Happier At Home makes things personal. The founder and CEO of this franchise, Debbie Bernacki, is hyper-focused on the “matchmaking” part of the business. Matching the right caregivers to the right patients, which is crucial in this business.
What follows is my interview with her. If you’ve been thinking about entering the senior care franchise space, spend some time learning about the Happier At Home franchise opportunity.
My Interview With Happier At Home Franchise CEO
Me: When did you come up with the idea of Happier At Home? Tell me more about the idea-and what you hope this business can do for clients and franchisees?
Debbie: I came up the with idea of Happier At Home in 2007, after experiencing being at the mercy of a defunct Home Healthcare Agency during my mother’s illness with brain cancer. I hope that this business will help those that are in need, or families that are in need of care management or home care to help them remain independent for as long as possible. I would like for the clients to be given the power to control where they live and to give them the peace of mind that their loved ones are being cared for by knowledgeable caregivers and care managers that are truly committed to reaching and maintaining their goals.
I hope that the business will afford franchisees the ability to start a business that they are able to feel passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of others. The business will allow franchisees to establish a business that will give them the freedom to make their own schedules, be able to have their efforts create a direct impact on their financial gains, have the feeling of achievement as the business grows, and to become a part of Happier At Home and its excellent reputation.
Me: What is it about your job that gets you up in the morning?
Debbie: Each day I focus on moving Happier At Home toward nationwide franchise development. I love business strategizing and challenging myself to meet the goals that I have set.
Me: What makes the Happier At Home franchise opportunity special? Unique?
Debbie: Happier At Home is a niche franchise providing Geriatric Care Management & Non-medical home care allowing the franchisee to operate out of their home for the first year of business.
Why choose Happier At Home ~ How we stand out among others
- More is not always better~ Have you heard the phrase, jack of all trades, master of none? Beware of other senior care franchises with multiple lines of service. Multiple lines of service require more training, more staff, more attention to potential regulations, varied required types of insurance, and on, and on…. Happier At Home focuses on doing what we do; non-medical home care and geriatric care management, and being the best at it. This will make your company stand out among your competition.
- We stay away from highly regulated healthcare ~Whereas licensed home care agencies must handle all of the red tape to deal with the very confusing and time-consuming health insurances, Medicaid and other various payers, Happier At Home keeps its focus on where the profits are, in private pay sources. Many other franchises that provide licensed care need to spread their resources to pay for training and recertification of certified nursing assistants or certified home health aides, registered nurses to physically supervise and verify the skills of the CNAs and HHAs, and personnel to remain in compliance with volumes of Department of Health regulations. Licensed home care agencies also require expensive medical malpractice insurance and bring with it higher costs of liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
- Happier At Home’s founding company successfully established itself as the authority in home care in its community, and built a well-respected name, and will show franchisees how to do the same.
- The Happier At Home name conveys warmth and the desire for what everyone wishes to do, to remain in their home. As a matter of fact, we have new clients call all of the time and say that they chose our company to call from those that they reviewed, because they love the name! The Happier At Homename is easy to remember and will prompt phone calls for service. After all, that is what their loved one wants to do, remain Happier At Home! Happier At Home has unique, attractive branding to leave a lasting impression.
- We’ll show you how to partner with organizations that will provide continual referrals, keeping that pipeline full, and show you how to help them in return.
- We invest in your success. We provide a The Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) assessment. Performance depends on the ability to pay attention to the right things at the right times and pressure changes the way we concentrate, make decisions, and interact with others. TAIS measures these critical performance variables, helps elite performers understand the conditions that create pressure, and predicts their responses to pressure. The TAIS measures constructs crucial to effective performance, especially performance in high pressure situations. It has been used as an aid for training and selection in business, sport and the military. Organizations like Citibank, Harley Davidson, the Navy SEALS, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S., Canadian, Italian and Australian Olympic teams have all benefited from TAIS. Your TAIS results will emphasize how you are likely to react under stressful conditions and will illustrate how pressure affects your ability to concentrate, stay motivated, and communicate effectively. This is precisely the information that will be used to develop your ultimate performance-enhancement program. You will be coached one-on-one to achieve your goals.
- Start-up Marketing Package and Web Site Provided ~ We want you to hit the ground running, so we provide a package of marketing materials to get you started. All marketing materials have been professionally developed and will stand out among your competition.
Me: What types of people would you like to attract as franchisees? Who would make a great fit for your senior services franchise?
Debbie: The types of people that I would like to attract as franchisees are those that may be in pharmaceutical or medical sales, those that are familiar with the healthcare industry and have functioned at the Director, Executive, or VP level in a company.
Me: What traits do you look for in a potential franchisee?
Debbie: The ideal candidates for franchisees are those that thrive in a compete culture; they compete and are comfortable doing so. Candidates should be achievers, directors, emulators and have excellent marketing skills. The candidates will be risk-takers that are also focused on customer service.
Me: What are some of the things you’ll do as a franchisor/CEO to help your franchisees succeed?
Debbie: We built a well-respected name, and will show franchisees how to do the same.
We’ll show you how to partner with organizations that will provide continual referrals, keeping that pipeline full, and show you how to help them in return. We provide a The Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) assessment. This will be used to develop a tailored performance-enhancement program and will be coached one-on-one to achieve your goals. We want franchisees to hit the ground running, so we provide a package of marketing materials and a web site included in the franchise fee. All marketing materials have been professionally developed and will stand out among your competition.
“I’d like a potential franchise owner to be a go-getter…someone who is not afraid to speak in front of a crowd and has a passion for making a powerful impact on people’s lives. The candidate should be willing to follow processes and be sure his/her team does the same, and should be creative and an innovative problem solver.”
– Debbie Bernacki
Me: What is the outlook for the senior care industry?
Debbie: The aging of the population, combined with the prevalence of two-earner households of the children of the aged, creates a need for services for seniors. This aging of society brings with it new challenges for individuals, families, and entire communities. This phenomenon creates an unprecedented business opportunity. Baby Boomers hold $13 trillion assets or roughly 50 percent of United States’ asset base. The first of these baby boomers turn 65 at a rate of 8,000 people per day. This generation is now driving the market for senior care.
Revenues for the elder care services industry are expected to grow 5.2 percent per year through 2016 to $319.5 billion, with home-based services to grow the fastest. Advances will be driven largely by demographic changes in light of increasing life expectancy, which is contributing to the rising number of individuals in the older population segments. Growth is further boosted by the large, post-World War II “baby boom” generation entering their retirement years.
Persons 65 years or older numbered 39.6 million in 2009. They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030.
The number of Americans surviving into their 80s, 90s and beyond is expected to grow dramatically due to advances in medicine and medical technology, as well as social and environmental conditions. Additionally, a large segment of the American population — the baby boom generation — has begun to reach the age range of elevated risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, with the first baby boomers having reached age 65 in 2011. As the number of older Americans grows rapidly, so too will the numbers of new and existing cases of Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million.
In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics began calling random Americans and asking them how they spent their previous 24 hours. The results make up the American Time Use Survey results and revealed 39.8 million over the age of 15 provide unpaid care to a family member or a friend over the age of 65. Keep in mind; these statistics are even given that some Americans are already making use of paid caregivers. One can see that much remains in the market for franchisees to capitalize on.
Me: Why should the readers of The Franchise King Blog-the ones who are interested in becoming franchise owners, (and the people they share this interview with) look into owning a Happier At Home franchise instead of another franchise?
Debbie: See above to find out what makes us unique.