Yes it IS marketing. When you bring your product, service, goods, what have you, to a market, how you distribute them is key. It's been a long time since a client told me they wish to sell "one franchise at a time". I mean it happens, but it's no longer the plan of choice. The 3-5 pack seems very popular. Better still the 5-10 pack. If you have one great franchisee wouldn't you rather he/she open 3-10 of your locations than finding 3-10 franchisees, hopefully just like this one? Of course. Are you offering incentives? Are you telling the really great candidates what value-add you offer, such as a national PR firm behind your brand? Or a stellar ad agency that helps build the brand?
SEI Healthcare, based in Brentwood, Tennessee has area developers in Kentucky/Southern Ohio, Florida and Georgia. After years of perfecting his system, founder Beau Brothers chose a new name that doesn't pigeonhole the company in a specific niche. After being known as Sitters Etc. since inception, Brothers decided to seek a name that reflects the new services they offer.
"We are not sitters per se, but so much more," said Brothers, who is now focused on franchise growth expansion, while passionately maintaining the principles upon which the company was first founded. "And the time to reflect these new services and higher levels we have reached in care is now."
According to a 2014 U.S. census report, America's population of seniors stands to grow precipitously by 2050. By 2030, the report says, more than 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 or older, up from 13 percent in 2010. This, said Brothers, is one of the reasons why he is certain now is right the time for SEI Healthcare's own growth.
"Over the past 13 years we have refined our care process with a firm understanding of best practices for seniors," said Brothers. "The sum of our combined experience and knowledge of how to provide the best care for seniors gives me tremendous confidence that any SEI Healthcare franchisee will have a great opportunity to succeed in providing non-medical in home care during a time when, more than ever, senior care is in high demand."
Brothers continued, "The Area Developer is ideal for us. Someone who knows the industry, what is needed, understands franchisees and their needs too and has vast sales and marketing experience is the perfect person to help build our system and our brand."
Already expansion plans are coming to fruition in four territories in Eastern Kentucky, where new franchisees began training in March. While Brothers sees opportunity for franchise growth throughout the country, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida and
St. Louis are all key target markets the company recognizes as being especially fruitful for interested franchisees. The Area Developers who signed recently, Craig Shaw and Ralph Laughton, will be developing Georgia and Florida respectively. The pair has specific talents and backgrounds that would be ideal for almost any franchise system.
Said Shaw, "my dream at the beginning of my search was to invest in a multi-unit territory of a franchise system and develop them over time. As I did more research in franchising, the Area (or Regional) Developer role was attractive because it would allow me to both accomplish my long-term goals of growing a business and to invest into the lives of others. The more I researched the AD role the more excited I became about the opportunity to partner with a franchisor to grow his/her brand so I began to look for an organization that had a great system and one that I knew I would enjoy working closely with.
"And," continued Shaw, "on a personal note, I've always enjoyed assembling a team of motivated individuals to collectively accomplish a goal. By building a network of franchise owners throughout the state of Georgia, I believe that we all can be stronger by working together to address both the needs of our clients as well as the franchise owners. I've always enjoyed coaching and mentoring, and I welcome the opportunity to help develop our franchise owners in GA and see them succeed. I have 28 years of medical sales experience to share with our team, and I look forward to encouraging our franchise owners to perform at their very best."
And Shaw's opinion is that the AD model provides a great opportunity for franchisors to grow their brands and accomplish their vision through strategic partnerships with like-minded business professionals. Shaw said, "The vision of SEI Healthcare is to raise the standard of care within the non-medical home care industry. This philosophy closely mirrors what I've tried to accomplish in my 28 years of selling within the healthcare market."
By utilizing the AD model, a franchisor can benefit from a business partner that has great knowledge of local markets, issues and challenges. Additionally, an AD can stay on top of issues that affect the local franchisees and bring everyone together to determine the best solutions and approaches to take. Franchisees with access to an AD also benefit by having a local level of support to compliment that which they receive from their franchisor."