Caring Senior Service CEO and founder, Jeff Salter, chatted with Brian Keen from Franchise Radio Show about the Caring franchise model. Discover what it takes to own a home care business and how Caring is raising the bar when it comes to the standard of client care.
Listen to the full podcast on Apple Podcasts or read the transcript below.
0:14 – Brian Keen
Hello everybody. "Growing a Caring Franchise" is brought here from Franchise Simply with our Franchise Radio Show. And today, an interesting topic as always, but particularly today, we have someone with a fascinating background. He shares a bit of a common background with me in that he is a rugby player or at least has been in the past and quite passionate about that but also passionate about franchising.
Jeff Salter has an organization called Caring Senior Service, and he is the founder and CEO of the business. He looks after providing in-home non-medical home care services to help seniors. The objective is so that they can maintain their independence and quality of life and he started. I’m surprised, originally working at a home healthcare company, and he saw some of the seniors and families weren’t really able to handle the challenges. And at a spritely old age of 20, he started his company, so certainly an early starter.
Congratulations Jeff. We should see more of it. He realized the solution for short- and long-distance caregiving was the attention to people in that sector. Within five years he had another four locations and, in 2003 after a period of about 12 years in operation, he moved into the franchise sector. Jeff brought, he tells me, an never-quit attitude to Caring — to the point now he has nurtured a business to having 47 operations or locations but get this, over 18 cities/states. So he doesn’t mind spreading himself a bit thin in the ground, which means he has an organization and is fit to handle it. He recognized early in his career that creating systems allowed for his operation to be franchise-able today, and his systems is the thing that is closest to our hearts as you all know. Today Caring Senior Service franchise locations benefit from a systematic approach. What many will consider this sector really is pretty nonsystematic, so he stands out, I think head and shoulders.
On a personal note, Jeff lives in San Antonio in Texas and married to his partner Catriona and has a couple of adult sons. He has enjoyed a lifelong passion for rugby and still plays. Well done Jeff, keep it up. He has even been inducted into the Hall of Fame for all the work he’s done so occasionally he even gets to indulge in other activities such as snowboarding and then I suppose the ultimate challenge he plays a round of golf every now and then. (laughs). Jeff, lovely to have you along. Welcome.
3:06 – Jeff Salter
Yeah, thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to share my story.
3:11 – Brian Keen
Tell me, you started your business at a very young age. So you reached a point after a number of years and you decided to franchise Caring Senior Service. What was the motivation? What were the reasons you decided to do that?
3:27 – Jeff Salter
Well I think franchising is a great vehicle for a lot of concepts to be able to really expand rapidly and to do so and allow others to use their capital to make that investment and reap the rewards of that business. So for me, it was a matter of recognizing that we wanted to expand to other cities in Texas and then throughout the United States. And recognizing to do that through a traditional company-owned management structure would have required just a ton of investment. You really would have done the same amount of work gathering investors to try to do it as it is to become a franchisor, I feel like. But the advantages of franchising is that you’ve got a local owner-operator who is really invested to see the success happen at that local level. To do these things with a management structure requires middle management and a lot more of a structure that doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to this type of business.
4:28 – Brian Keen
I think so. There is a good point you mentioned there about your options, you know. Get investors in as opposed to franchising the business, and while its a little bit of work in the early days, getting your franchise structure and systems up. The thing is you maintain control and I think this is what I often see with people. Once you get investors in they suddenly start calling the tune.
4:49 – Jeff Salter
Sure, sure. And you become deluded no matter what in the process so yeah it’s a business decision for everyone to make. I just feel that franchising is a model that allows you to really control your brand more.
5:02 – Brian Keen
You obviously are well-qualified to talk about that so with your franchise model that you created, what sets you apart from others in that non-medical home health care space, Jeff?
