A business’ brand is comparable to a person’s reputation. When I launched my first business I knew I wanted my brand to represent being the change that I wanted to see in our healthcare system. Here are some of the things I did to develop the Plan A brand that our health care professionals and customers alike have come to believe in and trust.
I started with a great name: I wanted a name that my clients could connect with. Many of our clients use the terms Plan B, C, and D when they are understaffed and I knew that my company’s vision was about keeping them in Plan A, so that’s how our name came to be. Our clients can relate, our staff have fun using the letter A in promotion and marketing, and at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to be a part of an ‘A’ team?
Define your brand: The first thing I did was I strategically defined what my brand would look like. I pictured a company where our clients could easily access a contingency plan that was smart and seamless and where our pool of healthcare professionals and our clients were both considered partners in ensuring our LTC homes had access to a reliable back up plan as needed. I pictured people joining our pool because they really wanted to loan their talent to our elderly and the Long Term Care sector. I pictured exceptional customer service and attention to detail. I had a vision of giving the people on our pool a great place to work and A company that cared about them. And I pictured a better, faster and more affordable way to get this service out there. By having an exceptionally defined brand, we’ve been able to connect with both our health care professionals and customers alike because we all share the same values and beliefs for making sure our vulnerable population is cared for.
Make having a great team part of that brand: For the past five years I have worked methodically on building a cohesive team. We are now a team of 10 unique individuals, all who bring something extraordinary to the vision; with this team we have a focused collaboration that has allowed us to walk the talk and speak in one voice. If you communicate with any one of my team members at any time, the message is always the same – we are the best back up plan for Long Term Care homes across North Eastern Ontario and soon to be Canada!
Build long-term relationships: One of the keys to our success is that we are in this for the long run and have built those lasting relationships with our customers. We live by the motto ‘under promise and over deliver’ and I believe that our customers trust us because of that. We’ve also had consistent conversation with our clients since inception. They know that we want to work with them to help them with their chronic staffing issues but they also know that we are flexible when it comes to strategizing for acute staffing problems as well.
We have created our own distinctive identity. We are the only agency that focuses on solutions specific to Long Term Care. I learned pretty quickly that you can’t be everything to everybody and having a niche has made us that much better at servicing our partners. This in turn has given us the reputation that Plan A is the most compassionate, dependable and logical solution in the North!
Be innovative. As the old saying goes ‘old ways do not open new doors’. My own career experiences of working as a nurse and teaching PSWs inspired me to want to create a cultural change when it came to covering shifts. I knew that I didn’t want to be ‘nagging’ people or using guilt to get people to pick up shifts. I also didn’t want to spend my days calling down a list. With StaffStat (our custom designed software), nobody can get shifts covered quicker than Plan A—and that’s just one of the reasons our partners love us so much!
These are just a few things I have done to create the brand that is positively known as Plan A. Feel free to share what has worked for you by commenting below!