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Crystal Franz | CEO | HomeWell Franchising Inc.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has enforced a new way of living. Stepping out for grocery shopping to banking services has been an important part of a routine for many. However, series of lockdowns and social distancing norms have forced everyone to stay in and manage daily routine via digital platforms except for healthcare services.

With COVID-19 testing the prowess of the healthcare industry, it has become difficult for individuals in a need of assistance to receive appropriate healthcare services at home. Many felt the need for at-home caregivers to assist in their healthcare needs as well as to minimize the risk of getting infected by visiting the hospitals.

Realizing the need for caregivers during pandemic, home care providers stepped up to fill the gap and assist primary healthcare providers to extend services at homes. HomeWell Franchising Inc. is among the renowned home care service providers providing consistent, cordial, and quality services in the US. The company, with its robust franchise model and several programs, empowers clients to stay home healthily with the right caregiver to care for them.

Under the leadership of the CEO, Crystal Franz, HomeWell has established its uniqueness in the homecare industry by keeping clients’ physical as well as mental well-being at the center of the caregiving plan.

Read the following interview to get a glimpse of HomeWell’s caregiving approach, how the company has survived the pandemic, and the company’s plan to widen the reach of its services to cater to more people in need.

Please brief our audience about HomeWell Franchising, its values, and the key aspects of its stronghold within the home care services industry.

Our brand, HomeWell Care Services® provides personal care, companionship, and homemaker services for seniors and other homebound individuals, so they can remain safely in the comfort of wherever they call home. HomeWell is committed to helping people live life fully and offers special programs for fall prevention, post-medical care, and life enrichment.

Our agencies take a holistic approach to home care. It’s not just about placing a caregiver in the home. We take a proactive approach by first assigning each client a Care Manager who conducts a comprehensive needs assessment and creates a personalized plan for each individual and their families. Based on the personalized plan, caregivers that match the clients’ care needs and personality are selected.

HomeWell Care Services has over 40 open locations representing over 80 territories across the U.S. and Canada. HomeWell Franchising has a strong pipeline of new agencies set to open. HomeWell has been recognized as a Franchise Business Review Top 100 low investment franchise and continually ranks on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list.

Tell us more about the services that make your brand stand out from the competition?

HomeWell Care Services offers custom home care programs tailored to fit each client’s needs. We offer varying levels of care that range from providing companionship to someone who lives alone to assisting with activities of daily living to more specialized care when advanced health conditions present.

HomeWell also offers a flexible frequency of care options. For some of our clients that live far from their families, having a caregiver a few hours a week provides the peace of mind they need knowing that their loved one is in good hands. There are also those clients that need frequent help and require 24-hour care or live-in care.

HomeWell also offers special programs. Our foundational program, Life Enrichment Activities Program (LEAP) aims to combat social isolation and loneliness. With LEAP, our clients get to do the things they love alongside their dedicated HomeWell caregiver. Loneliness and social isolation in older adults increase the risk for depression, premature aging, dementia, and other serious medical conditions. LEAP benefits anyone who may need some extra engagement and enrichment.

We also offer a SureStep Fall Prevention program which assesses when a client is at risk for falling and provides actionable insights to reduce that risk and prevent future falls.

GoHomeWell is a program that helps to ease back into independent living after a hospital or rehab stay. As returning home can be stressful, the GoHomeWell program eases anxiety and is designed to help our clients remain independent at home and avoid the risk of readmission.

What is your opinion on the impact of the current pandemic on the global healthcare sector, and how has your company fared during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns?

The global pandemic has shed a light on home care and how valuable the industry is in the care continuum. We saw hospitals that were overcrowded with COVID patients. To keep other patients safe and make room at the hospital for more acute cases, those that could go home were sent home.

However, they still needed help recovering in their homes and that’s where home care and the help of a caregiver becomes valuable. Additionally, we saw many of our partners in the nursing home and assisted living facilities struggling to keep their residents safe.

We have seen the company grow exponentially during the pandemic. While lockdowns were occurring, the safest place to be was at home and we provide our services to our clients in the safety and comfort of their home. Additionally, with so many industries taking a hit, many people were looking for a new, more resilient business opportunity and we have seen our franchisee candidate pipeline grow greatly.

Tell us more about your franchising opportunities, eligibility criteria, and benefits that a probable franchisee may receive.

HomeWell Franchising Inc offers franchises through HomeWell Care Services with many territories available across the U.S. In addition to financial requirements, such as liquidity and net worth, we also look for franchisees that share the same values as HomeWell. We look for franchise owners seeking financial success by making a positive impact on clients and their families’ lives. We are not just providing quality care; we also provide peace of mind to families who have entrusted their loved ones’ care to our agencies.

As a franchisee, there are many benefits. We offer a tried-and-true business model that a franchisee can follow. By being engaged and tapping into the resources that HomeWell provides, our franchisees can follow a plan, while also having the flexibility to go after multiple revenue streams and building an operation that best suits their level of expertise and desire.

Additionally, HomeWell offers its owners a large network of fellow owners to tap into for knowledge sharing, advice, and comradery. Along with dedicated franchise business coaches and ongoing training, HomeWell owners have a full, built-in support system. Our award-winning brand identity and marketing programs are turn-key for our franchisees to utilize. And as business owners, they have the freedom to build their business with the support of a national company.

As an established leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the home care services sector?

There is a lot of potential in the home care industry. The 65+ age population is growing faster than any other population segment and the need for non-medical home care continues to rise. However, while there is much growth and opportunity in this industry, it takes hard work and commitment to building a successful agency.

It is not a business that will grow itself. Our owners put in a lot of effort building relationships, growing trust with their employees and clients, and managing the day-to-day operations of their home care agency. At the end of the day, we often find that our home care owners can do very well financially by doing well for others in their community.

How do you envision scaling your company’s operations in 2021?

Our goal is to add 20 new owners to our system and to assist our current franchisees with their growth. To accomplish that, we’ve recently expanded our Franchise Services team by adding a head of Franchise Services and an additional Franchise Business Consultant to our team.

This will help our owners with launching and scaling their businesses faster and more effectively. And as always, we continue to optimize our organization and operations to best suit the needs of our franchise system and continue to provide value to every owner no matter where they are in the life cycle of their business.