5:15 – Jeff Salter
Well, you know there are a number of things that set us apart as an organization. First and foremost is we are operators that became franchisors. Most in our industry were individuals who had a concept and they recognized that franchising was a model to develop the business from the ground up. We had offices that were operating. We had a proven model in place that operated for a decade before we started becoming a franchisor so our franchisees benefit from years of knowledge in the trenches that I personally have. And the team of people that I assembled in the early stage that really understood how to operate these businesses from the ground level, and that is something that most franchise systems, franchisors in my space, the leadership just doesn’t understand that. They don’t know what it is like to run on of these businesses. Conceptually, they can talk about it but have they ever had to get up in the middle of the night and go take care of a client? No, they haven’t.
6:14 – Brian Keen
Yeah. And that is really the experience of the cold face which is an expression that is often used, and there is no substitute for that. You can’t read about it or watch it on a video.
6:26 – Jeff Salter
6:27 – Brian Keen
So from that point of view, I suppose, you would have spoken to hundreds of prospective franchisees. What is your ideal sort of franchisee candidate? Who are the people you really want to talk to?
6:42 – Jeff Salter
Well, one of the things, you know along the theme of why we are different. There are a couple of other things that also would lead into answering that question. One of the things we have done as a company is that we have developed our own software and that management software allows our franchise owners to really have complete control over their data and of the way that we deliver service to our clients. The ability to integrate various pieces of business processes are built into our software. So typically, someone would have maybe scheduling software over here, HR software over there and anything else that might be necessary, a payroll system, a billing system. Ours is all baked in together in a system that we have developed from the ground up. So it really allows us to manage the business in a very straightforward manner.
Everything that you do is in relation to something else that is going to need to be done. There is no double-data entry. So you enter someone into the system once and they’re populated throughout the system, so you don’t have to go put them into the payroll system, into the billing system, into the time logging system. It’s all just one place. What that does for us though is that it allows us to have systemization in our processes, and then we can really help anyone learn how to become a senior care business owner.
So for us, while we have ideal candidates that we look for, those are primarily people that have got skills or enjoys the aspect of marketing and sales because one thing we can’t do is we can’t create a system that is going to get people in front of others to share the story of why they’re in business and attract new customers. We do a lot of work from website, SEO, brand awareness. But at the end of the day, people that come to our service are individuals that want to establish trust. They need to trust the company they’re working with. And while the Caring name is a trustworthy name, locally it’s really going to be that business owner that’s out there promoting it.
So we look for people that have comfort in talking with others, comfort in sharing their story and the ability to get in front and talk to people that might need our services. It doesn’t mean that everyone that comes to us has a marketing background or sales background. But most of them have a comfort level talking with other people and that’s really, really important. It’s not the type of business that you can just sit behind a desk and expect that it’s going to excel. You do need to get out there and do something. Even if that’s the case people that don’t have that type of experience or don’t enjoy that necessarily, the difference is those individuals can hire someone and we can train them because we do have systems in place that allow them to understand how to market the business. And we can train other people that they might hire to operate their business.
That again sets us apart because we are very systematized. Each role within the company is defined. It’s well-defined what that person is doing so anyone can get involved in the business at any level. If they’re great at sales it’s only going to accelerate their success. If they need to hire someone in sales, well then, we hope they’re good at management because they’re going to need to manage people to insure that success.
10:11 – Brian Keen
It’s the same thing. It’s all about people. I think in your particular area that you’re involved in, I mean goodness me that’s a very sensitive area, a lot of demands. So you have to be very understanding and very quick on your feet, I would imagine, from time to time. So thanks for sharing that. There’s a lot of common information there.
I’m sure the franchisors listening to this will know they are going to be quite green with envy about your homogenous sort of software that you’ve got because everybody is realizing now that that really is the only way to go. It’s easier said that done.
