After spending nearly 30 years in the healthcare industry building programs to care for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, I was eager to branch out on my own and become an entrepreneur in the growing home care industry. More specifically, I wanted to create a system where purpose-driven people can “do well by doing good” for people in their communities.
At Golden Heart Senior Care, our objective is to enable clients to live a dignified, independent and self-determined life in the community or setting of their own choosing. I have learned three keys to success in home care: hiring the right caregivers, investing in the right technology, and creating opportunities to build connections with clients and their families.
Whether you are a home care professional seeking out new business opportunities, an assisted living facility owner looking to make a change, or an entrepreneur interested in the ever-growing senior care space, now is an ideal time to invest in a home care franchise.
The home care franchising landscape
The impacts of the pandemic continue to underscore the need for home care businesses. According to a survey from Transcend Strategy Group, more than 50% of family members are now more likely to choose in-home care for their loved ones over assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Creating a personalized, “small business” experience is an important step in building a home care brand that is relationship-driven and trustworthy, and the franchising business model makes it easy to create that experience. Local franchisees understand the needs and preferences of local seniors in their community, making them uniquely qualified to build on existing relationships and create a personalized experience.
Local operators have a key role to play as the industry prepares for the continued wave of seniors over the next few decades, and working with an existing franchise brand unlocks resources, technology and administrative tools that are typically unavailable to independent home care operators.
Technology is making it even easier to become a franchisee
The development of advanced technology has improved accessibility and streamlined business operations in the home care space. If you have access to a cell phone and a computer, then you already possess the two key components required for launching a home care franchise. With the recent (and likely long-term) shift to remote work, the ability to make business decisions from anywhere is more important than ever before. Consistent access to efficient, secure software can save valuable time and money.
As an example, we use the SMARTcare mobile app, which streamlines several different functions within one platform and enables caregiver recruiting, client management and administrative operations. This mobile technology allows us to easily adjust scheduling, manage staff assignments and notify caregivers of shift details.
With the help of geolocation services, franchisees can also check the real-time status of their caregivers, tracking important information like their arrival time and the duration of home visits. SMARTcare also automatically tracks billing information for clients and records caregiver payroll information to minimize errors in record-keeping.
Training will always be important
Experience in healthcare is not required to start a home care brand or become a home care franchisee. In fact, one of our most successful franchisees started at Golden Heart Senior Care after 28 years in the finance industry. Regardless of experience level, thorough training will help ensure success throughout the franchising journey. Participation in on-site training helps to provide a deeper understanding of the fine details of owning and operating a home care business. A strong training program also prepares operators for all aspects of daily management, including how to effectively use technology in support of their business.
While competition is on the rise in the home care industry, clients and their families are always on the lookout for a brand with which they can connect. Securing and continuing to build upon those connections is at the heart of creating a successful home care brand. Establishing the small business feel helps to forge strong relationships, while strategic investments in technology and training build a strong foundation for success. Keeping these tips in mind, aspiring entrepreneurs have an incredible opportunity to invest in a rapidly growing sector with unlimited growth potential.
Craig Bass is CEO of Golden Heart Senior Care.