Providing home services and equipment for disabled or older homeowners is an ever-burgeoning field, as more and more residents choose to “age in place” in their familiar home rather than relocate to a different home or a retirement community.
For a relatively low investment level, a franchisee can reap not just financial rewards but also an intangible sense of satisfaction; the kind that comes with helping those in their community.
What is “Aging in Place”?
Aging in place means living out one’s golden years by continuing to live as usual in one’s current home, rather than, for example, move to a condominium in a retirement community or relocate to an assisted-living facility. The home may hold special meaning to a family, and staying there can also instill a feeling of continued independence for older residents.
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies reports that, in 2035, the head of one in three households will be someone 65 or older. For those who want to age in place, there is more to it than just staying put. Aging in place requires a good deal of planning, as noted by the National Institute on Aging. That’s where entrepreneurs in the home services industry can help.
Eventually, aging in place may require more personalized care and specialized services as the resident ages. It’s common for a home to require a few practical tweaks in order to adapt the residence to an older person’s changing abilities.
What is the Investment Range to Get Into the Market?
A number of franchise brands have built business models specifically designed to meet the increasing desire to age in place, and some of them don’t require vast financial resources to get involved.
101 Mobility is one of the largest dealers of mobility and accessibility solutions in the United States, and one of the top franchise opportunities in the segment. The key to the business’s success is prompt, reliable delivery and installation of stairlifts, auto lifts, ramps, mobility scooters, vertical platform lifts, elevators, and more — all exactly the kind of modifications that enable homeowners to age in place with ease.
The initial investment to open a 101 Mobility Franchise can range from $118,290 to $216,620, says Mike Gardner, franchise development manager for the company. “That’s all-in, including the initial franchise fee, location build-out, and 12 months of working capital,” Gardner explains.
What Kind of Return on Investment Can I Expect?
Because results tend to vary widely from location to location and territory to territory, the company does not make earnings claims or revenue projections, but some simple calculations based on initial investment costs, overhead, and market analysis may give you some idea of what to expect.
Operating costs are lower than those for other retail-based shops, because physical 101 Mobility locations are often warehouses in areas with lower lease or real estate costs, and they require only a few employees. With such conservative overhead costs, it’s a concept ripe for success and healthy margins as demand rises.
How Long Until Break-Even?
Every new franchisee’s basic mission is selling products and services to achieve revenue that is greater than their costs. In other words, they should first be focused on reaching their “break-even” point, where expenses no longer exceed revenues.
Franchise owners will deal with fixed costs, which remain the same across the short term, and variable costs, which change based on the number of products sold. To determine the break-even goal, you multiply the number of units sold by the profit per product, which equals fixed cost. The sale price of a product minus the variable cost associated with that unit equals profit per product.
The period that new franchisees typically record losses can vary widely based on multiple factors. Some franchise owners break-even within a few months of operation, while some will take more than a year.
Setting a goal for reaching break-even is a crucial piece of building your business plan, but it’s important to create a best-case and worst-case scenario for when you expect to reach your goal. This will help you maintain realistic expectations, and make sure your financial plan includes enough working capital available to sustain the business in a worst-case scenario.
A franchise that operates at a loss (fails to meet its break-even point) will continue to accrue debt. So, it is paramount for a franchise owner to calculate the break-even point as a planning tool — to determine how much they must sell to achieve a profit. It’s how a new franchise owner is able to project the short- and long-term growth of their business.
A Road Map for Growth
101 Mobility guides each new franchise owner on best practices and basic assumptions to use when building their annual budgets and projections. This road map for the year provides an accurate picture of expenditures and revenues, to drive important decisions such as whether to increase marketing, cut expenses, or hire additional staff. The budget enables franchisees to review their financial picture in an objective manner, highlights business decisions that require their attention and forces them to start thinking about the future of their business.
And it’s a promising future when the operation is planned and executed well.
“It’s a very growth-oriented industry,” Gardner says. “The aging population is the fastest-growing demographic, and that’s not our only end-user. We also provide solutions for those with disabilities and others in the special needs community.”
Not only do these different demographics and needs help drive revenue for a franchise like 101 Mobility, helping people who rely on the services and products the brand provides also gives franchisees an equally rich sense of personal satisfaction. In fact, many franchisees will say that the best part about owning a 101 Mobility franchise is helping people.
If you are interested in learning more about franchise opportunities with 101 Mobility, contact us and someone will be in touch with you shortly.