10:48 – Jeff Salter
Yeah, it was a lot of work and thankfully I have a love of computers and a love of programming. While I myself am not a programmer, I enjoy learning and understanding the inner workings of a computer system. But I can also see where many people that would drive them crazy, and it’s not their forte, and they wouldn’t want to touch it. Really in today’s age it doesn’t make sense for people not to consider that because you can find programmers. You can find people that can build you what you need. But many people have been told usually by their software vendor that do what you do best, don’t get involved in the software. I have always told people that’s like telling Amazon not to get involved in software. You know, so, their business is successful because their software is successful. And even though they are a delivery company moving goods from one place to the other, it’s their software that makes that all happen.
11:39 – Brian Keen
Yeah, it’s reality frightening other people and it’s gradually dawning after the acceleration of apps out there and so forth. And, you know, remote working that we had with COVID that for someone being an effective CEO of a business now they need to really understand and be hands-on with the software. Of course, a lot of people out there are not. So this is going to because I think significant changes in the next five years or so.
12:10 – Jeff Salter
12:11 – Brian Keen
Well played, congratulations on that one. So, I supposed when you’re looking at your business, your industry, you know perspective franchisees and so forth, what is the sort of things that you advise them they should think about before they move into the industry? I’m sure a lot of these points will be common to other sectors as well.
12:34 – Jeff Salter
Yeah, you know, I think people look at franchising when they think about it’s really desire to control your destiny, right? "I want to get into a franchise because I am really looking at starting my own business of some type. I want to find something that I can be passionate about, something I can feel good about, something then that really drives me day in and day out." And, with a senior care business, one thing that people don’t always realize is that it’s going to be a people business on every side of the equation. You’re going to be managing a lot of people and that for some people immediately turns them off because maybe they’re getting out of a large corporation that they worked for because it’s a lot of people, they can’t control others so they get frustrated and want to leave, go do something in which they’re the responsible party, they make it all happen. Now you can do some of that as a senior care franchisee, but you’ll be dealing with caregivers and you’re going to be hiring caregivers and managing caregivers. You don’t have to be passionate about managing people but they definitely have to understand that that’s going to be a factor in their happiness.
If they derive happiness from a job well done, it may not be the right business to be in senior care for that not because we don’t have jobs well done. We have that all the time but getting from start to finish means working with a lot of people in the process to make that happen. Sometimes that can be frustrating. People don’t always get up on time. They didn’t show up on time. They don’t do the work exactly as you said you wanted it done and don’t meet your expectations. For me, I’m okay with that because I chose to spend my entire career in this world, and I know that if a caregiver has a failing, I can step in and fix it. I can help find the next caregiver and I get satisfaction out of the end result which is a client is able to remain at home, stay independent, and be able to really flourish and thrive at home.
As we are speaking — because this is a business talk and people that are getting into franchising — a franchisee can definitely count on a system with Caring Senior Service that’s going to help them execute the business model day in and day out. And that is something that we have really worked hard on because we had those original five locations. I as an individual only had a small team of people working for me. I only had one other person actually originally that was helping me manage all five. I had to systematize everything so that when I would go from one location four hours away from the other location that things were being done the same at each location. If they were being done dramatically differently at each location, I would have been managing two separate businesses entirely, and that would have been impossible to scale. So we focused a lot on that and that is what our franchisees enjoy today is that systemization that allows them to scale. If they want one location or they want 10 locations, we’re the type of company that can really help them get to that dream of maybe multi-unit ownership and expansion throughout the region.
15:47 – Brian Keen
That makes a lot of sense. So tell me your franchises, what is the typical size? I mean how many does the team have? How many carers would they have? What would be the size of the units, Jeff?
15:59 – Jeff Salter
It varies. It varies dramatically. That is a common question people want to know in senior care: What does the typical location look like? And there is not really a great answer for that. Because each client’s demand is going to really drive the staff members that you have. An example of this is if I have a client that wants me 12 hours a week, well one caregiver can handle probably two different clients, maybe three different clients, at 12 hours a week, but that depends on when the clients want service. If I have three clients that want 12 hours a week service and they all want Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 8:00 until noon, well now I’ve got three caregivers I’ve got to hire. If I have someone that wants me 24/7, around-the-clock, then I’m going to have to hire five to eight people to manage that client. So one client could be eight caregivers, one client could be half a caregiver. So it really varies dramatically by location and what the client nix looks like.
