Seniors Helping Seniors

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas With Seniors Helping Seniors

December 1, 2012
Grand Rapids, Michigan
It is a very Merry Christmas here at Seniors Helping Seniors in home services. While we bring joy to seniors year round in the Grand Rapids Area, Christmas is a special time for our Seniors Helping Seniors Family to celebrate together.

About 30 people gathered this year for our SHS Christmas party. We had about 18 Providers join us and 12 guests including some spouses and friends. Our speakers this year gave us some wonderful information including Raymond Siegel from Waddell & Reed who sponsored the event,  a speaker from the Center for Physical Rehabilitation and a wonderful group of children who provide community service to senior citizens shared with us about what they do.

There were some door prizes for our Providers and Noah VanderLinde helped with the drawing of winners.
Of course, Noah wanted to make sure that no Providers left empty handed.

It was a great meal and great time spent with some truly great people. To all of our loving, caring and compassionate caregivers, thank you for all you do for us and those families you serve. Merry Christmas!

Seniors Helping Seniors of Grand Rapids

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lions, Tigers and Seniors - oh my!

Detroit, Mich. – Lions, Tigers and Senior Citizens? Oh my!

Senior citizens living in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are invited to enjoy a special day at the Detroit Zoo on Senior Day, Wednesday, September 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Seniors 62 and older and a caregiver will receive free admission to the Zoo, parking and rides on the Tauber Family Railroad. Seniors are invited to stop by the Senior Resource Area and visit with vendors. There will also be a special Senior Bingo Game with fabulous prizes and live entertainment.

One vendor will be present at Senior Day not only to provide information to seniors and caregivers about their non-medical in home services, but for some of the Detroit Area Franchise Operators this is also an unconventional job fair. Seniors Helping Seniors ® In-Home Care provides home care exclusively for seniors by seniors. “There are many seniors who need a little help to maintain their independence, but they prefer to get that help from someone who understands them and is closer to their own age,” says Mark Bobo, Franchise Owner from Ann Arbor.

“We just completed our training in August and are very excited to start serving seniors in Plymouth, Wayne, Canton, Westland and Garden City this September,” says Mary Ribiero, the newest Franchise Partner in Michigan. Mary has personal experience as a caregiver in her family and has opened a franchise with her husband, Carmo Ribiero, to help older seniors stay self sufficient throughout Western Wayne County. This newest franchise will be the 6th center to open in Michigan in 2012, making Seniors Helping Seniors Franchises one of the fastest growing in the state.

Dave VanderLinde Jr., one of the Regional Owners of Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Services says, “We all know that jobs are hard to come by in this economy, especially on the east side of the state. Many mature workers in particular have difficulty finding work. We recognize the invaluable life experience and work ethic that older workers bring to a company. We now have grown to 14 franchises in Michigan with 9 of them being in the greater Detroit area. Many of our newer franchise partners are looking forward to senior day as a way to inform the community about our services but also as a way to find healthy, active seniors who are loving, caring, compassionate and who have a desire to have a meaningful part time job. We will be creating 75 to 100 new job openings for seniors in East Michigan yet this year. Our business model is so unique that it is one reason we were ranked the #1 Senior Care Franchise in 2012 by Entrepreneur magazine.”

Philip Yocom, and his wife, Kiran Yocom, co-founded Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services, which began as a non-profit organization serving Berks County, Pennsylvania over ten years ago. Philip Yocom said, "What began as a heartfelt mission to fill a need that was not being served by our local community is now being recognized as a prime business opportunity being fueled by the fastest growing demographic in our society," he continued. "We want the existing Seniors Helping Seniors organization and our franchises to be the first place that seniors in need of non-medical services and those seeking extra income call."

"We support all of our franchises with the expertise we have gained in running our Seniors Helping Seniors Grand Rapids office,” said David VanderLinde Jr. “We also provide marketing, sales, management, and technology support. We believe we have found a practical, cost-effective way to help seniors remain independent and to continue contributing to their community. We plan on granting about a dozen more franchises in Michigan over the next 2 years at which time we will be able to provide services to about 80% of the state."

