Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 49

FIRSTLIGHT HOMECARE

Buying in
FirstLight believes training and support form the foundation for building a successful franchise. The company
requires 55 hours of pre-training over a two-week period followed by six days of classroom training. "We also
have business development directors in the field," Bevis
notes. "We have four of them who make at least two visits
to new franchisees in the first 60 days. They spend two
or three days helping them get up and running, as well as
make weekly coaching calls for the first four months."
FirstLight offers non-medical care, so a healthcare
background is not required to become a franchisee. In
fact, Bevis says franchisees come from all walks of life
and with different occupational backgrounds, including
banking, IT, telecommunications, education, finance,
engineering, management and sales. The company says
the intangible pieces a potential franchisee needs are
business acumen, as well as strong communication, people, organization and presentation skills.
The company has seen an increasing number of veterans attracted to the business model. "They are attracted
because of the growth in the industry, our demographics
and because we are system- and process-oriented," Bevis
says. "Veterans are used to following a successful system,
so when they find or see one that's a strong, proven system, it certainly resonates."
FirstLight offers an affordable buy-in at less than
$100,000 because the model helps owners manage overhead and operating costs at a reasonable level. Each franchisee hires their own direct employees, but the company offers an extra focus on caregiver hiring, training and
retention. "We have the highest caregiver retention rates
and the lowest caregiver turnover rate in the industry,"
Bevis notes. "Our industry suffers from 60 to 70 percent
turnover, but we are at less than 20 percent nationwide
and have been since our inception."

Meeting

the

three years. "We are expanding at a brisk pace with existing owners adding new markets," Bevis notes. "We are
not saturated in any state and there is potential across
the United States to be in 650 markets, so we are not even
halfway there yet."
The company also plans to add five more services to
its model. "We see adding one service every five years for
the next 25 years that we want to expand, create and grow
under the FirstLight brand," Bevis says. "That's part of
our unique, strategic vision to better serve a growing senior market that needs new and different services."
FirstLight is cognizant that unless managed well, rapid
growth can hurt a business, which is why it plans to stay
true to its core. "Our focus really is on preserving the
core and innovating everything else," Bevis says. "We see
the company managing high growth by being true to our
core values and beliefs, which is keeping the caregiver the
most important member of the team and being vigilant
as it relates to the franchise owner and our ongoing commitment to the success of our franchise owners."

need

Today, FirstLight operates in 181 markets in 30 states and
Washington, D.C., and opens about five new franchise locations per month. Each franchise territory is fairly large
and created based on the latest quarterly census data,
such as total and senior populations in the area and a medium household income threshold along with two other
key criteria. "That ensures there's the strongest potential client base," Bevis notes.
Because of the increasing need for in-home care, FirstLight has positioned itself to double in size over the next
FALL 2016

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Franchising Today - Fall 2016

Contents
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover1
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover2
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 1
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Contents
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 3
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 4
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 5
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 6
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 7
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 8
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Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 38
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Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 48
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 49
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 50
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Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover3
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover4
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