But our franchise owners are successfully with a relatively small amount of clients and a small staff. We generally have three staff members for every location. We have a homecare consultant, whose our marketing arm and gets out in the community and makes sure that they are talking with the referral sources. We have an agency director who really helps do admissions and manage the overall business. And we have a care manager who really works the schedule and manages the caregiver pool, interviews new caregivers, and makes sure we have someone on deck at all times. With that small crew of people we can manage a large number of clients. And as we grow because we’re systematized we just add more care managers as we grow the business. If we want to market more and we’re in a bigger geographic area or metropolitan area, we might add more homecare consultants. But overall, it’s really adding a position as the business grows. We’re well-suited when to identify when that new position is needed, understanding how the work load gets divided among people, and really helps those owners thrive in their business. Some of our franchisees play one of those parts. Some hire everyone and just manage all of those people.
18:16 – Brian Keen
So there’s a key question there for any prospective franchisee is make sure you’re looking and isolating your top two or three prospective franchisors, make the systemization and clear a base and so forth. I think that is really the key isn’t is? And from a franchisor, if you can’t answer those questions for prospective franchisees then you’ve got some work to do.
18:41 – Jeff Salter
Yeah, yeah. I think systemization is something that you don’t see a lot in service franchise business. You see it in a McDonald’s. It’s blatantly clear. You’ve got to have a fry guy. You’ve got to have a burger guy. You’ve got to have a front cashier — though that is going away nowadays, right? But you’ve got to have someone running the drive-thru line. You don’t get to say drive-thru line guy you’re going to also so the fries. The second you do that your fries are burned, you know. So it makes sense for people running a product type business to have these types of positions, but it’s not intuitive at least for people to think of that for a service business. But that’s again what sets Caring apart.
And my vision was to really understand that you can systematize these things. You can make sure that certain people follow certain roles and job duties each and every day; therefore, you can really minimize the number of people you have. Caring Senior Service has, I feel, the best division of labor of any organization. That means our costs of doing business are lower than most other franchise systems, and it doesn’t come at the cost of skimping on service or quality; it really comes down to that we have made sure that we have systematized things in such a way that anyone can be trained on how to complete the tasks and anyone can be held accountable and responsible for those tasks.
20:13 – Brian Keen
I think there are lessons there for new franchisors, emerging franchisors, and even people having a good look at themselves after a period of time that dug into these things in infinite detail probably far beyond what they have ever imagined. Just talking to Jeff it just illustrates how sort of a business someone has really systematized and really dedicated to it can achieve, and yet we may retain as a franchisor speaking to Jeff he retains his sanity from what I can see. That’s important to maintain control and enjoy what you’re doing, isn’t it? That’s often the case with someone going into a new business or franchise process is that they just pulled from pillar to post and putting out fires, and you can’t do that if you haven’t got the systems.
21:04 – Jeff Salter
Yeah, often the discussion in a typical business you would talk about scalability is when you really talk about systemization. You can’t scale something without systems. What people don’t realize is that they might get themselves stuck into a franchise system that even though they are not planning on scaling, they didn’t want to buy a job. They didn’t want to go into business for themselves so they would just have to manage the processes. And so many people in this industry — I have only done this now for 32 years so I’m knowledgeable about a lot of industries. I haven’t run any other businesses though, so I can’t speak to every single business out there and what it’s like.
