Home Care Tops Fro-Yo, Fitness in Emerging Franchise Ranks

When competing against trendy “paint-and-sip” (think: BYOB with an artistic flair), fitness and frozen yogurt franchises, in-home senior care may not be the most up-and-coming concept.

But three such companies have snagged spots among the top five in a list of emerging franchises, ranked by the Franchise Business Review.

In its quest to find and rank top companies, the market research firm conducted surveys of franchisees across various systems. These franchisees were asked to rank their companies in areas of support, core values, general satisfaction, financial opportunity, leadership, operations and product development, and franchisee community.

The resulting rankings, published in the Franchise Business Review’s “Top Emerging Franchises” report, are reflective of business concepts that are trending nationwide.

“It’s no surprise that the list of up-and-comers mirrors some of the topics we hear about most in the media and pop culture — fitness, senior care, and frozen yogurt,” the Franchise Business Review writes.

Despite some stiff competition, in-home senior care has found its sweet spot in the top five.

“Home care is the No. 1 franchise to buy right now,” says Andrea Nathanson, co-founder of Qualicare Family Homecare, which earned the top spot on the list. “People are getting into home care because that’s the future.”

Qualicare Family Homecare, No. 1

Qualicare Family Homecare — whose in-home care services include, among others, providing personal care, assistance with daily living activities, companionship and live-in care — was founded in 2001 and began franchising three years ago. The company now has 27 locations and serves 53 territories.

Its 360-Degree Healthcare Case Management program, which offers comprehensive personalized care plans that involve both the patient as well as the family, is a distinct differentiator for Qualicare, Nathanson says.

“We decided that it wasn’t really just about helping the client, but making sure that the family felt supported so they didn’t become our next patient,” she says. “There is a tsunami coming in terms of people entering into the system that need care. It’s not about competition in this particular case. There’s lots of people doing it, but it’s going to be where you rank and how you provide care [that makes you a top provider].”

FirstLight HomeCare, No. 3

FirstLight HomeCare — which provides companion care, personal care, dementia care and respite care, among other services — takes the third spot on the list, following Fitness Revolution.

Currently serving 93 territories (with 30 more under signed agreements), FirstLight’s management team has more than 130 years of franchise experience and 93 years of senior care experience, one of the reasons for the company’s growth and success, says Bill McPherson, executive director of franchise development.

Another differentiator is the approach the company takes with its owners. FirstLight, which was founded about four years ago and began franchising three and a half years ago, ensures that its franchisees have everything they need to be successful, McPherson says.

“Unfortunately, for many franchises in different segments — even in the home care space — it’s about how many franchises can you sell, what are your gross sales. Those are important; however, what we’ve learned is that our franchisees are our clients,” he says. “We make money one way and one way only, and that’s if the franchisee grows. Period.”

Amada Senior Care, No. 5

Following another fitness franchise (Crunch Fitness) is Amada Senior Care, ranking fifth and rounding out the top-five up-and-comers.

Amada, which was founded in 2007 and began franchising in 2012, now has 31 franchise partners throughout the U.S. The provider plans to expand to 100 franchise partners by the end of 2015.

“When we decided to franchise Amada Senior Care in 2011, it wasn’t because we found a huge need for more senior care companies — there are plenty of competitors in every market,” says Marcos Moura, chief development officer. “What we saw was the need to help the right entrepreneurs enter the senior care market.”

Amada offers non-medical in-home care in addition to assisted living placement counseling. More than 1,000 employees, including caregivers, work under the Amada brand.

“So every one of our current franchise partners have been handpicked,” Moura says. “This means that we really have a team of entrepreneurs who share similar goals, values and priorities — and that really matters when you’re caring for seniors.”

A fourth in-home senior care franchise, CareBuilders at Home, also made the list at No. 32. CareBuilders offers personal care services that provide assistance with activities of daily living, as well as companion and homemaker services.

To read the full Franchise Business Review report, click here.

Written by Emily Study

Emily Study