Monthly Archives: September 2013

Just One Franchise: @Work Medical Staffing

medical staffing franchiseProfit margins at medical companies are under a lot of scrutiny as the healthcare industry undergoes significant changes. At the same time, medical facilities are having to cope with industry-specific issues like high turnover, lack of administrative training, and high levels of stress.

Medical staffing is already important, even without the looming changes in healthcare, because of the high demand for medical staff, including nurses, physical therapists, medical transcriptionists, and office and billing staff. Staffing firms serve companies that need medical workers by eliminating the search process and delivering workers that fit the company’s needs when they’re needed. such as when a hospital is scrambling for nurses and existing staff is overworked to the point of non-compliance with regulations. Staffing firms that have qualified workers ready to fill positions can take advantage of these immediate needs.

After over twenty years in business, the franchisor staff at @Work Medical Staffing have become experts on starting a medical staffing business. They know how to recruit and screen reliable workers. The training and support from @Work allows franchisees with little experience in the staffing industry to take on that expertise as their own and develop successful medical staffing businesses. Franchisees receive one-on-one training with @Work staff members who have over 100 combined years of experience in staffing. During training, @Work franchisees go from inexperienced business owners to Certified Staffing Professionals through the American Staffing Association.

But the brain trust doesn’t stop with corporate staff. The @Work model creates a cooperative group of staffing firms that help each other do business better in their offices around the country. A smarter approach to territories allows @Work franchisees to help each other and grow the business together instead of operating independently and competing with each other. The idea behind this is the @Work brand benefits as a whole when all franchisees are doing well, leading to better name recognition and respect for all franchisees that increases business overall.

For businesses looking to get a head start, there’s nothing better than having resources to depend on and a group of people with different experiences to give problem-specific advice in an industry that has immediate needs. One example of an issue that @Work staffing franchisees solved together was reliability—since workers aren’t working under the staffing firm’s direct supervision, it becomes easier to abuse time clocks and take advantage of staffing firms and their clients. By using biometric time clocks, @Work solved this problem and increased reliability of workers for clients. Since this was a common problem that more than one @Work franchisee was experiencing, they integrated the technology into the franchise. Now, it’s a standard part of the business model that clients love.

Now that the medical industry is undergoing significant changes, reliable workers provided on short notice are likely to become even more important to medical businesses and healthcare providers. If you’re interested in running a successful staffing firm, consider @Work Medical Staffing as an option in your franchise search.

Just One Franchise: DVDNow Kiosks

DVDWhere do Americans get their movies? The movie rental industry has changed from local and national video rental store chains where huge amounts of space were dedicated to stock and displays to compact, automated machines that require little money to run compared to storefronts. Redbox is undoubtedly the leader in the industry with 50% of the market share.

With streaming movies available from many sources on many devices and the DVD rental landscape dominated by one company, it may not look like a great time to open a DVD rental franchise. DVDNow Kiosks disagrees.

What can an entrepreneur do to break into a tough market? Do a better job than the market leader. DVDNow offers a competitive advantage over Redbox by improving on their business model and providing better customer service and diverse revenue streams.

The DVDNow kiosk isn’t a closed box like a Redbox kiosk but instead displays available titles. Instead of having to wait in line to see what’s available and use the digital screen to scroll through options, customers can avoid frustration by seeing if what they want is available without having to wait. DVDs are also available in their own packaging so movie fanatics get a DVD experience that’s closer to what they’d have if they bought the DVD. If they’d rather buy it, customers can purchase their favorite movies directly from the kiosk. Instead of losing potential revenue to a retailer, DVDNow kiosks capture lost revenue.

On top of providing a better customer experience, DVDNow kiosks also have other revenue streams built into their design. DVD rental kiosks are often both in high traffic areas and attract high amounts of traffic as a destination. DVDNow franchisees can take advantage of this by offering advertising on the kiosks, either in the form of posters on the side panel displays or on the HD screen positioned to project messages to people passing by or waiting in line to rent a DVD. DVDNow asserts that the revenue from these ads can easily produce more revenue than rentals.

Franchisees of DVDNow can create their own empire of DVD rental kiosks in their own community, serving their area with local ads and tailored DVD selections. Keeping local dollars working for people in your community can be a huge selling point when you approach stores to place your kiosk. Stores like DVD rental kiosks because they bring in business, and a local franchise owner can have a real advantage over the market leader.

DVDNow franchisees go through a boot camp to learn how to run their franchises successfully and get technical and sales support to help them run and expand their network of kiosks, whether just two or two hundred.

The window of opportunity for DVD rentals may be closing — but it’s a real opportunity now, and one that can realistically be started with just one or two kiosks as a side job. As you build your network, you can drop the day job. That’s not an option with every franchise, but it is with DVDNow.