But what I can say is that in our space, in the senior home care market, many independents that are out there operating today end up feeling like they are stuck in their business and they can’t do anything else and they can’t even get away. They can’t take a vacation. They can’t take time off because they don’t have systems in place that other people can follow. It’s only based on their Herculean efforts that keeps the business going day in and day out, and that would be a miserable position to be in. When I hear about people that are part of franchise systems that feel that same way, I am just in shock because I’m like, "Why would you be part of a franchise system that didn’t provide you all the tools so you don’t have to be stuck in that business day in and day out?" You may not want to grow your business, that’s okay. We all get to a point where we’re happy with the size that we are, but at least stay small but get your time off. You know, you went into business for yourself so you could enjoy being in business for yourself. It’s no fun if you feel like you’re stuck and you can’t leave at all you know.
22:50 – Brian Keen
Absolutely. No, I endorse that. You know, most people say look we’ve got systems, but my question is okay, are they documented? How are they documented? How simple are your systems? Are they accessible at any time of the night or day on someone’s phone? These are the sort of things that I think are the questions that you should be asking today. So tell me, you started a franchise business, you’ve been running your own business for quite some time, what were the things you found were most surprising challenges when you made that change from a business owner to a franchisor?
23:33 – Jeff Salter
I think for people that become a franchisor, I think it’s a common next step for a lot of people from an expansion standpoint. I had the benefit of having run multiple locations for many years, so becoming a franchisor, for me, was very logical. And it was relatively easy in the fact that I already had the systems in place. What I didn’t recognize is that I didn’t actually have them documented well enough. Not enough to where someone else could just open a manual and start reading how to do things. So I had to really spend a lot of time doing that. I was also not as prepared for the training aspect.
Understand its one thing to have a manual and have everything documented; it’s another how do you teach someone to use that manual. How to teach them the business, and that was something that I still remember my first franchise sale that I had now over 20 years ago. I recognized that that first sale we had, they believe in our systems, they believe in what we’ve done, they’re ready to move forward, we’re ready to train them. And it was like, "Wait a second. Where do I start in the training process?" Because, I’ve got a manual that’s hundreds of pages long but what’s the logical way to train someone and pass that knowledge on to them from a ground-up, startup situation. So that was something that was a bit of a surprise.
We figured it out relatively quickly and we fine-tuned it. And today we think we’ve got a really good process in place for training someone that’s new that’s logical and somewhat chronological as the business progresses, but that was something that was a surprise. Then just the dedication of time. I still own and operative five locations. I have a business partner. His primary job is to run the operations that we have. My job is at the franchisor level. It’s tough to do both. I want to stay grounded and understand what’s happening with my business because that helps me to help my franchisees understand their businesses. Things have changed in some degree. A lot remains constant, but there are also things that are progressing and moving forward that we want to stay on top of. So having the change to be a franchisor has allowed me to really get more exposure and get a chance to see more things than I would have as just an independent owner with a few locations.
26:03 – Brian Keen
Yeah, you know training is just how you do it chum. Work with me for three days and you’ll have it nailed, you know. That may be the case, but it actually really is a science in regard to how you get a multitude of types of characters and personalities as us human beings are to actually reach a common level of ability to run the business.
26:34 – Jeff Salter
It’s humbling also. It’s humbling because you put someone through training. You know you told them everything, but the human brain just can’t absorb all that information so you spend a week with someone telling them all the things they need to know. Two weeks later they have forgotten half of what you told them. You just have to realize that human nature. It’s not that I did a bad job teaching them. They didn’t do a bad job learning. It’s just there’s only so much that can be absorbed in a given amount of time — especially if you’re a new franchisee. It’s all theoretical when you’re learning it because you’re not applying this stuff. The thing is that we have learned that we have to have continuing training and contact with our franchisees because they‘re just not going to remember everything we told them. It’s just impossible to do. My knowledge base was gained over many years of doing the actual work not just of a one week training class.
27:32 – Brian Keen
Yes, that’s a great observation. So, okay we’ve gotten into training, which is quite appropriate, so when someone joins your organization, can you describe the training in some ways? What type of training do they get Jeff?