For more information on Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services, or its franchise system, contact:
Dave VanderLinde Jr.
Phone: 616-234-0190

Friday, August 10, 2012

SHS in the News

Not only did we think our picnic was a success, but it was also picked up by WZZM13! Our picnic which was held to thank the seniors who work for us while at the same time provide information for seniors and family caregivers about the senior resources in Grand Rapids was talked about on the 6:00 News.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012 Annual Picnic Recap

What a G-R-E-A-T day!  It has been a dry summer, so we decided not to let a little rain worry us on the day of our annual picnic. On August 9th we hosted our annual picnic at SS Peter & Paul Parish. Originally we planned on having the event under tents in the grassy area between the church and the school. Over the weekend the forecast was a 50% chance of rain...a little worrisome...but that number crept up about 10% per day until on the day before our picnic we saw that there was a 90% chance of rain!

So, we decided to host the event inside the gymnasium of the school. It worked out just perfectly. The picnic went from 11AM until 1PM. We had seniors showing up before 10:30 AM and at 10:45 AM I counted over 100 people already in the building.  At about 11:15 we made some announcements and at 11:25 we gave a short presentation about Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Services.

After our presentation it was time to award some of our Providers with awards. Seniors Helping Seniors has the best caregivers around. Because all of our caregivers are loving, caring and compassionate seniors themselves, they understand the aging process and can relate to the seniors they are helping. Below is a list of some of the awards that were presented:
Dale Bozek Patience
Maxine Brinks Helping Hands
Richard Grisdale Patience
Lynn Howe Rookie of the year
Mary Hudson Power of Love
Margie Jirous 11th hour award
Judy Robinson a way to give and to receive
Debra Smith Companion Award
Sharon Zils All the way
Char Zuker Square One
Phil Sikkema Trooper Award
David Cz. Yes
Kaye B. Longevity Award
Sally A. Golden Ages
Ric Castleman Helping Hands
Faye White Dedication Award
Marv Gortsema Patience
Linda Blovits Kiran Yocom Award

After we handed our awards, the son of one of our Receivers, Dirk A., asked if he could say a few words about Seniors Helping Seniors In Home services to everyone who was gathered for our picnic. We did reduce his "few words" to the clips below:

Dirk - Video Clip 1 - Why SHS?

Dirk - Video Clip 2 - People Who Care

Dirk - Video Clip 3 - Helping More than My Dad

Dirk - Video 4 - Thank You Seniors Helping Seniors

We really appreciate all of the kind words that Dirk shared with the audience. His family has been our pleasure to serve and his father has been wonderful to work with.

By this time the clock was reading high noon and the seniors in attendance were ready to eat! So, lunch was served followed by a little more music from the band. Along with all the other awards, we did present an award to Ken Kole for being our Caregiver of the Year!

You read about Ken in our last blog post and it was our pleasure to recognize him for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Check back soon as we will be updating this blog with pictures from our picnic.

Seniors Helping Seniors provides non-medical in home care for seniors by seniors. Our unique brand relies on matching up healthy, active seniors who want to help with seniors who need a little help to maintain their independence. We provide services throughout Grand Rapids, MI. There are over 200 locations around the country providing tens of thousands of hours of service to the senior community.

We chance people's lives.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Annual Picnic August 9th 2012

Press Release
August 6, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The 3rd Annual Seniors Helping Seniors Picnic will be held on Thursday August 9th from 11AM until 1:00 PM at SS Peter & Paul 1433 Hamilton NW. The event will be held rain or shine with outdoor tents in the grassy area next to the church or inside the parish center if it is raining. The event will celebrate and recognize the hard work of the loving, caring and compassionate seniors who work for the organization. Ken Kole of Wyoming, MI will be receiving the 2012 Caregiver of the Year Award from Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Services.

