In the burgeoning business of senior care, franchises have a healthy slice of the market, and as businesses vie for market share, the expertise provided by franchise companies can make all the difference to success.
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You don’t need any particular expertise to get into senior care other than being good with people, and with a franchise, you get all the training and ongoing support to teach you what you need to succeed.
As Baby Boomers get older, increasingly they want to age in place, and eventually many will need in-home care to help them do so, which is why the business of senior care has done so well in recent years. Home health care and personal care aides are among the country’s fastest growing occupations, expected to grow by 38% between 2014 and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As a result, senior care can be the perfect place for budding entrepreneurs to find a new career niche.
The two main components of the business are:
- Building relationships with people who are in a position to make referrals, such as doctor’s office, hospitals and rehabilitation centers
- Finding caregivers to work those cases
Always Best Care Senior Services (ABC), for one, offers extensive training after a discovery process in which prospective franchisees have a chance to learn all about the business and decide if the business suits their skills and experience.
ABC’s training begins right after the contract is signed. New franchisees begin a three-week pre-training course of online modules and are coached through the complicated process of applying for a license, which differs by state.
Every new franchisee has a specific point of contact, who helps the new franchisee in his or her new business. For many, this is the area representative, who checks in almost every day during the pre-training to make sure the franchisee is on track: Have they signed a lease for an office, submitted their state license application, and kept up with the online training?
After pre-training, new franchisees attend classroom training at the company’s headquarters near Sacramento, Calif. When they return to their home territory, they get field training with their area representative, who accompanies them on calls to referral sources, such as doctor’s offices, for a minimum of three days.
Gaining entry into the referral networks can take a couple of months of repeat visits, but, if the franchisees are diligent, the system works, and they start building clientele, he said.
“I tell them I only make money if they succeed, so I’ll go out as much as you want me to go out with you,” said Ken Garron, an area representative for eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. That may mean a total of five days before they’re comfortable making calls on their own.
Franchisees in Garron’s region also get an opportunity to share their stories and get support from fellow franchisees at regional meetings three times a year. The point is they should always feel there’s a team behind them, Garron said.
So when you start your own business, you’re not in it by yourself.
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