27:48 – Jeff Salter
Yeah, well we go through a chronological process. We teach them the whys of doing things, what’s important in their day-to-day operations. We teach them our computer systems and help them understand how the computer is a tool and how our systems are a tool in accomplishing what the real goal is, which is matching a caregiver with a client at the end of the day. So we spend a week walking through all of those processes. Again, it is a daunting week, eight hours each day. But when they get back on location, we spend 16 weeks kind of diving back into each topic and then analyzing if they had the chance to experience that lesson yet.
Have you hired a caregiver? Have you on-boarded a caregiver? Have you talked to a new client about service? Have you on-boarded a new client? Have you been on rotation with a client and a caregiver? Have you gone out and marketed your business? Have you talked with a home health company about what your business is? Have you talked to a hospice company about what your business is?
Each of those and a plethora of other topics is covered during that 16-week period. So we make sure they have experienced everything that we have taught, they feel confident and competent on how to accomplish the end goal of each of those steps. Because each thing in itself — we’ve all done data entry and you know it’s not just fill in the blanks, it’s a multitude of steps that have to be done to get to the end result. So we do a lot of quality assurance checking. So we say, "Here’s what we’re supposed to do, here’s what we did, here’s what we got right and here’s what we need to work on and really step through that process with people and that’s just an ongoing process."
Again, back to our software, the great thing is because it’s our system, we’re able to do some amazing reporting that helps the franchise business owner see the things that aren’t being done properly. It’s great for them at the beginning because their misses get pointed out immediately but it’s a fantastic tool in managing other people because then it gives you an opportunity to spot with your team members did they do what they were supposed to do. When you see that it didn’t get done and it’s a chance for doing some retraining. We don’t use it as a battering ram or a billy club; we use it as an opportunity to do more training for people.
30:20 – Brian Keen
It’s really about support, which really is an extension of training isn’t it, in some ways it’s a good thing. So how would you describe the support that you give your franchisees when they launch the business? You’ve already described it fairly well I suppose. Is there anything you would like to add to that?
30:37 – Jeff Salter
Yeah, I think that something that Caring does that I wish many other companies would do more frequently is we sponsor events every year in which we bring our franchisees together. We decided a long time ago that we weren’t going to spend money on a regional rep that goes out on site and inspects the location to make sure they’re doing things right. Instead, we spend that same money and we fly and pay for franchisees to come to us. And we do trainings four times a year in which we are working with franchise owners and their teams to help them understand where their holes are, where they can make improvements, and then spend time teaching them how to make those improvements.
Of course anytime someone needs help with anything that they have self identified, they can call us and we’re going to walk them through and help them with just a phone call. Now its’ great! With things like Teams, we can get on a call, like you and I are having. We have the video call going on right now. We can share the screen. We can talk through something in a way we couldn’t do 10 years ago but today it’s really, really helpful. We provide that level of hand-holding, and the great thing for us is our support isn’t just for the franchise owner; we support every member of their team in the same exact way. Every member of their team is going to go through a training that we set up for them so their team member learns how to operate within the role and their team member has access to us at any given time.
We have taken that even a step further, you know that’s a lot, but we took it a step further and created something that we call GreatCare® Certification. Here at Caring, we deliver what we consider GreatCare, and that’s focusing on three pillars of service with our clients. And now what we have done is we’ve provided an opportunity for all of your franchise owners to have their staff go through a certification process in which their staff is able to demonstrate excellence in every area of GreatCare. And in that process, they learn in-depth about not just how to do things but the why behind it. Why it’s important. How it impacts the business and what they’re going to get by doing it the way that is the best way possible and it’s great because it gives them education. It gives them recognition and it gives them reward for doing it so we’re really proud of that program. And it’s something that is like — next month we’re going to be meeting in Las Vegas with a team of our GreatCare Masters. We’re flying in about 12 of them to spend two days really helping them increase their management skills, improve on their coaching, get in-depth knowledge — for us it’s about dementia training, understand the ins and outs of what it’s like to work with someone doing maybe reminiscence therapy or something of that nature and this allows that elite group of people to just accelerate their learning. It really puts them on a path for their career and the cool thing is owners or franchise owners access that but their staff can access that. That is something that no one else is really doing at that level. We’re really proud of that program.
