What to Expect when Joining a Home Health Care FranchiseAuthor: Pete First, Vice President of Franchise Development
Americans spent nearly $103 billion on home health care in 2018[i] – a figure that’s expected to climb by another $70 billion within ten years. The home health care segment is not only replete with demand and earning potential, but it’s also one of the very few recession-resilient industries.
Caregivers and registered nurses (RNs) have long benefitted from job strength and stability in home health care, but more investors and entrepreneurs are also finding purpose in the fast-growing industry.
Home health care businesses, in particular, have become one of the strongest investments for aspiring franchise owners.[ii]
Market growth, demand and stability make home health care franchises an attractive opportunity, but starting a new business can still be daunting – especially within the first few weeks of opening.
Here’s some insight into our process at BrightStar Care, and what you can expect when joining a home health care franchise:
- Understanding and Implementing Your Service Offerings
First and foremost, remember that no two patients are alike, and no two patients will have the same exact needs. They will require different levels and categories of care.
Some home health care franchises specialize in only one area, while others offer several different kinds of care, including:
- Companion care
- Personal care
- Skilled medical care
It’s important to familiarize yourself with your different service offerings and understand their advantages. That way, you can recognize which would be the best fit for a client, and give them a personalized recommendation.
Skilled care is prescribed by a physician, and it requires RN oversight or other skilled medical professionals to oversee home treatment. This type of care can include anything from physical therapy to occupational or speech therapy. Many skilled home caregivers also administer medication and track a client’s progress on the prescribed treatment plan.
Conversely, caregivers with no medical background typically provide companion or personal care services. Instead of administering a treatment plan, personal caregivers help clients with daily living tasks, from bathing and housekeeping to running errands and paying bills.
As a home health care franchise owner, you’re able to meet the demand and help the most clients possible by offering the full continuum of care. Some clients may need more assistance than others, so offering both skilled and non-skilled care lets you help clients at different stages.
Plus, specializing in more than one type of care helps you diversify revenue streams, increase potential for profitability and bolster risk aversion.
- Attracting, Securing and Hiring an Exceptional Staff
When you have a full grasp of your service offerings, you’ll have greater insight into your agency’s immediate staffing needs. You will want to begin the hiring process before you even start building your client base. That way, you can secure top talent and get your business up and running as soon as possible.
The qualifications you look for in candidates will depend on whether you offer skilled care, non-skilled care or both. You can hire more caregivers as your franchise grows and client base expands.
Finding compassionate, qualified and dependable caregivers may seem difficult – especially if you’re new to the industry. As part of a franchise system, however, you’ll have extensive support and tools to facilitate hiring.
The franchisor should give you best practices for attracting, identifying and securing top-tier candidates, as well as screening and licensing tools to vet the highest-quality caregivers.
- Training Top-Tier Talent to Provide the Highest Standard of Care
Hiring qualified caregivers is only half the battle. Your training and onboarding process is paramount to building a strong team and setting up your business for success.
Your caregivers will work with your clients every day – and directly impact their health and well-being – so you’ll want to make sure your staff is extensively-trained, prepared and dependable.
Make sure the franchisor offers training for you and your key staff and that the training curriculum has been developed by industry experts – and tested, proven and successful at other businesses like yours.
For instance, at BrightStar Care, we provide training to franchisees’ for onboarding and training for their key staff, based on industry-leading best practices and strategies.
This includes specialized education for each franchisee’s director of nursing, sales director, branch manager and other high-level operational roles. These employees attend a boot camp, where they learn about daily operations and business management.
Post-opening support covers the sales, clinical and operations roles of the BrightStar Care franchise, through online modules and hands-on training for franchisees and staff.
Ongoing education and support, garnered from field visits and national conferences, no only for franchise owners but also a specific conference for their key-staff, which also helps your staff stay current with the latest home health care trends and innovations.
- Franchisee-Focused Training for a Strong Start in Business
The training you receive to successfully manage your business is vital. The right franchisor will use front-end training to close the gap between franchisees who don’t have health care experience and those who do.
This training should include everything from a clinical management standpoint, such as clinical compliance details and insights into the franchise’s model of care. That way, even if you’re a non-clinical franchise owner, you’ll understand the ins and outs of your business’ daily operations.
At BrightStar Care, this training will occur before your opening, so you can hit the ground running. New franchisees also meet their Start Team coaches during pre-opening training, receiving support and education throughout the entire onboarding process.
- Finally – Your First Few Days in Business
No two days are the same as a home health care franchise owner, but your franchisor should provide you with a basic framework for success within the first few weeks. This helps you get comfortable running the business while starting your business off strong.
Different franchises offer varying levels of support. We have found that dedicated support teams and individualized training are some of the most effective means to promote success. Within our process, Start Team coaches will work directly with you, guiding you through your first few days and months in business.
Our team also offers hands-on, real-time support and a comprehensive checklist to follow as you get up and running.
Monthly calls and webinars from a dedicated Field Support coach also outline business best practices to foster your business’ ongoing scalability and success.
Strong Support is Your Key to Success
Opening a new business can be unnerving – especially for first-time business owners or industry newcomers.
Proven training, led by business and home care experts, sets you up to open your doors on the strongest footing possible.
And as your business grows, a supportive franchisor and network of home health care business owners, who have all been in your shoes before, can help you maintain momentum.