Personal Finance Company Franchise Opportunities

personal finance franchises41 percent of Americans, according to a study released earlier this year, live paycheck to paycheck. Half say they have nothing left over at the end of the month after they pay for living expenses, and 8% say they don’t have enough to cover all their daily needs. Clearly, Americans could use some help with their finances, and financial franchisees can answer this need.

Tax preparation franchise businesses may be the most obvious type of personal finance service franchise, but they are not the only game in town. Cash-strapped Americans often need financial advice or financial services that wealthier consumers might look for in banks.

Credit Repair Franchise Companies

Poor credit ratings can wreak havoc on people’s lives by increasing their interest rates and credit card payments, spiraling them further and further into debt. Poor credit ratings can also affect people’s abilities to make ordinary transactions or even to get jobs. Prime National Credit Repair is a franchise that targets customers who need to repair their credit in order to be able to lease an apartment, buy a home, or to have a credit card for emergencies. Consultants work with customers to dispute inaccuracies on their credit reports with credit agencies so they can work toward rebuilding their credit one step at a time.

There are businesses that prey on people who have bad credit scores, using shady methods to make their credit look good instead of actually repairing their credit. Prime National warns consumers of these companies that “create” new identities for people instead of working on their credit, using illegal practices that could land customers in jail. With a nationally recognized name that has received great press from national publications like Newsweek, franchisees can avoid being associated with shady practices and feel confident that they can help customers.

Cash Plus is another business that provides franchisees with that all-important good name. Check cashing, payday advance loans, money orders, and wire transfers are another set of services that are necessary for consumers who may not have bank accounts — but which can also suffer from a bad reputation. Cash Plus says they’re as close to a bank as you can get in franchising but because they aren’t a bank, they have a lot more flexibility.

According to Forbes,  28.3% of Americans use alternative financial service companies like Cash Plus to conduct their household business. Many of these people — 821,000 last year — have no bank account. Others have bank accounts, but choose to use alternate services, often because they find them more convenient, believe they’ll have easier access to their services, or are simply more comfortable with AFS services.

Cash Plus franchisees can serve this large and growing segment of the population, secure in the good reputation of the franchisor.

When you’re looking into financial franchises, it’s important to do your due diligence to ensure you’re not signing up for a franchise you’ll regret later. While Cash Plus and Prime National Credit Repair are both highly rated by industry standards as well as the Better Business Bureau, not all franchises carry these awards. Franchise business opportunities in this niche can have a tremendous advantage over independent businesses that may spend years proving themselves, as long as the prospective franchisee makes sure to choose a reputable company.

Home Healthcare Franchises

older adultsBaby boomers are getting older — the oldest of this demographic are heading toward 70 now — and they want to stay in their own homes as long as possible. Moving into an assisted living or rehabilitation facility isn’t always the best option for the elderly, but neither is living at home alone. While young parents are busy working and taking care of their own children, their parents might need extra help with daily activities like making meals, remembering to take medication, or taking care of personal hygiene. Non-medical home health aid and advocate franchises are the solution to this problem.

America’s Best Franchises has teamed with a large number of non-medical home health franchises:

With so many options, it can be hard to tell which one is right for you. Although you should always look at your strengths and weaknesses and how these fit with different franchisors and resources they provide, there are some specific things to consider when thinking about opening a home health franchise:

  • Is the culture of the franchise highly competitive?

Home healthcare franchises that specialize in working with seniors need to have a high-quality and personalized service. As changes in Medicare decrease the amount of money available for care and lifespans increase, franchises will probably face more competition in the market. Since this is a highly active market with lots of competition, ensuring that the franchise you’re considering has more than just the basics or has a business model with more resources to do a better job than the next franchise is important. Be sure to look at the competitive advantage the franchise offers and how it’s different from the competition in your area.

  • What would happen in a merger?

Mergers are common in the healthcare industry, so knowing what would happen if your franchise merges with another is important. Be sure to consult with a franchise attorney about your options should a merger occur and ask the franchisor questions about the potential of merging with other companies. While they might not say outright they plan on selling their franchising company to another, it’s important to gauge their response.

  • How are liabilities and staff handled?

Two aspects every franchise should address are how liabilities are handled to reduce potential lawsuits and how staff is managed and trained. While staff is an integral part of home health agencies, you might not have the ability or certifications to train staff to your state’s standards. Be sure to be aware of the laws in your state — then check to make sure your franchisor knows the rules too. In terms of liabilities, if your franchisor isn’t aware of regulations in your particular area, it might prove problematic in the future.

If you’re considering a home health franchise, be sure to look at industry specific issues as well as general business matters.