When a prospective franchisee looks for a business to operate, they often want to find something they know they will be passionate about and in which they can succeed. One of the more challenging industries in today’s world is that of the senior care sector given impacts such as the large baby boomer population, rising healthcare costs and more.
FirstLight Home Care is an example of one company working to ensure that its franchise owners receive the support they need to provide great care to clients.
One of the challenges in the senior care sector is that not everyone fully understands the services that can be offered to prospective clients.
“People have no idea what’s available,” said Paul Jones, Owner of FirstLight Home Care Woodbridge, Virginia. “As an only child, I took care of my mom and grandmother as they got older. If you look back more than 20 years ago, there was no such thing as home care. If you got sick, you went to the hospital, or to your doctor. Over time, the concept of home care has developed, but in terms of understanding all of the services, how insurance plays a role and more, there is still an educational learning curve for both clients as well as potential business owners in this space.”
FirstLight Home Care services include senior care, services for those with disabilities, recovery and rehabilitation services and veteran services. Most people prefer to stay in their home, among familiar and comfortable surroundings. That’s why FirstLight provides home care services wherever home is – a nursing home, assisted living facility, retirement community or hospice. Providing first-class personal service to help you or a loved one maintain independence and quality of life is always of utmost importance.
Those looking to own a business in the senior home care sector need to understand that the job itself is extremely demanding. This leads to high levels of employee turnover, which is often a drawback for prospective franchisees. They are often reluctant to own a business that might see a shortage of employees.
“The senior home care business is growing, but loving and caring for people in this stage of life is hard work each day,” said Jones. “It’s easy to cut corners, but in this industry, you really can’t afford to do that both for the comfort of those you care for and the overall success of your business. When a client puts their parent or loved one in your care, they want to have that peace of mind in knowing they’ll be well taken care of on your watch.”
In order to combat this issue, FirstLight has many programs in place to help with caregiver retention and training.
This includes support for owners who might find themselves starting a business in a new town or city. Getting to know the area, the residents and overall senior home care landscape takes time and diligence. In order to ensure that franchisees are set up for success, FirstLight leverages their national network and relationships on the franchisee’s behalf, which really helps new locations stand out among the competition. They also offer national marketing and operational support for franchise owners that will help strengthen and expand programs so franchisees can continue to provide the best care for their clients.
“Not only did my wife and I open a business, we moved to an entirely new state to do so,” said Jones. “This made marketing difficult for us at first as we didn’t know the area. However, FirstLight really helped us on this front with vetting the area and ensuring we would be set up for success.”
Knowing that the work provided in this industry can be very time demanding, owners need to make sure this is a field they really see themselves working in for the long haul and open to the possibility of working unconventional hours and being hands-on. This is why FirstLight prioritizes making sure prospective franchisees will be a good fit for the brand.
“Go slow at first and make sure that you’re really in love with the concept,” said Jones. “My wife and I were interested in building an extended family through our business. Our goal is, and has always been, to create a sense of peace and joy for families that wouldn’t otherwise be there when they are facing difficult times. Matching a caregiver with a family and seeing that relationship grow is where the real magic is for us. You have to be passionate about the families you work with, otherwise you won’t make it in this business. For those thinking of owning a business in this field, you can’t have an absentee owner.”
FirstLight as a whole strives to provide as many resources as possible to franchisees in an effort to make the complexity of the industry easier to navigate for both owners and clients alike.
“Consistency is one of the biggest factors that sets FirstLight apart from other companies in this space,” said Jones. “Overall, we make sure that clients feel comfortable in knowing they will have a consistent caregiver in their home and someone they can trust. In other companies this is not always the case as clients are not seeing the same caregivers and the type of care they receive changes each week. As long as FirstLight exists, owners will always have the support they need out in the field.”
For more information on FirstLight Home Care’s franchising opportunities, visit https://www.firstlightfranchise.com/.