Posted on Feb 07, 2014
Questions and Answers with Synergy HomeCare
What sets Synergy HomeCare apart from other senior care franchises?
SYNERGY HomeCare is the only non-medical home care company with the proprietary C.A.R.E. Team approach. C.A.R.E. stands for Coordinated And Responsive Engagement. It’s part of the company logo. Franchisees, or Franchise Partners as they are called at SYNERGY, are all well-trained on the concept. For the customers, it means they will have a customized care plan. Customers can also expect responsiveness to their needs 24/7. SYNERGY HomeCare also thrives on customer feedback. It is for this reason the company engages an independent surveyor to conduct additional quarterly satisfaction surveys. The company also offers its Franchise Partners access to a proprietary background check system for employees. This system was created by SYNERGY HomeCare CEO Peter Tourian.
Can you tell us about the business model for a Synergy HomeCare franchise? How do your franchisees make money?
The SYNERGY HomeCare franchise model is based on a multi-tiered approach, which includes the following:
- Large territories with plenty of growth potential
- A personalized start-up coach providing customized support
- 24/7 assistance with software, training and beyond
- Insight and training from home care industry experts
- Multiple revenue streams to build your recession resistant business
- Web-based, Synergy HomeCare technology to streamline management of office, HR, CRM and accounting
- A growth-driven system that is wholly owned and operated by our Founder and CEO
- Marketing, training and support – including the unique “SYNERGY 360 Marketing” program which is a detailed 52-week plan that serves as a “roadmap” for our Franchise Partners’ success
- Strong presence on the web in the form of: Search Engine Optimization (organic growth via directories, blogging, meta tags, etc.), Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click, Display Advertising, Retargeting, a best-in-class website)
- Exposure opportunities from third-party vendor, Big League PR, a firm which creates and delivers PR stories at the local, regional and national levels
- Co-op program which amplifies national PR efforts and leverages Franchise Partners’ contributions to further grow and brand identity.
What is the current state of the senior care niche within the larger health category?
The senior care market is outpacing all the other health-care related markets. The customer base and the demand for in-home care is expected to skyrocket in the decades to come. Each and every day for the next 20 years, 10,000 people will turn 65. Two factors — longer life spans and aging baby boomers — will combine to double the population of Americans age 65 and up to about 72 million in the next 25 years. Plus, recent surveys show 89 percent of baby boomers want to age in place (at home) rather than in an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
Can you describe the primary target customer for Synergy HomeCare? How are your franchisees reaching out to this target customer?
The target customers for SYNERGY HomeCare are females between the ages of 45 and 57. The responsibility for caring for older loved ones frequently falls to the daughters. SYNERGY HomeCare is constantly reaching out to this demographic via multiple media sources: the web, “traditional” advertising (newspapers and local magazines), coupon mailers, TV, radio, email and of course, PR.
What are the most important things a prospective franchisee or employee should know or be prepared for when entering the home care industry?
Richard Basch, President of SYNERGY HomeCare describes the business of home care as “simple but not easy.” Basch says it’s simple because conceptually it comes down to two primary elements – finding great caregivers and pairing them up with great clients. He adds that it’s not easy because finding great caregivers and great clients takes a lot of work.
How do you keep ahead of the curve when it comes to competitors, privately-owned or in-house or similar franchises?
While SYNERGY HomeCare keeps an eye on what is happening in the industry, company President Richard Basch says “we prefer to play by our own game,” by executing the company’s vision to the best of its abilities each and every day. Basch says he is also a big believer in listening to his franchise community. SYNERGY HomeCare corporate gets feedback from the Franchise Advisory Council made up of key Franchise Partners. The company also offers the largest franchise support staff compared to any other home care company. In addition to regional developers, SYNERGY HomeCare offers 22 dedicated support personnel to the Franchise Partners.
Where do you see Synergy HomeCare going in the next five years?
SYNERGY HomeCare expects to grow rapidly from a domestic standpoint. The company has grown more than 950 percent since the company started franchising in 2006. The company is also researching expansion into the international arena.
Are there any changes you foresee in your industry?
With legislation being handed down at the federal, state and local levels, keeping up with rules and regulations is a challenge. Basch believes the industry will experience more consolidation and see fewer organizations taking the plunge into non-medical homecare. Basch also foresees a shift in the way multiple health-related organizations work together. He predicts a significant rise in the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model. The emphasis will be on the full continuum of care vs. individual segments and will lead to a more comprehensive view of client/patient care.
What are some common characteristics of your top performing franchises?
SYNERGY HomeCare franchise partners must be self-motivated, good at time management and very much aware that they need to be focusing on $100/hour work vs. $10/hour work. The best SYNERGY HomeCare franchise partners are also strong goal setters. Basch notes that the most successful owners push themselves to achieve those goals vs. “flipping on the lights every morning and hoping that something happens.”
What kind of training and support can your franchisees expect to receive?
Basch believes that the company’s training and support is second to none. He says they are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve communications and the tools provided to the Franchise Partners. Within the past year, SYNERGY HomeCare has significantly improved delivery systems from a technological standpoint and created a number of online systems and resources that have streamlined many processes. In addition, the company has launched a number of new concepts designed around the “simple but not easy philosophy.” Basch says the feedback from the franchise community has been very positive. He says they are “blocking and tackling” while simultaneously innovating and looking at the future.
What kind of work background or skill set are you looking for in a franchisee?
Franchise Partners come from all walks of life, and SYNERGY HomeCare is very proud of the diversity within the franchise community. Basch says the company is looking for people who are passionate about home care and who truly want to make a difference. He says there is no substitute for sincerity in the home care business. In addition, he says they want Franchise Partners who are self-motivated and are very interested in creating a better life for themselves, their family and their community. Basch adds that they also look for Franchise Partners that are willing to turn KASH into Cash. By KASH he means: Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits. With the right “KASH,” says Basch, “anything is possible”.
What can you tell us about the estimated initial investment, royalty fees and profit potential for a Synergy HomeCare franchise?
The average initial investment for a single territory ranges from $59,000 to $156,000.The Department of Labor lists the home care industry as one of the top five most profitable opportunities in the country, and the market research firm, Franchise Business Review, reports that the potential return on investment (ROI) in a home care franchise is significantly higher than many other franchise businesses. SYNERGY HomeCare collects a 5 percent royalty on gross revenues.
What are your growth plans for Synergy HomeCare? Which geographic markets are you targeting for expansion?
The company is actively pursuing new Franchise Partners, and there are many prime territories in the U.S. still available. Basch says the company is relatively picky about the Franchise Partners they bring on. He makes a point of saying the company doesn’t “sell” franchises, they “award” them. Basch says the company has some very aggressive growth planned for the next 2-3 years, and are investing heavily in finding Franchise Partners who will be the right fit for SYNERGY HomeCare – both in the short-term and especially over the long haul.
Is there anything else you wish to share about Synergy HomeCare?
Basch believes the future is very bright for the organization. The company has assembled a team of dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable individuals. He believes that the need for the company’s services will continue to increase every day, and SYNERGY HomeCare is poised and ready to provide outstanding care to anyone in need.
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