BrightStar Care, FirstLight HomeCare and Right at Home are three of the best low-investment franchises to buy right now in the U.S., according to Forbes, which recently released its latest “Best and Worst Franchise” list.
To create its new top-franchises list, Forbes teamed up with Arlington, Virginia-based market research and consulting firm FRANdata to take stock of more than 3,300 active brands. Only brands with at least five years of franchising activity and at least 20 franchise units from 2013 to 2017 were ultimately considered for the list.
In general, system sustainability, system demand, value for investment, franchiser support and franchiser stability were the key factors behind list placement. Forbes and FRANdata separated the final group of franchise brands into three categories: high, medium and low investment.
Chicago-based BrightStar Care came in at No. 1 overall in the low-investment category.
“The [home-based care] industry itself continues to grow, which attracts potential franchisees to BrightStar,” Vice President of Franchise Development Pete First told Home Health Care News via email. “Our Joint Commission accreditation and the ability to provide skilled care, staffing and national accounts resonate with our candidates, who see the value in being able to offer the full continuum of care.”
BrightStar has more than 330 locations nationwide and a mid-point initial investment of $123,678, according to Forbes. Its five-year growth rate for new franchisees is 5.59%.
“The initial investment in the home care category doesn’t require expensive infrastructure such as a large office space or other items that tend to increase costs,” First said. “Having strong relationships with vendor partners for the technology infrastructure, marketing materials, insurance and other business essentials keep costs down as well. Having sufficient working capital available to build and invest in the business during the start-up is [also] key.”
With more than 171 total units, Cincinnati-based FirstLight HomeCare checked in at No. 3 overall in the low-investment category. The mid-point initial investment amount for a FirstLight franchise location is $139,379, according to Forbes.
With a five-year growth rate of 19.10%, FirstLight and its franchise partners provide non-medical home care across 30 states.
In addition to finding new owners, FirstLight has also recently grown through a conversion model. Hearthside Home Care was among the first home care providers to join the franchise system.
“We have several other conversions within our pipeline — at least seven right now that are in different parts of the country,” CEO and co-founder Jeff Bevis previously told HHCN during a recent appearance on its Disrupt podcast. “We really see that as a major injection to our growth — not only for the coming year but for several years to come based on the fragmentation of the industry.”
Omaha, Nebraska-based Right at Home — which provides a mix of medical and non-medical services across more than 470 locations — checked in at No. 6 overall on the Forbes franchise ranking.
The mid-point initial investment for a Right at Home franchise is $113,650, according to Forbes. Right at Home’s five-year growth rate is 8.96%.
Unlike other sectors, those interested in buying a home care franchise are often concerns with both scalability and mission, First said.
“The Forbes survey started with over 3,300 active brands in all categories, so there are literally thousands of franchise opportunities to choose from,” he said. “However, the home care category is a bit different in that most people have or will have a personal experience with [at-home care] at some point in their lives. Because of that, our industry attracts people who are looking for a business they can scale — and also use to make a difference in their community and in the lives of others. “