34:01 – Brian Keen
I commend you for that. I mean it goes to show that you’ve done a lot in 20 years. Twenty years seems a long time but when you are creating a business model and evolving it and all these systems, and you look at what’s happened with software over that couple of decades it unimaginable. So congratulations on keeping up with it. So like everything change is happening. What are some of the particular challenges I supposed you’re seeing out there in your sector at the moment Jeff?
34:27 – Jeff Salter
Well the biggest challenge right now is the fact that in America, the growth of the senior population — while over 65 we all know those statistics and that kind of world-wide statistics — but the over 85 population, which is the group of people that we primarily serve. People don’t need our service until they get to kind of an advanced age, and in the last two decades, what we’ve seen is kind of a normal growth rate. It has been pretty normal. In America, it has only been about 1.3 million new people aging into that for a full decade. That is each year but for that decade. What we have happening starting in 2020 is that rate of growth has started doubling. What that means is that everything business owners think they are challenged with right now, it’s going to get that much more challenging in the next 10 years. And then 10 years after that, it is going to double again. It’s going to be unparalleled growth in an industry, and you can either look at that as an opportunity or you can look at is as a challenge. It’s going to be challenging but I look at it as an opportunity — one for your industry to experience explosive growth.
How we find all the caregivers to serve that is an unknown right now, but Caring is focusing on not just thinking of this as a people problem but we think of it as a technology problem as well. The great thing is that 20 years ago or even 30 years ago when I started but even 15 to 20 years ago, these seniors we were caring for then were still very much technology-adverse. They didn’t trust technology as much. The cool thing is that in the coming decade seniors, people that are aging 85, they have had a lot of time dealing with technology, and they are not completely afraid of it. If you were turning 85 today, you turned 65 20 years ago, so at 65 you may or may not have gotten on the iPhone craze, but at least you knew it existed. And you thought some aspects of it were okay. And you could imagine the people five years from now will be more accepting of different types of technology that might help.
We’ve got this really cool technology we’re launching right now called Sensi.AI and we’re able to put some devices in a client’s home and recreate what we’re calling a virtual caregiver that’s always present in the home. That virtual caregiver is learning what is going on in the home and then alerting us to things that might be of concern. Maybe the senior has gotten up and gone to the bathroom three more times than the normally go. That could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. If we can learn about that days in advance of it becoming a problem we can intervene with that client by getting them to a doctor, getting a prescription and then never having a problem with that infection. Without us involved, without us seeing that, the client themselves may not even recognized that they’ve got the development of an infection until it’s full-blown infection. They’ve spike in their fever and now are potentially being hospitalized because of something that their just not in tune with. It’s a common occurrence and is pretty normal, but we’re learning about things like a client might have swelling in their knee. Our technology is able to tell us that there is a potential problem going on at home that we need to be alerted to. It’s really cool stuff.
Some people look at that and say, "Oh, that’s scary I don’t think I like someone being that involved with my world." But we’re looking at it as an opportunity to work with clients in a way that we’ve never been able to before. And that’s just one example of things that are happening in our industry that are going to really help grow our ability to serve clients. And we have to look at technology as the industry is going to experience this rapid growth.
38:42 – Brian Keen
Wow, Jeff, that’s mind blowing. It really is. It’s been an absolutely massive growth area in this country because there has been a government support program that’s been developed over recent years and we’ve seen an absolute growth of people providing care in these areas. But they’ve got it at an accelerated rate. And often, entrepreneurs, they really don’t have a feeling or understanding of what’s needed. So I think that 95% of them could do with listening to your lessons of what you’ve done and what you’re doing. That’s absolutely mind-blowing. I’m so impressed. It goes to show in a couple of decades, for any type of business, how advanced you can become if you’ve got your hand on that IT area. It’s mind-blowing. Now I’m in awe of you. I really, really mean that. I really respect what you’re doing there particularly in an area of human care which is one we all see.