“It is always fun to recognize the absolutely amazing seniors who work for us,” says Amanda Thrush, Director of Client Relations. “Nearly all our Providers could receive this award, but Ken has gone above and beyond what we ask our caregivers to do.”  Ken has worked for Seniors Helping Seniors since 2009 and has helped over a dozen seniors from the Grand Rapids area.  One of the men whom he helps on a weekly basis is Warren. Both Ken and Warren have a passion for sports and Warren in particular loves the Tigers. One day he mentioned to Ken that it was too bad that he would not ever make it to another Tiger’s game. Warren has mobility problems and no family who would take him to a baseball game. Ken took it upon himself to get a couple tickets to a Tigers game and load Warren up in his car and drive across the state to take him to a Tiger’s game. When you have seniors working for you who do not look at what they are doing as just a job and when you match up the right senior receiving a service with the right senior providing the service it really is like they are getting a little help from their friends.

2011 Seniors Helping Seniors Picnic
Dave VanderLinde, one of the Owners of Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Services says, “We decided to open this picnic up to the entire senior community last year. There are many seniors out there who are not aware of our services or the various services that may be available to them. So, we are inviting all senior citizens and family caregivers to come out and join us for a Free Lunch, Door Prizes and Entertainment.” All seniors will leave with information from Seniors Helping Seniors as well as from several other organizations who serve the senior community in West Michigan.

Seniors or family caregivers are asked to register for this event by calling 616-234-0190. Seniors Helping Seniors provides a variety of help including companion care, transportation, around-the-clock in-home care, basic handyman services, lawn and garden work, shopping and errands, cooking, cleaning, personal grooming, respite care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care and more.  Seniors Helping Seniors has about 200 locations around the country and 14 in Michigan. For more information on the picnic click here and for more on Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services, or its franchise system, contact:

Dave VanderLinde Jr.
Phone: 616-234-0190

Friday, June 15, 2012

Governor Proclaims June 15 Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Day

This is good news for Michigan. Seniors Helping Seniors In-home Services is for many families the eyes and ears for their seniors. Many seniors who do not have trusted family nearby rely on us to keep them safe. For your seniors personal care when you can't be there(R)

Governor Proclaims June 15 Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Day
Administration continues commitment to the safety and well-being of older adults

LANSING –Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed June 15, 2012 as Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Day, in conjunction with World Elder Abuse Day.  This proclamation, in addition to strong support for a package of elder abuse bills, further exemplifies the Administration’s commitment to protecting older adults throughout the state.

According to Kari Sederburg, OSA Director, “Vulnerable adult abuse is one of Michigan’s fastest growing crimes, with an estimated 80,000 victims each year.  Sadly, these people are suffering, often in silence, because Michigan does not have adequate tools and resources to protect and support victims and improve prevention and prosecution efforts.”

Governor Snyder has actively supported the 18-bill bipartisan package of elder abuse bills that provide long overdue reforms including increased criminal penalties, provisions for video-taped testimony, required training for employees of financial institutions, improved coordination between state and local authorities, and a silver alert program.  Most of the bills in the package have been introduced in previous legislative sessions.

“We are fortunate to have a Governor who understands that Michigan’s elders and vulnerable adults are valued community members who deserve to live with respect and dignity, and that we can do more as a state to protect them for abuse, neglect and exploitation,” said Sederburg.

Ten of the 18 bills have passed both the House and Senate and are heading to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. The other eight (8) bills are still in committee. Additional information on senior protections can be found in "the elder protection" at

The Office of Services to the Aging is an agency of the State of Michigan whose mission is to provide leadership, innovation, advocacy, and policy on behalf of Michigan’s older adults and their caregivers.  For more information contact the Office of Services to the Aging at
(517) 373-8230 or visit

Seniors Helpings Seniors In-Home Services is a national organization with 200 offices around the country to serve seniors. Our mission is to help seniors maintain their independence in their own home with the dignity and respect they deserve by finding caring and compassionate seniors who want meaningful employment helping other seniors. Seniors Helping Seniors is the fastest growing senior care franchise in the state of Michigan - now with 14 offices in the state with plans to open a dozen more over the next 2 years.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Good and caring Seniors Helping Seniors businesswoman Highlighted on Mother’s Day Hour of Power

Good and caring Seniors Helping Seniors businesswoman
Highlighted on Mother’s Day Hour of Power
Airing Sunday June 3, 2012 at 8 AM

Kiran Yocom, co-founder of Seniors Helping Seniors® at-home care, is an exceptional example of a woman who has determined how to do good and do well in business.

