This is a question that me and my team get on a daily basis from prospective franchisees. As I posted on April 23, often times people are looking for a quick and “easy to understand” answer to that question. Some people assume that all senior care companies are pretty much the same.

The reality is that this industry is still in its infancy. Despite the overwhelming success of the senior care sector, we are still just scratching the surface when you think about the huge influx of baby boomers that are going to require the kind of care that Right at Home provides. So, the answer to the question of “how is Right at Home different?” should be categorized in a couple of ways.

First, even if you are entering an area where there are other Right at Home franchisees, you are the one who’s going to decide how you’re different in your local market. Because even if other franchisees have been there for 10 years, they probably were focused on creating brand awareness in their own territory. While there may be some natural overlap with referral sources, you are still going to have the opportunity to build the brand for your business in the marketplace. There’s just no substitute for providing great care to build your brand.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example. Although there’s no one senior care brand yet that has dominated the market, let’s assume that there is one that has, and that you’ve associated yourself with that brand. You go back to your local market after training and you are the best, at least in your own mind. But, you don’t do the simple things right, like answering the phone professionally, or meeting with local referral sources regularly. You decide the office doesn’t have to be open every day of the week, and/or you don’t follow up on customer service opportunities. At that point, does it matter that you’ve associated with the best? Of course not, because choosing the right franchise to partner with is only part of the equation. The biggest part of the equation is YOU – you have to execute and deliver! You will be the face of the business in your market.

The second part of the answer to this question is the part that most people focus on. They are usually looking for something obvious that is focused on the type of care provided, or a specific type of proprietary software, or some other “key” differentiator. The problem is those differentiators (”competitive advantages”), as many professional people have written and spoken about, will eventually be copied by your competition. Things like software and scope of services offered are relatively easy to duplicate, given enough time and resources.

So what then for Right at Home? It is true that we offer both medical and non-medical care services. And it’s true that we are one of the very first senior care franchises in the industry. It is also true that we have approximately 175 offices operating in 41 states. And we have systems and software that notify franchisees or their designated manager if a caregiver is late for an appointment. Does any of that set us apart? Maybe from some, but if you’ve read this far you already know that most of these kinds of things are relatively easy to copy, and some have been already.

With all of that being said, I realized recently that the answer to “How is Right at Home different?” really is rather simple: we are a healthcare company that uses franchising to grow. We are not just a franchise company that uses healthcare to grow. It’s no secret that things are going well in this industry, and as a result we’ve had a huge influx of new competitors in this sector. But Right at Home was built with a rock solid foundation by professionals from the healthcare industry, and our day-to-day management team is unmatched when you look at their backgrounds and the support they provide to Right at Home franchisees. Of course we are always implementing new programs and training – that’s part of being a franchise. And the success of the training, support, systems, and dedication of the franchisees is proven by their performance noted in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

But, when you get right down to it, you have to ask yourself this question: “If things get tough, who would I want in my corner?”

…we are a healthcare company that uses franchising to grow. We are not just a franchise company that uses healthcare to grow.