August 18, 2010 // Franchising.com // (Wilmington, N.C.) – The U.S. Administration on Aging predicts that by 2030, there will be an estimated 72.1 million senior citizens in the U.S. – more than twice the number that existed in 2000. And as members of population ages, their ability to remain mobile in their daily lives becomes limited.
In response to the country's evolving wellness needs, 101 Mobility— a full-service sales, service and installation provider of a complete line of affordable, high-quality mobility products—launched its franchise program in April 2010. Now the company is announcing the signing of its first franchisees in separate regions of the country. As of August, 2010, business owners Michel and Andrea Ragland, Reading, Penn; and Janice B. Gordon and Judy D. Barnhardt, Easley, S.C., will begin servicing residents in their respective territories. For the Ragland's, those areas include Reading, Allentown, Lebanon, Coatsville, Pottstown and Bethlehem; for Gordon and Barnhardt, they include upstate South Carolina, western North Carolina and parts of Georgia.
The initial signings are part of an aggressive growth strategy that will position 101 Mobility as a leader in the arena of mobility product manufacturers says Chief Executive Officer, David Pazgan. He expects to have more than 150 franchises in operation within five years. Since its beginning in 2008, the company has generated high revenue in Midwest and East Coast markets through a network of sales representatives.
101 Mobility is the franchising world's first full-service sales, service and installation provider of a complete line of affordable, high-quality mobility and accessibility products and equipment including: stair lifts, auto lifts, ramps, porch lifts, power wheelchairs and scooters and a wide variety of other mobility equipment such as walkers, hospital beds and more.
The company's dedication to providing durable mobility equipment to its clients was a selling point for its first two franchisees—including the husband and wife team of Michel and Andrea Ragland. Already seasoned entrepreneurs, the Ragland's opted to make a post-recession transition from their fourth commercial construction business into the realm of selling Boomer-savvy, home medical equipment.
"I had researched a lot of businesses and really wanted something that not only had room to grow, but had longevity as well," Michel Ragland says. "As 101 Mobility's first franchisee, I know we are well-positioned for success now and in the years ahead."
When it came to positioning herself for success, Janice Gordon turned to her mother, Judy Barnhardt, with whom she decided to launch the business. Already working as a sales rep for 101 Mobility's main office in South Carolina, Gordon's familiarity with the company's products, service and standards made her an ideal owner. She adds that given aging population trends, the business is only poised to gain more brand value and public recognition in the future.
"The medical supply business is booming as a result of growing senior populations, as well as aging Vietnam War veterans and wounded servicemen who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan," Gordon says. "It's the right time to open this type of business."
Pazgan says that given the rising need for medical equipment in the home, there has never been a better time to launch the company's franchising program.
"We are very excited to see our national franchising program to come to fruition," he says on the recent corporate announcement. "With consumers finding few options when it comes to trusted national brands that sell, install and service mobility equipment, both of our new business teams are poised for success in the coming years. The aging population has created a need for expanding our concept."
As 101 Mobility scales its operations nationally through its franchising program, Pazgan believes the company will become the obvious choice for consumers who are either aging or disabled and prefer to remain at home.
"The success of franchising in general is evidence that consumers like to deal with brands they identify and feel they can trust," Pazgan said. "With a franchise brand there is an expected level of consistency in terms of service and experience. In the mobility industry, there is no such brand. We are building the first. I'm sure many more will follow."