As a serious woman of faith, it has been most important for Kiran to highlight how she, and her husband, Philip, live their Christian values while providing at-home support services to older adults. They do this with an eye toward growing and sustaining a successful business that allows them to continue to expand their services throughout the country.

Kiran is not new to integrating the worlds of for profit and non-profit values.  Born in India, Kiran spent fourteen years volunteering side by side with Mother Teresa as a ministry follower. She was called through love, compassion, and respect to help those who could not help themselves.

During those years, Kiran fundraised for Mother Teresa's ministry, took care of leprosy patients, fed the hungry, found shelter for the homeless, cared for orphans, and comforted the sick.

Kiran, who lives in Berks County, Pennsylvania, continued her mission of helping others when she moved to the States, giving significant time and money to help her neighbors in Berks County by providing food to those who had none, visiting cancer patients, and spending time with people who were alone and lonely by bringing love, joy, and compassion into their lives.

When she and her husband founded Seniors Helping Seniors® services, they continued to move their calling to make the world a better place. The organization provides a way to give and to receive® for the seniors who want to help and for those who need help.  For older adults, who are retired but still active, Seniors Helping Seniors® services provides a fulfilling and rewarding way to earn an equitable income.  And those who need help receive companionship and support from a loving, caring, compassionate senior who really understands what it means to age.

As the founder of the organization, Kiran has been responsible for the day-to-day operations and the promotion of the concept. Today, Seniors Helping Seniors® support services are offered in over 200 locations throughout the country.  Last year, thousands of older adults nationally received support through the services.

Locally, David and Judy VanderLinde (along with their son Dave and daughter Amanda) joined Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services in 2009 and are currently providing over 1,000 hours  of help to over 40 seniors and their families in Grand Rapids and the surrounding area.  Seniors Helping Seniors® services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, respite care, personal care, handyman services, transportation and other non-medical in-home care services.

“In creating Seniors Helping Seniors® at-home services, Kiran and Philip created an organization that has allowed me to fulfill my own personal mission of doing well and doing good.  Working in my calling has allowed me to give to others, to help older adults contribute to the welfare of others and to receive extraordinary personal and spiritual rewards,” said Judy VanderLinde. 

Kiran and Philip are honored to be able to deliver their messages about bring loving compassionate care to seniors during their interview on Hour of Power which will be aired on Lifetime on Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 8AM. The interview will also be available on the web at

The internationally televised Hour of Power brings messages of hope and healing to millions of viewers. The show is televised from The Crystal Cathedral, which is home base for the international Crystal Cathedral Ministries.

Seniors Helping Seniors has grown to 13 franchise locations across Michigan with plans to expand to 25 locations by the end of 2013. Some franchise opportunities are still available across the state. Our businesses help seniors maintain their independence while providing meaningful job opportunities to healthy and active seniors.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More than hot weather in Michigan

March 22, 2012
For Immediate Release

More than Hot Weather in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – There are a number of reasons Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Services was selected as one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. The outlook for this rapidly growing franchise is definitely not grey – even if their workforce is.

Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Services provides non-medical care for seniors by seniors. Their mission is to help seniors maintain their independence in their own home for as long as possible with the dignity and respect they deserve. Because there are about 10,000 boomers turning 65 every day, this is a rapidly growing industry; and there is a reason Seniors Helping Seniors franchises are being awarded at a record pace. They have awarded four franchises in Michigan in the past 3 months.
The business has found a way to give healthy, active seniors an opportunity to do something meaningful and fulfilling while at the same time supplementing their retirement income.  The organization has found that there are a number of benefits that come from having a more mature workforce. Senior workers are dependable, they have a strong work ethic and they understand the aging process. One of the slogans used is …a way to give and receive® because the company is striving for a win-win situation for both their Providers as well as their Receivers of service.

