is: they work for me!
4. Do I understand their terms?
We’ve heard it too many times to count. You rush through the terms of service, click agree, and sign up for service. Then down the road when it becomes clear it’s not a good fit, you’re either stuck for the rest of the year or you have to pay an early termination fee. You don’t have to be an expert in legalese to know what to watch out for, though! Any good company should be willing to talk with you on exactly what their terms mean before you sign anything.
5. Does the software system really work well?
This is the most important question. Make sure to research your choices on sites like Capterra or Software Advice, where users can write up independent reviews. It’s always great to see a few glowing testimonials on a company’s own web site, but be sure to dig around and gather information from multiple sources to get an accurate picture of performance. If you’ve made any contacts within the industry, ask around a bit as well. Surely those contacts will have opinions and recommendations you may find useful. After some digging, you should have a good idea of what others’ experiences have been and can use that information to make a proper choice.
Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time get out there and see what’s available. But before you do too much leg work, why not see how our Rosemark System stacks up? We’re committed to providing software built on a solid foundation of performance, dependability, and unmatched customer support.