Home Health Care Businesses : Yesterday and Today

by David Goodman
in Blog
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I was 23 years old and just out of college when, in my youthful ignorance, I started up a home care health care business. At that time, opening a senior care agency only made sense for one reason: there wasn’t a lot of competition. Of course, there was a reason for this.

If an elderly loved one was no longer considered safe living alone at home, he or she was either moved in with family or given a one-way ticket to a nursing home. Home care was viewed as a very poor alternative. After all, what family would bring a total stranger into an infirmed and vulnerable parent’s home to care for them?

Fast forward 30 years... Home care today is an established, preferred health option. In fact, if you read publications or go online looking for hot business opportunities, home care is often included as one of the fastest growing industries. It’s really no surprise.

Demographically, America is aging. People are living longer, although as they age many decline mentally and physically. Surveys meanwhile, show that more than 90 percent of Americans say they want to live at home as long as possible. And, because families no longer live near each other and both spouses tend to work, family caregivers are hard to find.

To make a long story – 30 years worth – short, our home care agency has grown to become one of the most successful in the country. Based on my experience, I developed in 2004 the small business membership model to help other entrepreneurs succeed in the non-medical home care field – at a fraction of the cost asked by the franchises.

Companion Connection Senior Care, Inc., which presently has more than 150 members throughout North America (with an eye now on expanding to the UK and Spain), provides members with intensive training, an attractive lead-generating website, a customized newsletter to send to prospects and customers, online recruiting materials, access to a “chat line” with other members, discounts, and ongoing support. In short, we give members everything they need to start their own non-medical home care agency.

Many of our members have come to us after exploring the franchise option. While the price differential we offer is certainly attractive (which includes no annual royalties), many also say they were turned off by the restrictions the franchises placed on them. Unlike me, most of our members had substantial careers before deciding to become entrepreneurs – in fields like academia, sales, finance, communications and technology, as well as health care – and didn’t go out on their own to answer to someone else. They chafe at being told they can’t do this or that.

Home care franchises are also different than those in other industries like automotive or fast food. There are no Subways or Jiffy Lubes or Dairy Queens that provide instant brand recognition and credibility. For the most part, none of them are recognized by the average consumer.

Now that our original members are approaching a decade in the home care business, we have some data on how they’ve done. I’m pleased to say that many have done exceedingly well. A number have gained entrance into our $1 million club. One member is generating 3 million annually in sales! Many have expanded into additional services. Several have sold their home care businesses at tidy profits.

Most importantly, a vast majority tell us that they feel they made the right decision in starting a home health care business, choosing the membership route, and deciding to become a Companion Connection Senior Care affiliate. At their suggestion, we have also added special webinars and one-on-one programs to help members succeed at a time when home care is an increasingly popular concept – even if the competition is greater than it was when I started.