1851 caught up with the franchise development professionals of various brands to learn more about the state of the industry and their predictions for the year ahead.
1851: What's the number one thing franchisees are looking for in the conversations that you're having with prospects?
Michael Beus, Franchise Development Associate at Assisting Hands Home Care:
They’re looking for stability. Most people I’m talking to are ex-CEOs of companies. People have had experiences with their parents and getting them home care in their later years and they want to make sure they do it better than the last person. That’s one of the biggest driving forces in our industry.
1851: Do you have an ideal franchisee in your system, and what are their qualities?
Beus: We don’t require a medical background, but we look for people who know how to run a business. We have found our franchisees with C-suite experience or from management positions are better at running a franchise. That being said, we have a husband-and-wife team that are area developers and they were both physical therapists. We also look for people who want to join a family-like culture; that’s what drew me to the company. We’re in a specific industry, caring for seniors. We look for people who are compassionate and caring for other people.
1851: What's the biggest challenge facing franchise development right now and how are you overcoming it?
Beus: The biggest thing is finding qualified people and getting them involved in the process. It’s not an easy thing. A lot of people feel like they’re signing their life away when buying a franchise, and they have concerns about finding and keeping good staff. There are actually few people who are interested in being an entrepreneur; I’ve learned in the past three months that you’ll find 100 people interested, and one will sign. With the job market being strong, people are more likely to just take a job and go home at 5 p.m.
1851: Why should franchisees invest in your industry and in your brand specifically, and why should they invest now?
Beus: There are 78 million people on the brink of entering their senior years—and 10,000 people every day turning 65. Healthcare as an industry is booming. There are not enough companies to take care of everybody with the silver tsunami coming. We’re still taking care of baby boomers’ parents, not baby boomers. Our family culture is why people should join our brand, specifically. I’ve seen what we do from both sides. Most people want to come to us after they get to know us and attending our Discovery Days. We have a 90% close rate on folks who come to our Discovery Day.