While this can be a great way for seniors who want some part time work to make better use of their free time it is also a hot market and one of the fastest growing franchise segments. Entrepreneur Magazine’s 500 ranked Seniors Helping Seniors at #164, they were also ranked #44 in the Fastest Growing Franchises in the country.

Founded as a non-profit in 1998, there are now about 200 Seniors Helping Seniors Franchises across the country. “Our Grand Rapids office was the 4th in Michigan when we opened in late 2009. This past weekend we granted our 13th franchise partner in Michigan and we cover 17 franchise territories across the state. We plan to have approximately 30 territories granted by 2013, which will cover most of the state,” says Dave VanderLinde, Michigan’s Franchise Development Director.

While the automotive and other industries struggle in this economy many workers have left Michigan for other job opportunities. Michigan was the only state to lose population in the 2010 census. But those leaving are not the 70, 80 and 90 year olds being served by home care franchises. After all, many retired seniors want to stay in the home that they have been in for 50 years, they have roots. But for many families their children and support system are leaving the area increasing the need for the services provided by home care agencies.

Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services provides a variety of help including companion care, transportation, around-the-clock in-home care, basic handyman services, shopping, cooking, cleaning, personal grooming, respite care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care and more. 

For more information on Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services, or its franchise system:
Contact: Dave VanderLinde Jr.     
Phone:  (616) 234-0190    

Monday, March 12, 2012

West Michigan's 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For - Winner 2012!

Winners of the 2012 West Michigan's Best and Brightest Companies to Work For were announced just last week and Seniors Helping Seniors of West Michigan is proud to have made the list!

The workforce at Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Services is a bit different from other area businesses. As the name implies, caregivers who work for the company are mature, loving, caring and compassionate seniors who enjoy providing non-medical services for other seniors in the West Michigan area.

Seniors Helping Seniors Franchises can be found across the country and the first office in Michigan was opened in Oxford, MI back in 2008. In less than 4 years the company has grown from one location in Michigan to 13 Franchise locations in 2012.

"We are very excited about 2012. We have an office in Kalamazoo opening in May which will allow us to better serve even more seniors here in West Michigan. We also have franchises opening in Ann Arbor, East Lansing,  Saginaw and Pleasant Ridge over the next few months. Over the next 2 years we plan on granting all the available franchise territories within Michigan," states Dave VanderLinde Jr. Franchise Development Director for the state of Michigan.

Our business model is different from every other home care agency that is out there because our services are exclusively for seniors by seniors. There is a growing demand for the services we provide throughout the Grand Rapids area and there is also a growing number of seniors who are looking for a way to supplement their retirement income.

To learn more about becoming a Provider for Seniors Helping Seniors or to learn more about starting a senior care franchise to serve your community call 616-234-0190.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Exploring Franchise Opportunities

Exploring Franchise Opportunities: Exploring Franchise Opportunities If you are starting the process of researching franchise opportunities and also try to discover if y...

Exploring Franchise Opportunities

Exploring Franchise Opportunities

If you are starting the process of researching franchise opportunities and also try to discover if you have the qualities to be a successful entrepreneur, then you are going through an exciting process! Even if you decide not to invest in a franchise at the end of your exploration process, you are likely to take away knowledge that will be useful in the future. Most franchisors will have an education process that they guide you through to see if you could be a good fit for each other. Not every franchise system is the same and this paper is intended to identify some of the more common things to expect as you go through a franchise education process.

