May 29, 2008 // Franchising.com // Citrus Heights, CA - Forty-two-year-old Michael Newman saw a hole in the complex web of senior care services. He filled that void and in doing so created a business model that has no match in the industry for both the services it provides seniors and their families and the opportunity it offers prospective investors.
Mr. Newman is the founder and president of Always Best Care Senior Services, a franchise concept that provides non-medical In-Home Care, Assisted Living Placement Services and Personal Emergency Response Systems to seniors. Newman entered the industry in 1996 when he opened four small residential care facilities in Sacramento.
Time after time, Mr.Newman would see seniors and their families arrive at his facilities confused and overwhelmed by the process of finding a facility that best fit their loved one's needs. Typically dispatched by a hospital discharge planner, case manager, social worker or doctor to find a suitable facility, they often had only a list of names from a placement service to guide them.
Realizing there was a better way, Always Best Care launched its own "personalized" no-cost assisted living placement service, accompanying seniors and/or their families to various facilities, touring the facility and meeting the staff with them and helping in gathering the paperwork necessary for the senior to move into the facility that best fit their needs.
While seniors were in need of such services typically after being discharged from a hospital or nursing home, many had the capability to return home as long as they had qualified home care support. Recognizing another opportunity, Newman added non-medical in-home care services in 2000. Always Best Care rapidly grew to become the leader in senior placement services and non-medical home care within central and northern California.
"No one else was doing both," Mr. Newman said. "We now work with more than 1,200 case managers, discharge planners and social workers. We became the one company that could handle all their discharge needs. We help hospitals and nursing homes expedite the discharge process, which is critical for them. More importantly, we take the burden off seniors and their families during a very confusing time. We can tell them, 'We will take care of these concerns for you so you can focus on what's important.'"
Always Best Care launched a franchising program in July 2006. Today it is the only company among franchised and independent competitors that offers "personalized" Assisted Living Placement Services and it is the only franchise concept that offers dual revenue streams through both non-medical in-home care and assisted living placement in a single franchise opportunity.
A few other franchised senior-care concepts offer multiple-revenue streams but from disparate sources, requiring multiple marketing initiatives. Conversely, Always Best Care derives its two revenue streams from one referral source - the discharge planners, social workers and case managers who recommend its dual services to seniors and their families.
"What sets us apart is that our franchisees are essentially getting two franchise concepts for the price of one. It is very similar to co-branding in the fast-food industry," Mike Newman said. "Other senior care concepts might have multiple revenue streams, but they have nothing in common except that they are health-care related. We make running the business much easier and profit margins more attractive by targeting our marketing to just one referral source but deriving two revenue streams from it."
Committed to being the leader in the senior care marketplace, Always Best Care has eight franchise owners in California, Texas, Colorado and Ohio, with franchises in Texas and Kansas tentatively scheduled to launch operations in May and June 2008, respectively. Newman expects to add two dozen franchisees in 2008 with the overall count swelling to 200 by the end of 2010.
Always Best Care is targeting eastern and southeastern U.S. markets for growth, with most expansion expected to result from multi-territory franchise owners looking to build an easily scalable business in the fast-growing senior services sector.
While its business model alone gives franchise owners a competitive advantage, Always Best Care provides a highly acclaimed technological tool that further sets it apart: the ABC Virtual Office, the in-home care industry's first and only fully integrated online business application that supports a franchisee's entire business by providing consolidated business intelligence data at their fingertips anywhere internet access is available.
"People who have an interest in Always Best Care see potential in the senior care market," Mr. Newman said. "They come from a wide variety of backgrounds but share a common trait: they are smart business people who want to be part of one of the fastest-growing industries in the world today. They realize that Always Best Care has the solid financial foundation, clear strategy and proven track record to take advantage of that opportunity."