FranCoach recently sat down with Rob Cantrell, Vice President of Franchise Development for Senior Helpers for a Q&A. Senior Helpers is one of the fastest growing and most successful franchises in the booming industry of in-home senior care. Now with over 300 owners across the US, this Towson, MD based franchise has positioned themselves as a true leader in the in-home senior care industry.
Rob was kind enough to spend time with us to discuss the Senior Helpers business model, why their owners are successful, and the outlook of the industry as a whole.
FranCoach: We have heard a lot of buzz about the growth and success of Senior Helpers. Is that true?
Senior Helpers: That is true. In fact, Franchise Times Magazine recently ranked Senior Helpers as the #1 growing franchise in the health and medical sector.
FC: What are some reasons for this growth?
SH: There are many factors leading to the growth and success of the franchise and their owners. Senior Helpers is the only home care company to have the endorsement of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Senior Helpers also has an alliance with the National Parkinson Foundation and a partnership with the Michael J. Fox Parkinson organization. The CEO of Senior Helpers, Peter Ross, is so well respected in the industry that he is the president of the industry association – the Home Care Association of America.
FC: How do you train and support your owners?
SH: This is a huge part of what separates Senior Helpers from the competition. Last year Senior Helpers invested over $1M just to add support staff in the franchisor headquarters. Our owners attend a ten day in-person training at our state-of-the-art facility. New owners also receive detailed support for finding a location, obtaining any registrations or licenses, and of course building their staff.
In addition to the intense and on-going training and support provided for the franchise owners, Senior Helpers also has a Caregiver College. This online platform has over 700 courses for the owners to utilize for their caregivers. The courses range from the intro level to specialized courses covering client needs such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s.
FC: What does the industry look like? Is it growing? Is it competitive?
SH: The senior care industry is one of the fastest growing there is. The “Silver Tsunami” is here to stay for the next several decades as more than 10,000 people turn 65 in the US every day. Over the next ten years, the senior demographic will grow by 25%. With the increased life span and the incredible shortage of quality retirement or assisted living facilities, the need for high quality in-home care has never been greater.
Like every industry, there is competition. There are two key advantages Senior Helpers owners have in the industry. First, the competition is very fragmented. Many of the other companies lack both the overall spectrum of care Senior Helpers provides and the support to their owners. Second, it takes a very small number of clients to grow a big business. For example, a Senior Helpers owner can top $1M in annual revenue typically with only 40-50 clients.
FC: What do you look for in an owner?
SH: Owning a Senior Helpers franchise is not just about wanting a business and having the investment capital. Senior Helpers is looking for owners who genuinely want to do good for others. Often these are professionals burnt out on the corporate world and confident there is a more rewarding path, one that allows them to make a difference in people’s lives.
Prospective owners should also share the Senior Helpers core values of “integrity without compromise”
Senior Helpers owners are often very active in the sales and marketing side of the business but do not need much prior experience in these areas. This is not a high-pressure type of sales process and is more about utilizing great leadership skills to create a culture of caring in the community, with referral partners, and with the client families.
FC: What is the most challenging part for the owners?
SH: For many industries, the most challenging part is finding customers. For Senior Helpers, the most challenging part is finding the caregivers. It is not uncommon for an owner to have two to three times the number of caregivers than clients. While that may seem daunting, the owners who understand people are your greatest asset are the ones who build a strong and positive culture. This type of culture makes it much easier to find and retain excellent caregivers.
First Franchised: 2005
Number of units: 300+
Franchisor headquarters: Towson, MD
Total Investment: $103,000-142,000***
*** To learn more about Total Investments and franchise funding options check out our Funding page.