One thing to keep in mind as you are learning about a franchise: many successful business people will give the advice “trust your gut”. If a franchise that you are learning about is conducting itself in a way that just doesn’t feel right, then it may not be the right system for you. On the other hand, if you really like a business model or concept and find that you have too many questions or concerns after your first or second contact with the Franchisor – do not discount that franchise. You need to do sufficient due diligence and learn enough about an opportunity so that you can make an informed decision. Most franchisors will be walking you through several steps to educate you about their system. If you walk away too early, you may have stopped learning about a business because of something that really would not have been a major issue or it could have been misunderstood by you.

Many people have the dream of owning their own business, being their own boss and being in control of their own future. Although you may already have the skills to start your own successful business, a franchise can allow an entrepreneur to start and grow a business faster and more economically by providing: training and support, a proven system, brand recognition and other systems and tools. Keep in mind that no matter how good a system is the success will always come down to the effort and abilities of the entrepreneur. You may have also heard the phrase that franchising is a secure way for an owner to be in business for himself but not by himself.

The All Important FDD

An FDD or Franchise Disclosure Document is a legal document that every franchisor must provide. You cannot sign a franchise agreement until you have had the FDD to review for 14 days. Before you are given an FDD you can expect to sign (either electronically or on paper) a document that says you have been given the FDD. You are not agreeing to invest in a franchise by signing this form but a franchisor must document that they provided you with their FDD. There are 23 items on an FDD and item 23 is the Acknowledgement of Receipt by a Prospective Franchisee – this is what you are signing when you get an FDD.

The 23 Items contained in an FDD will all be the same:
1. The Franchisor and Any Parents, Predecessors, and Affiliates.
2. Identity and Business Experience of Key Persons.
3. Litigation History.
4. Bankruptcy.
5. Initial Franchise Fee.
6. Other Fees and Expenses.
7. Franchisee's Estimated Initial Investment.
8. Restrictions on Sources of Products and Services.
9. Obligations of the Franchisee.
10. Financing Arrangements.
11. Obligations of the Franchisor.
12. Territory.
13. Trademarks.
14. Patents, Copyrights, and Proprietary Information.
15. Obligation of the Franchisee to Participate in the Actual Operation of the Franchise Business.
16. Restrictions on Goods and Services Offered by the Franchisee.
17. Renewal, Termination, Repurchase, Modification and/or Transfer of the Franchise Agreement, and Dispute Resolution.
18. Public Figures
19. Financial Performance Representations.
20. List of Franchise Outlets
21. Financial Statements
22. Contracts
23. Acknowledgment of Receipt

An FDD will be accompanied by a copy of the actual franchise agreement that you would sign if you move forward with a franchise opportunity. A lot of information is contained within an FDD but franchising is (or should be) a mutually beneficial relationship. So the exchange of information needs to be a two way street and as you are investigating a franchise opportunity you should expect a franchisor to be asking questions of you as well as requesting information including your financial situation along with a profile or bio.

Many franchisors will not even call you until you submit your financial information to them. Some restaurant franchises, for example, have liquid capital requirements of $1,000,000 and some franchisors do not want to waste time with a financially unqualified prospective franchisee. Hopefully a franchisor is asking you other questions along with your financial situation. After all, if the only requirement is having enough zeros in the bank account how do you know that other franchise owners will be good neighbors for you? Franchisors are not required to let anyone buy a franchise they can reject a prospective candidate at any time for any reason. You must meet their qualifications just as they must meet yours to be granted a franchise.

An FDD does make it easier to compare franchise systems. You will hear most franchisors spend the most time talking about items 7 and 19 (Item 19 is not required). Item 7 discusses a franchisee’s initial investment to start the business and item 19 is a financial performance representation of the franchise system.

Up until recently, the FTC did not allow franchisors to include any financial performance representations of the franchise system. This was both good and bad. It protected potential franchisees from misleading or inaccurate information. But at the same time not allowing this prevented franchisors from giving any sort of information relating to potential earnings.  Depending on the franchise, Item 19 may be very lengthy, very limited or non-existent.

