I get approached all the time by people considering changing careers to join the world of home health care.
They see the need and they want to be part of the solution and that's great!
I'm always happy to talk to people like this. They clearly want to help people, they want to work for themselves, and they want to make some money along the way. These are all good things!
But when the discussion turns (as it always does) to the question of whether to buy a franchise...I always tell them what I'm telling you here:
Don't buy a franchise!
The reason they're asking is exactly the same reason I was interested in a franchise when I began looking at starting my business: because running your own home care business is scary.
If you come from a healthcare background, then you probably understand the health care system, but the business terms can be really hard to understand.
If you are a business person then you understand the dollars and cents, but the health care terms are an entirely new language.
You start writing down your questions and end up with pages and pages of things you don't know...
- What is a PSW?
- What's the difference between an RPN and an RN?
- What is a wage burden?
- How does WSIB/WCB work?
- What's the ESA?
- What's contribution margin?
- What's the LHIN?
- What's a CADD pump?
- Have you ever heard of a UCP, the CNO, or EBITDA?
As the list gets longer and you start to do your research you can't help but run into page after page of ads offering to sell you home care franchises.
The ads start to look really attractive because they come with many benefits:
- access to people who've done it before
- cash flow models to help you plan your growth
- marketing materials to help you get your message out
- HR policies and procedures ready-made so you don't have to build them yourself
Franchises look great at first because they seem like a huge shortcut!
Why do all this work yourself when you can just have it all done for you?
Of course all they're asking for is a bit of money up front and an "ever-so-small" piece of your pie FOREVER. They usually ask for something like 5-10% royalty.
Not so bad right?
*****Timeout!***** Time for a math break!
Let's run a few numbers:
- let's assume that your business costs the same as ours did up front
- let's assume your margin level is the same as ours was
- Let's assume that after the first 5 years you're at the same place as we were after 5 years in terms of revenue growth
- Let's assume that you want to work in your business for 20 years and that you grow like us for the first 5 years, then 10% for years 5-10 and 2% after that
Want to know how much that "little slice of the pie" adds up to (the one they're taking from you)?
You are paying them somewhere between 3.5 million and 7 million dollars!!!
Ouch. That's starting to sound like a lot more than a tiny-little slice of pie!
That's a lot of money to pay for some advice and some operations manuals.
That's why Home Care101 exists.
Because we see that money as a resource and we think you would be better off using that resource some other way.
For instance, rather than pay a franchise royalty you could do all of the following amazing things for your business:
- offer employee benefits to your caregivers
- offer a pension plan to your caregivers
- upgrade your office to improve the work environment of your salaried staff
- run a strong online marketing campaign to increase your growth rates
- Offer free CPR courses to caregivers looking to renew their certifications
- Offer free ongoing education courses to caregivers to help them progress in their careers
Here at Home Care101 we believe all of those things are better uses of that resource than paying all that money as a franchise fee.
That's why we built this website to try to offer some of the same materials and peace of mind the franchise companies are offering but at only a fraction of the cost.
It's also why we never franchised our business. We think it's a bad deal.
Also, to be honest we came very close to buying a franchise ourselves
Before I started my own home care company I spent a lot of time exploring the franchise opportunities available.
At one point I was so ready to buy a franchise that I actually had the deposit cheque in my hand ready to go.
Then at the very last minute I changed my mind.
The reason for my change of heart was that when I really sat down to think it through, I could not figure out what real value I was actually getting.
Why was I spending money to "buy a territory", when I could start my own business and look for clients anywhere I wanted.
For the policies and procedures, I realized that even if I took a full year or two to create my own manuals it would be well worth my time considering the real price of the franchise.
So I walked away.
And now 10 years later I'm so thankful I did!
Not only do I get to chose to invest that money in better ways than paying a franchise fee, but I have complete control to make my business whatever I want it to be.
Total Freedom. Capital F Freedom.
It's also why I have the freedom to sell all my hard work at a fraction of the cost to produce it just so that I can set other entrepreneurs free from a lifetime of paying franchise fees.
Do the work! No shortcuts! Choose freedom!
Purchase the Home Care 101 Complete Start Up Kit to put you on the fast track to starting your own home care agency!
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