Business Management Vital Addition to CAPS Knowledge
Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) candidates often question the business management requirement for the designation. I must confess that I, too, was skeptical of the need to take the business management course when I decided to get my CAPS designation.
But, even after years of reading about and taking seminars on business management, as well as running my own company, I can honestly say I found this course well-organized and valuable. Here’s why:
Reason #1 — Improve Communications, Build Trust
An important goal of the CAPS program is to improve communications among all professionals in the aging-in-place network.
In the field, social and health professionals are encouraged to work together with contractors and designers. The business management course teaches how this can be done smoothly.
I remember many queries by a (skeptical) social worker or therapist about a cost estimate I presented. People who are not in business or construction sometimes find it difficult to grasp all the costs involved in home modifications.
This course explains that my business needs to be profitable so I can be responsible to my family, my employees and my warranties.
In this way the business management course helps develop trust among team members.
Reason # 2 — Learn to Make Realistic Decisions
People often enter business for the freedom to serve clients they care about under conditions they control — contractors are at the head of this list. And aging in place gives health and social professionals not currently in businesses an opportunity to strike out on their own.
Too often these types of businesses are started with little understanding of the true costs involved. The entrepreneurs who start these businesses often burn out easily or lose too much of their savings. Then, they cannot provide the type of care they intended to the population they serve.
The business management course will help you make realistic decisions when starting and running your business.
Reason #3 — Keep Your Business Practices in Order
This course can be a valuable refresher for experienced design and contracting professionals heading into aging in place. Aging in place is too new and too complex to be treated cavalierly.
The work often requires more client contact per construction dollar than other projects. Even experienced contractors can find their hard-earned experience moved to the back burner in the face of all the excitement of starting a new venture.
Most of us in business for awhile learned the hard way not to let future job Peter pay for current job Paul. An organized reminder of that pitfall is a good idea.
The business management course is a great way to be sure that your business practices are in good order.
I think everyone interested in CAPS gets good value from taking the NAHB business management class. Take advantage of what the class offers. Learn or relearn good business basics as we all work together to take CAPS to the next level.
Louis Tenenbaum, CAPS, is president of Louis Tenenbaum, LLC, a Potomac, Md.-based consulting and training firm that specializes in environmental modifications, aging in place and universal design. For more information, e-mail Tenenbaum, call him at 301-983-0131, or visit his Web site at www.louistenenbaum.com.
Updated CAPS Courses Debut in Las Vegas
Two updated Certified Aging-in-Place (CAPS) courses will debut prior to the 2007 Remodeling Show, Oct. 10-12, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
The courses — “Marketing and Communication Strategies for Aging and Accessibility (CAPS I)” and “Design/Build Solutions for Aging and Accessibility (CAPS II)” — have been upgraded to include recent statistics and trends about the older adult community, as well as improved graphics and activities to make the courses even more comprehensive.
A third course offered at the Remodeling Show, “Project Management,” has also been revised and teaches remodelers how to improve their project management processes.
Register for the courses when registering for The Remodeling Show.
NAHB member fees are $185. Fees for non-members are $235, unless otherwise noted. All pre- and post-conference courses will be capped at attendance of 50 registrants.