For those considering purchasing a home care assistance franchise, the numbers are in your favor because this is one of the fastest-growing franchise industries. But, keep in mind, when you purchase a franchise, you are also purchasing that franchise’s reputation. Your name will be attached to theirs. So, no matter the industry you are thinking of going into, anyone thinking of purchasing a franchise would be remiss if they didn’t research that franchise’s reputation before handing over the check.
To ensure that you’re joining a reputable team of franchisors, do your research. Here are a few places where you can start looking into the quality of possible franchises.
The best place to start is the simplest: Google. Jump online and step into the shoes of possible customers. Google the business as though you are a customer thinking of visiting it. What do you see? Are there a lot of positive reviews from frequent customers that will continue to visit or use the business? Or, are there a lot of negative reviews from patrons that won’t be back? These reviews are on the internet for all to see, which means your possible customers will see them too.
Also, consider how easy it was to find information about the business. Does the owner put a lot of effort and investment into making sure customers find the business online? If you jump on board, will people be able to find you?
Doing a simple Google search can tell you a lot about the business you are thinking of purchasing.
The Disclosure Document
Under the Franchising Code of Conduct, all franchisors are required to give potential franchisees something called a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). A representative from the franchise should review this document with you. This document will show you a number of things you need to know about your potential investment including the business experience of the franchisor, financial performance representation of all currently owned outlets, a list of all current owners, and whether or not they are involved in any court actions.
The Past and the Present
Potential franchisors are also required to provide information on how many owners have left the franchise system in recent years. This information will also be available in the FDD. A reputable franchisor should be well informed and happy to share information on the reasons behind any failures. If an alarming percentage of franchisees have failed, you should look into why and consider whether or not you want to be in their position.
Visit Current Locations
If there are other locations that are feasible for you to visit, it would be worth stopping in to see how smoothly other locations run. Chat with the employees and see if you can get honest answers on their working environment. Spend some time, if possible, observing the day-to-day operations of the establishment and ask yourself if you can picture yourself as part of it.
Whoever is facilitating your discovery process at a franchise, should set up warm introductions to current owners. You should talk to a variety of owners: Owners that have started their business in the last 12 to 18 months, those who are veterans in the system, as well as those who own multiple territories/locations, if applicable.
Ask The Professionals
Besides the amateur research you can do yourself, there are a lot of resources designed specifically to offer the kind of information franchisees need to make educated decisions about their purchases. You can use sites like FRANdata to find out how fast the industry you are interested in is growing. As we mentioned above, home care assistance franchises are growing like crazy. Reported by Forbes, numbers provided by FRANdata reports show that while there were just 13 home-health franchise brands in 2000, that's shot to 56 companies today. Also, Home Care Pulse is home to an industry sight that does yearly surveys on home care companies across the nation and is a wealth of information and data.
And, after you’ve done your research, consider turning to a lawyer, business advisor, or accountant to take an even closer look at the business you are considering purchasing.