So I suppose if you look from an objective point of view, someone who is looking to launch a franchise as a concept or more than likely converting an existing business which is the most popular method, what would be some advice you would give them Jeff from your experience?
39:53 – Jeff Salter
Yeah for them analyzing what they should be looking at and looking for I think is what you’re asking?
40:00 – Brian Keen
Yeah, yeah exactly from that point of view. I suppose what they may need to understand are the key elements. You’ve been talking about your training and your recruitment process.
40:13 – Jeff Salter
Yeah. I think if anything it’s oftentimes a cultural fit. If I’m going to join forces with an organization, does their culture fit what I would think my culture or my business is going to be? It’s really hard for someone who is just starting a business to think about their culture first because you start most businesses as a single person. But you can get a quick understanding of that by meeting and talking to the principals involved with that organization. I think that I can be a charismatic person. I think I can definitely convince a lot of people to go my way, but they would be foolish to make a decision based on what I say. What I tell all of our franchise candidates to do is to meet my entire team and to learn about the people that are involved within this organization at the ground level because that’s who they will be speaking to. That’s who their teams will be speaking to. If what I have described as a culture doesn’t resonate down to those people, then we’re not a good fit because I haven’t built a team of people that you can depend on.
I’m always confident that, for us, that’s a path that people learn quickly about our staff members. The team members that we have assembled here, why they’re doing it, what they’re really motivated by, so that’s to me very, very important. Other things that are more difficult to know until you’re involved with is, is they support really what they say it is. That is something hard to gauge, but you do want to understand what are they going to do.
And there is talking to the franchise owners — talking to other owners in the system to understand what their experience is, what was their experience at the beginning. If they had a bad experience at the beginning has it been better since. You know, I’m definitely not going to stand here and tell you that we’ve always got it right, but no one can challenge us on the fact that we’ve always tried to make it better. And that’s something that I think anyone should be looking at. What is improved within the system? What changes have happened?
42:32 – Brian Keen
The producer in me is telling me about time I wound up here. We could chat for hours. It’s really fascinating.
42:37 – Jeff Salter
I could, I could.
42:39 – Brian Keen
The profound depths of your knowledge and your frankness in the conversation, but you’re in a sector that’s growing as you say quite dramatically. You’ve got 47 outlets. I mean give me an idea of how much growth you’re envisioning as to how many territories will you have in the market say at a time like now for example?
42:58 – Jeff Salter
Yeah we’ve got wide open spaces across the U.S. right now. We’re not saturated in any one market at all. We’re looking for candidates in multiple states. There are a few states that we are not necessarily looking to expand into, but anyone that is looking and wants to understand more can reach out and contact us and find out if we’re available in their area. The easiest way to get with us is to go to caringfranchise.com and learn more about the territories we have available, find out more about where we’re at right now, and really understand what the business is all about and what the opportunity is all about.
43:37 – Brian Keen
Excellent, well I recommend anybody that goes to have a look at the website gets an understanding of the way this man runs a business. It’s superb. So Jeff, it’s been lovely talking to you. Thanks for sharing so much inside knowledge. I hope we can get suppose an infiltration of some of your spirit and your knowledge into other parts of the world where I think the demands are not met as well as they obviously are in parts of the state.
So having said that, I just want to wrap up and say to everybody thanks for listening. I hope you found it enjoyable. By all means rerun it and get in touch if you like with Jeff and I look forward to talking to you again when we have our next Franchise Radio show. Jeff, thanks very much and cheerio.
44:22 – Jeff Salter
Thank you. I appreciate it very much.