As jobs lose earning power and dry up in some industries during difficult economic times, finding a new career can become all the more challenging. One career recently highlighted by the International Franchise Association is a smart choice for 2012 — senior home care franchising . That’s because the numbers of seniors, along with their needs, continue to increase no matter what is happening with the economy. The International Franchise Association has ranked the Home Instead Senior Care network among the top 12 premium franchise systems under $50,000. And together with the Small Business Administration, the Home Instead Senior Care network offers would-be franchise owners tips on what to consider before buying a franchise.
Omaha, NE – Tyson Murphy knew it was time to make his move. The 36-year-old former mortgage broker from Las Cruces, N.M., embarked on a career change, moved his family to Texas and opened a Home Instead Senior Care in August 2011 in the midst of a lackluster economy.
Murphy is part of a national trend: A projected 21 million Americans will change jobs in 2012, according to Harris Interactive and Cornerstone OnDemand. Like many other Americans, Murphy knew he had to be proactive because a lagging economy had changed the outlook of his career in the mortgage industry.
“There obviously has been a downturn in the mortgage industry,’’ he said, “although it wasn’t as bad in Las Cruces as it has been in other parts of the nation. There is a lot of uncertainty in the mortgage industry because of regulation and the economy. Home Instead was a great opportunity. I didn’t want to look five years down the line and say, ‘I wish I had done that.’”
Murphy, who was born in Midland, Texas, had calculated that the rewards would outweigh the risks before he jumped into a completely new career with a franchise start-up in Temple, Texas, 130 miles from Dallas-Fort Worth. His father had worked for the Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Las Cruces. “I could see that for my father, it was personally rewarding,’’ Murphy said. “And senior care is a very viable industry. It is one of the few that are growing in this economy.’’
The International Franchising Association has projected a 1.9 percent increase in franchise establishments in 2012 and lists the Home Instead Senior Care network as one of its 12 premium franchise systems under $50,000.
Tim Connelly, director of North America Franchise Development for Home Instead, Inc., said that new franchise owners who are making career shifts – such as Murphy – bring many valuable skills to thehome care franchising field, including fresh perspectives, eagerness to succeed, great organizational skills and the ability to get people to work together. “First of all, it’s clear that compassion and kindness shine through with people such as Tyson. He’s exactly what this profession is looking for – someone with a passion for seniors and a ‘people-person’ who has an outstanding skill set developed from a career in which he previously had excelled.”
So how have things gone for Murphy so far? “It has more highs than lows. We’ve been working hard, and we have been welcomed with open arms,’’ Murphy said. “There are tremendous needs here, and we’ve benefited from Home Instead’s relationships and reputation in this part of Texas as a result of the great franchise owners near our territory.”
“I think we have hit a home run with Home Instead. There’s a lot of work to do, but the potential for development is so good. It is trending upward. There are good clients here, and I’m looking forward to continuing the legacy of Home Instead.’’
For information about senior care business opportunities, register for a one-hour Home Instead Senior Care Franchise Opportunities web seminar.
12 Tips for Buying a Franchise in 2012
The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Home Instead Senior Care network offer 12 tips for starting a franchise in 2012:
- Determine how much you can realistically afford to invest in a franchise. Figure out if you need financing and where you will get it; decide if you will need partners.
- Calculate the level of annual income that you’ll need and decide if franchise ownership will be your primary source of income or if it will supplement your current income.
- Consider the skills you will need for your potential franchise because you may need specialized knowledge or talents, relevant education or technical experience.
- Think about the purpose of franchising and what you want out of this business experience other than just money. Ask yourself if your goals, values and interests fit in with the franchisor and other company franchisees.
- Decide how you will run the franchise: Figure out the number of hours that you’re willing to work, whether you would be the sole operator and if you will need a manager.
- Look to the long term and decide if you could see yourself operating the business for the next 20 years. Try to gauge your ambitions and decide if you ultimately would want to own more than one franchise or expand your franchise territory.
- Do your homework on selecting a franchise because it will be a life-changing decision and consider attending a franchise exposition that will allow you to view and compare a variety of franchise possibilities.
- Ask for references for other franchise owners who are in the same region or fit your situation. Get a franchise history. Before considering any offer, have an attorney review the offer.
- Find out how busy your potential competitors are in the territory you’re planning to buy.Clarify your territory with the franchisor.
- Learn about the reputation and standing of the franchise in the industry from the International Franchise Association (IFA) by visitingwww.franchise.org .
- Find out if the franchise has a business growth program. For example, the Home Instead Senior Care network has a program called PerforMax℠which helps franchisees manage the financial and profitability aspects of their businesses more effectively.
- Before investing in any franchise system, be sure to get a copy of the franchisor’s Franchise Disclosure Document. Under the Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise Rule, you must receive the document at least 10 business days before you are asked to sign any contract or pay any money to the franchisor. The FTC’s Consumer Guide to Buying a Franchise offers more information.