Things You Should Know Before Buying a Home Health Care Franchise
Published August 18, 2021 by Francesca Robinson, MA
Aging Populations Are Growing
One of the first concerns with entering a new business is the stability of the market. In the home health care business, the target market is primarily the elderly. Even though a portion of the demographic includes younger people with disabilities and chronic illness, the majority of clients are older.
By the year 2060, 95 million Americans will be 65 years old or older. When it comes to market stability, not many industries offer more promise than home health care. Below are a handful of states that are expected to offer some of the most profitable markets for home health care.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Of course, the aging population is present in every town and city across the United States. Opportunity is truly everywhere. But, the states listed above are positioned for even more opportunities for in-home health care.
COVID-19 Has Increased Demand for Home Health Care
Prior to the global pandemic, the home health care business was already expected to grow. Telehealth, online prescription, and at-home testing were positioned as some of the key catalysts in the shift of power in health care from hospitals and insurance companies to customers.
But, COVID-19 accelerated this growth. The pandemic created great concern for the health and care of the elderly in care facilities. This resulted in an increase in home health care.
The only caveat to increased demand is being able to supply it. The infrastructure of the home care industry is still adjusting for growth. It’s still working on ways to provide home health aids with the modern safety equipment and technology they need to efficiently do their jobs.
The Future of Home Health Care
Many industries have experienced economic uncertainty because of the pandemic. But, home care’s future was expected to be bright with or without COVID-19. There are a handful of key factors building towards a strong future for the home health care industry.
First, is the federal funding funneling into the healthcare industry due to COVID-19. Failing to handle the pandemic productively in 2020 has shown leaders why and how funding for health care needs to be part of the larger budgetary infrastructure. This support will enable home health care to evolve and flourish.
Another major growth factor is the consumerization of health care. This shift will move the center point of the health care system into homes and communities and away from hospitals.
COVID-19 also increased concern for senior health and wellness in senior care facilities. Elderly care facilities have proven to be breeding grounds for coronavirus. Home health care is being sought after as a solution for keeping seniors safe from the disease.
When a viral outbreak happens in a facility or in the community, facilities quarantine, not allowing the elderly to see their loved ones. This is effective in halting the spread of disease, but it comes at a detriment to the wellbeing of seniors living in these communities. But, home health care is a solution that both keeps seniors quarantined and also allows them a richer social life.
This awareness for senior physiological as well as mental health is expected to be a key proponent for the growth of the home health care industry in the future. Billions are also being poured into research to combat aging. The way society collectively views and approaches aging is fundamentally shifting.
All of these factors in addition to advancements in technology are expected to increase the presence of home health care in the health care industry at large. Individualized health technology, consumer-facing medical devices, and artificial intelligence used to monitor and care for the elderly are just some of the exciting advancements.
Senior Care Franchise Profitability Investment
Natural changes in demographics, market demands, and the franchising industry all set home health care up to be a reliable low-investment franchising opportunity. Home care is currently the top choice for middle-market health care investors.
In 2019 the annual median rate for home health aide services was $52,642. To put that into perspective, 7 out of 10 people will need long-term care in their lifetime. Simply put, as the elderly population grows, so does the demand for home health care.
Health-related businesses are among the top growth areas in franchising. Home care franchising is growing faster than the other franchising industries in America. Experts expect the industry to grow 20.6% by 2030.
Private equity accounts for almost 50% of home health care dealings. Home care is creating the most buyer interest from low middle-market investors and acquirers, compared to any other sub-sector in health care, according to Axial. Investors are particularly interested in the growing life cycle stage and low revenue volatility of the home health care industry.
Starting a Home Care Franchise
One of the most enticing aspects of starting a home care franchise is its low-cost investment. Your primary expenses when starting a home health care franchising will be marketing, royalties, and a franchising fee. Costs to start a home health franchise business are relatively consistent across markets.
Even though there is a “fee” associated with joining any franchise, attempting to launch a home health care brand yourself is much more costly. When you align with a franchise, you’re entering a business with a proven business model with a wealth of resources and support.
Some of the things a franchise can help you with are:
- Policies and procedures
- Marketing and sales
- Market knowledge
Some home health care businesses report 10:1 and even 20:1 annual sales to investment ratios. But, success like this requires hard work at the start of the business, and an active role in business operations oversight for years to come.
