The numbers don’t lie.
Here are some stats concerning the 50+ demographic:
- It is the fastest growing population segment.
- It is the most affluent group of consumers.
- It owns over 80% of money in savings accounts.
- Over 40% of consumer demand comes from this group.
- It averages over $24,000 in annual disposable income.
More Baby Boomer statistics here.
As the Baby Boomers continue to retire in droves, their health care needs will be foremost in their minds. The health care industry is huge. The information technology leaders such as Microsoft and Intel are even watching and involving themselves in the healthcare industry. Did you know that Mr. Gates’ company has a “Worldwide Health Director?” Dr. Bill Crounse is looking at these very important healthcare trends for the world’s wealthiest guy.
Baby Boomers are not content to sit on their laurels. (Or sit on anything else, either.) They are more energetic, will live longer, and will need products and services to help them stay active, and comfortable.
Let’s talk more about sitting, and helping the sitters get up and around. Mike Barrett is the U.S. National Sales Manager for Uplift Technologies, out of Nova Scotia, a power chair company. “Our company distributes a great product for seniors and others that require assistance getting up from a seated position. Our RiseDale chair is actually a beautiful piece of furniture. It does not look like a big, bulky recliner,” said Barrett. “Power assistance technology products are going to become more and more popular, as the years go by,”he added.
The franchise world has some pretty timely concepts that are jumping on this huge opportunity to assist the aging, but mobile Baby Boomers. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world came up with brilliant franchise concepts that have turned into huge empires.
The service sector continues to grow, and in my franchise consulting role, I am always on the lookout for stellar service-related franchise companies to work with. I do not necessarily look for franchise companies that are on a fast growth track. In franchising, real fast growth can spell disaster. Keeping a solid infrastructure in place during the growth period is crucial for a franchise company’s success. Hiring additional trainers, field reps, and I.T. support staff can keep franchise company management quite busy. Other considerations may include moving the headquarters to a bigger facility, and getting access to more capital to support the growth. Sometimes taking a three to six month hiatus in franchisee lead acquisition is warranted.
I am more comfortable working with smart, steady growers. I enjoy working with franchise companies that are very particular about who they award franchises to. If a franchise company is careful who they partner with (franchisees), then that company has a greater chance of success, and staying power, in this always changing global marketplace of ours. A couple of franchises come to mind, that are steadily growing, and are really tuned into the growing healthcare sector.
Synergy HomeCare, out of Gilbert, Arizona is one that I am watching.
In 2002, Peter Tourian founded Synergy HomeCare, which provides high-quality, non-medical home care to people in their homes. Its network of franchised offices provides qualified caregivers on an hourly, daily, weekly or 24/7 basis, 365 days per year to seniors, the convalescing or disabled and anyone else who needs help with daily activities. “We’re in the perfect position for growth,” Tourian said. “We’ve assembled a great corporate team and we have a strong structure in place. The industry is phenomenal. The demand for home care services and the continuing potential far exceed the supply.” Watch this one.
Gurney, Illinois is the headquarters for BrightStar HealthCare, a medically focused in-home franchise company, that is becoming quite well known in franchise circles.
When asked about the perceived difficulty in finding quality healthcare workers, 2007 Enterprising Women of The Year Award winner and BrightStar’s president Shelly Sun says, “We often hear about health care worker shortages. For traditional employers such as hospitals, this is absolutely a challenge. However, the workers are looking for flexible hours and a positive work environment where they are valued. We find that because we offer that, we can find the workers we need to meet demand.”
The beginning of this decade saw a plethora of home healthcare concepts in the franchise world appear. Now, the best of the best are coming into their own, and they know that to survive in a fast changing and competitive environment, they cannot sit on their laurels. If they do, even the RiseDale won’t help them up.
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About the Author: Joel Libava is President and Life Changer of Franchise Selection Specialists. He blogs at The Franchise King Blog.