While it is nice to have some picture of potential earnings, the numbers from an Item 19 should be taken with a grain of salt for the following reasons:
Average numbers can be misleading and may not reflect how most franchises perform. A few very successful franchises could over inflate a number, while a few duds could under value a number.
Gross sales also do not tell us about a franchisee’s costs or profit. Many franchisors do not have Net Profit information on their franchisees to share.
Geographic relevance is important as earnings may vary with geography.
Franchisee’s backgrounds are not disclosed and different franchisees are going to come from a variety of educational and business backgrounds.
The success or failure of some franchisees does not guarantee anything about your performance.

Other items in an FDD that you will want to pay attention to are the:

  • Franchise Fee – what you invest for the brand, logos, training, systems, tools and processes.
  • The Royalty – This is usually determined based on gross sales. In some industries the royalty fee can be as high as 30%. In the Senior Care Industry it is typically in the 4-8% range[1]
  • Required Advertising Expenses – Most franchises will have local and national advertising requirements.  Keep this in mind when looking at the royalty fee as some companies will tout a low royalty but have high national advertising fees. You want to grow your business anyway so don’t worry about local advertising requirements if it is only a couple percent of your gross sales as you are likely to spend that regardless of the requirement. National advertising is usually taken as a percentage of your gross sales and the franchisor typically decides where to spend the national ad fund.
  •  Item 7 cost ranges typically have a low and a high number. These numbers can vary greatly and don’t be afraid to have a discussion with the franchisor to find out what can impact those ranges. The senior care average is under $100,000[2]

While the FDD is an important document that you should review in its entirety it is still a document. Franchising is also very much a relationship. You will have expectations of the franchisor and they will also have expectations for their franchisees. Just like we said earlier in this paper, trust your gut, are you confident in the support system that is in place along with the systems, tools and process that are part of the franchise system? Are you comfortable with the corporate culture of the organization along with the mission, vision and long term goals?

The Franchise Education Process

The actual process that a franchise uses to educate you about their system can vary but, they often follow some version of this process.

  • You may have scheduled phone calls with different people
  • You may have scheduled calls with the same person
  • You may attend a webinar or be sent a video
  • Most franchise will hold an Open House or Discovery Day where you meet the corporate team in person. This day may vary significantly from franchise to franchise but it is a very important step to get a much better understanding of the franchise.
  • The franchisor may have set times that you can talk to existing franchisees to ask them questions
  • Territory review and analysis
  • Pre signing review
  • Signing of the franchise agreement

Hopefully this paper is useful as you search for the right business opportunity to meet your goals and achieve your dreams. Is there a franchise out there for you? Well, as consumers we probably interact with a franchise virtually every day we leave our house. According to a recent IFA report there are about 900,000 franchise businesses in the US. Franchises generate more than $1 trillion dollars each year in retail sales (which is about 1 of every 3 retail dollars). Franchises employ one out of every 17 people in the US workforce. So there is likely something out there that you are passionate about.

About the Author:
Dave VanderLinde Jr. has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Marketing from Michigan State University. He also obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration that he obtained in 2002 while working in Silicon Valley. Before entering the franchise world he was an international sales manager supporting agents across Asia, Europe and South America.  In 2011 Dave was awarded his CSA (Certified Senior Advisor) certification. Dave is currently both a franchisee in the Seniors Helping Seniors® Franchise system as well as a Regional Owner for Seniors Helping Seniors responsible for franchise development in Michigan and Northern Indiana along with the coaching of new franchise partners as they open in his region. Seniors Helping Seniors currently has 13 franchises in this region and approximately 200 across the country. They were ranked #164 by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 500 – Jan. 2012 issue. Ranked #44 in the Top Fastest Growing Franchises in the country Feb 2012 issue. Expect to be ranked #37 in the Top Home Based Franchises in the Country – April 2012 issue.

[1] Home Care Franchise Fees from Franchise Direct Average Royalty 4%, National Advertising 1.5% and Local Advertising 2.2%.
[2] Franchise Business Review  “Senior Care and Home Health Care Franchises” Special Report December 2010.