2012 was a monumental year for Right at Home. We hit some major milestones and had our best growth year to date, adding some great new franchisees to our network, which we’re excited about because it means we can help even more people through the services Right at Home provides. Likewise, many of our existing franchisees purchased additional territories to increase the presence of their business. So, needleless to say, we are thrilled with what we were able to achieve this year and excited for what lies ahead.
There are many factors that have contributed to our success in 2012, the first being that people are now recognizing senior care as a real and lucrative business opportunity, which I elaborated on in a past post. Several elements, including a comparatively low initial and ongoing investment, makes it easier for franchisees to become a part of this industry and get their offices up and running faster than a retail location. In fact, most of our franchisees open their doors just 90-120 days after signing the franchise agreement.
We’ve Become a Billion Dollar Brand
This fall, we reached a huge milestone at Right at Home, reaching our billion dollar earnings mark which represents over 50 million hours of care provided to more than 75,000 people since we began franchising 12 years ago. We are thrilled to have reached this landmark with our franchisees, but what we are most proud of is our ability to have positively impacted the lives of so many of our clients.
New Franchisees are Purchasing Multiple Territories
We’ve seen a huge trend this year of first-time franchisees purchasing multiple territories right off the bat. While in the past, new franchisees would start with a single territory, now franchisees are committing to multiple units to ensure they secure their most desired territory. With 17 years of experience behind us, we have established a great reputation and positioned ourselves as a leader in the industry with more than 270 territories, so new franchisees are more comfortable than ever with purchasing multiple units upfront. Plus, franchisees are thinking more long term and want to build substantial businesses. Owning multiple units is a part of their plan to achieve their goal.
Existing Franchisees are Expanding
Many of our current franchisees have recently made the decision to open a second or third territory. We’ve also made it easier – and less costly – for our franchisees to open an additional adjacent territory because we’ve waived the requirement to have an office in every territory, in most cases. We’ve come to see that our franchisees can often successfully manage multiple territories from one office, so we’ve eliminated this requirement based on the feedback we’ve received from the franchisees themselves.
Over the last year, we’ve had several new franchisees join the Right at Home team after being referred by friends or family members who own an existing franchise. These individuals have seen firsthand the success their siblings, neighbors, or former coworkers are having in business ownership with us and have made the decision to take the leap themselves. We know that our model works from our research and collected data, but there’s no better compliment than when a franchisee validates the model by referring someone they care about to us.
Right at Home in the News
This year, we’ve been all over the news. From local newspapers announcing our franchisees opening their doors, to major media outlets like Fox and Friends, Reuters, US News and World Report and Franchise Times covering our new initiatives, the country is talking about the growth of our company and big things we’re doing. Our franchisees have such unique backgrounds and great stories to tell, so we are proud that we have been able to share those stories with the rest of the world.
Where We’ve Been… and Where We’re Headed
You’ve heard a lot about how the baby boomers are set to impact the industry, but even without the baby boomers – and in the midst of a recession no less – our franchisees have done very well. As you can see in Item 19 of our Franchise Disclosure Document, 68 of our franchisees earned over one million in net billings (sales) in 2011* and we had 46 total transactions to open 36 new locations just in 2011. And we continued that momentum into 2012, adding 48 locations, and helping six franchisees sell their business to new owners.
While we are seeing the growing need for senior home care franchises across the nation, in 2013 I expect that expansion will really take off in areas like Orlando and the eastern coast of Florida, Tucson, New York state, Baltimore and Little Rock, Arkansas. While we have room for another 300 locations across the US, since there are currently no franchisees operating in these markets yet, new franchisees are able to really pioneer the brand and get their first choice of prime areas.
We have big goals for the next few years. We plan to open between 40-50 new locations each year for the next several years, assuming that we can find the right, well qualified passionate franchisees that will continue to make our system great. Our goals are ambitious, but we know they are attainable for us, because we have fine-tuned our system to make it a great experience for both incoming and existing franchisees. With more than 270 territories already making a mark on the country – and the world! – we have the capability to double our presence in the 300+ available markets across the U.S. The market is booming, our franchisees are happy, and we are very optimistic about where the in home care franchise industry is headed.
*Net Billings in 2011 for 191 Offices open one year or more as of December 31, 2011. 68 or 36% of these Offices attained or surpassed the represented level of financial performance.