Medical vs. Non-Medical Home Care Franchise
You’ll find that the home health care industry is made of either medical or non-medical business models. The difference between these two types of home care businesses is that medical home care businesses deal with Medicare, whereas non-medical home care franchises do not.
A non-medical home health care business focuses more on support and companionship. Their services may include housekeeping, spending time with the client, running errands, and generally improving a client’s quality of life.
Medical home care is provided by a trained professional. These people are able to provide more medically intensive care like dressing wounds and giving injections or IVs.
There is usually an overlap in some of these services. Offering a medically-based business comes with a lot more opportunity but with it a lot more responsibility and risk and technical requirements.
Generally, medical home health care businesses require more upfront capital. Becoming licensed and insured is a longer and more complex process.
Operating a medical homecare business also requires more technical expertise. Navigating Medicare and health insurance is a skill that needs a trained expert to oversee. Business owners also have to consider the cost of daily management and bookkeeping that running a medical-based business requires.
Non-medical home care typically uses a private pay model. This type of model does not deal with Medicare or health insurance. This cuts a lot of the complications out of the start-up process. It also means that there is less need for skilled workers in subjects like medical billing and day-to-day operations.
Have more questions about what separates a non-medical from a medical home health care business? Schedule a call with one of our representatives to get all of your questions answered.
Who should own a home care franchise?
Home health care franchisees come from many different backgrounds and areas of expertise. You don’t have to have experience in the health care business to run a successful home health care operation. You can also be a beginner at franchising and be successful.
What success in the home health care business really comes down to the values and mindsets of franchise owners. Below are some of the key traits we’ve recognized in successful franchise owners.
Successful home health care operators are resourceful and consistently look for ways that their business can add value to the market. They are committed and dedicated to making their business succeed, and aren’t afraid of any hard work it might take (at least in the beginning) to reach success. They aren’t afraid to take risks and remain resilient through the ebbs and flows of the business.
Enjoys Structure and Systems
Franchises come with a set of branding and operations requirements. Successful franchise operators are able to be entrepreneurial while staying within the bounds of the system and structure provided by the franchise. The home care industry also comes with its own set of best practices for handling clients that need to be followed.
Successful home care owners are visionary in the sense that they can understand the behavior of the market they are in, and identify previously unseen areas of opportunity. They understand how the senior care industry works and are able to foresee trends and changes before they happen. They are goal-oriented and plan for the future.
Many of the most successful franchise owners enter the industry from personal experience. They have a desire to give and improve the lives of others. This underlying mission affects every detail of operations and ultimately creates an optimal client experience.
What You Need to Have a Successful Home Care Operation
Starting a home health care franchise is only the beginning. After you’ve raised the capital, received your licensing, and hired your staff, you need to know what it takes to operate a successful business. Below are some of the core needs for operating a home health care business.
Staffing, Training, and Safety
Your caregivers are the heart of your business. Employing skilled and good-natured people is key to ensuring that your clients are being cared for safely and that your reputation is positive.
Administering background checks on potential hires and offering continuing education and training to your staff are some tactics that will help you hire and retain high-quality talent.
Sales and Marketing
Successful owners think outside of the box and evolve to meet changing market demands. Sales and marketing cannot be viewed as a luxury when operating a home health care business. Obtaining testimonials and reviews and broadcasting your company to your market are essential for success.
In-depth, data-driven, market research into demographics and conducting a competitive analysis are excellent places to start. Having an optimized website, relevant and regularly updated social networks, and an SEO strategy are some of the basics you’ll need.
The right technology can make or break your home health care business. At the very least you’ll need a strong communication system that can connect staff, clients, and operations 24/7. Industry tools like ClearCare and small business staples like QuickBooks can make your business run much more efficiently.
Strong Sense of Leadership
Having someone available 24/7 is essential in a home health care business. Whether this person is you or an operations manager, home health care owners and operators need to be available.
Leaders are also friendly, transparent, and knowledgeable. They are due diligent and play an active role in managing their business. They value their caregivers and trust and invest in them.
Home Health Caring Franchise Review
Owning a home health care franchise is a smart step to make if you’re interested in business ownership. But once you’ve decided, the next step is to choose a franchise you want to work with.
Preferred Care at Home is guided not only by business acumen but by strong values and a sense of purpose. We offer quality services at affordable prices because access to health care is personal to us.
Read the touching true story behind why the owners, Frank and Jody, started the franchise. Join us!
Find out if owning a senior care franchise is right for you.
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