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Lessons Learned From Right at Home’s Journey Through 2020

How the in-home care franchise made the best of a challenging year.

2020 was a year of commitment to care, communication and growth for Right at Home.

The in-home care franchise based in Omaha added 17 new franchisees to its family, celebrated its 25th year in business and its 20th anniversary as a franchise system. The company strengthened its relationships with its partners and prospects by doubling down on support.

When the pandemic hit, the in-home care franchise made the commitment to ramping up its communication and transparency within its network of franchisees by scheduling daily calls and weekly virtual town halls. At the corporate level that meant developing a COVID task force that met twice daily to stay on top of changing protocols and best practices in order to communicate them to franchisees and caregivers in real time. 

“We’ve become experts in town halls,” said Margaret Haynes, Chief Operating Officer for Right at Home. “We want to support our franchisees in every way we can. Even [as we near a year since the pandemic hit], we’re still doing them weekly. There’s so much more engagement. It became all about, how do we simply help our franchisees deal with COVID? It was pretty intense for the first two months — we’ve amped up touch points we have, even touch points for prospects.”

And Right at Home wasn’t just there for its existing franchisees — it was committed to its prospects as well. According to Haynes, the brand put a pause on outreach in order to keep those who were already in the pipeline up to date and informed.

“We wanted them to understand what we were doing and how we were supporting them. We’d get online for 30 minutes or so every other Tuesday and host an open mic night of sorts,” said Haynes. “They were able to ask questions, and we had the chance to give an update on how things were progressing. We’ve always had the philosophy that we want prospects to understand how things are going — the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

But support wasn’t just extended at the operational and emotional levels, it came at the financial level as well. Right at Home stepped up to the plate and bought and shipped the proper PPE necessary to keep its partners safe and operational.

Amid the crisis, Right at Home’s commitment to caring for its clients remained as strong as ever. At the start of the pandemic, when many people were home and available to care for their loved ones themselves, the brand saw a dip in care hours. But as people have returned to work, Right at Home has seen the need for caregivers grow week-over-week since August, and the brand is reaching a higher demand for care hours than it did prior to the pandemic. And Haynes says that need and growth isn’t going to stop anytime soon.

“It was a challenge at the start, but we’ve gotten back to where we were before the pandemic. Now it’s off to the races,” she said. “As a system, we’ve provided 14 million hours of care, and we’ve gathered a phenomenal group of caregivers on the front line who are helping people age gracefully and comfortably from the places they call home.”

Despite the challenges of the year, the brand saw growth and development in line with its goals, signing 17 new territories and five transfers. 

“The pandemic has highlighted the value of home care and private-duty home care. Now you’re able to help your loved ones age in their own space. People are recognizing how valuable that is, and it’s helping Right at Home be able to grow,” Haynes continued.

Right at Home also developed new partnerships that have helped to strengthen its ability to care for its clients in the best ways it can, aligning with companies like True Blue Total House Care that works to provide home maintenance and modifications to aging community members. The brand also partnered with CareWorks, CoreLife and Parkinson’s Wellness. Working with these companies has been a huge benefit, and has helped to refer a number of new clients.

Looking at the new year, Haynes says the future looks bright in terms of Right at Home’s continued growth and expansion, with a goal to expand to 15 more units. She says that the brand’s approach to growth will be agnostic, but there are plans to open a corporate-owned location.

“We want to continue to plant flags with development, and we’re going to be agnostic in how we’ll do that. We know where we have open territories,” she said. “We also will look at territories to see where we can put a corporate owned location. Having that will really help us plant flags, but it will also help us to be a better franchisor. The goal is to have 15 new territories, and we’re hoping to blow that goal out of the water.”

And as a part of these exciting growth goals, Haynes says the brand is open to acquiring independently owned in-home care brands as well. Right at Home has already successfully acquired its first, and hopes to be able to welcome more franchisees into its growing family this way. 

This year marks the first wave of baby boomers turning 75, meaning there’s a huge influx of aging adults who will need care in the coming years. In its mission to grow and achieve success with significance, Right at Home has big plans to make a positive impact on the lives of people in every country it operates in.

“We’re continuing to think about how we deliver that mission in the best way possible. Not just home care, but how can we go across that continuum of the aging process. As we think beyond 2021, we’re thinking about how we can bring a valuable, necessary service to society. That’s our biggest goal.”

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*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.