That is a great questions and one that highlights one of the unique aspects of Always Best Care Senior Services’ franchise ownership opportunities. The answers center around managing the interaction with the referral source and the services provided to the clients coming from the referral source.
Many franchise concepts will ‘protect’ a geographic area for its owners. This means that residents (or in some cases, businesses) of that geography cannot be marketed to, approached or served by another owner in that franchise system. This can work for some home-based services like maid services or mini-blind installation – marketing is targeted, and services are provided, within a defined geography.
A protected referral source, on the other hand, allows an Always Best Care franchise owner (and the referral sources) to feel comfortable knowing there will be a single point of contact, a one-to-one relationship; multiple representatives for the same company will not be calling on the referral source. If an Always Best Care franchise owner has a large hospital, skilled nursing facility, a number of successful elder law attorneys or financial planners, those referral sources are protected from any other owner marketing to them. This is a business based on trust and relationships. Allowing our owners the ability to focus on their protected sources and build those relationships is a key component to their growth and development.
Better yet, clients referred by the protected source may be served outside of the owner’s territory. Any opportunities generated from those sources, regardless of location*, are available to the owner. For example, if Mrs. Doe is discharged from Megaplex General Hospital, the local owner who has developed the relationships with the hospital would have the opportunity to serve Mrs. Doe. If she happens to live in an area outside the local owner’s geography, he can still provide services to her because she came from his protected referral source.
Protecting the referral source is the ideal way to manage the flow of clients in a system that is based on trust and relationships. Referral partners know who their primary contact is, and the franchise owner can build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with them. The ability to follow a client from the referral source allows the franchise owner to remove the limitations of protected geography.
These differences may be too subtle for those outside the industries of franchising and senior care, but they are key, important differentiators for Always Best Care franchise owners. As always, if you have someone interested in the concept, we will be happy to discuss the details and answer any questions.
*Full Disclosure: some states have licensing restrictions that may limit some services is the referred client lives out of state, county or licensing region. Those are likely to be a small minority of the referrals.