Nobody really enjoys getting older, but for entrepreneurs, aging can be an excellent business opportunity.
After all, more than 10,000 Americans turn 65 years old every day. In fact, by 2030, all Baby Boomers will be 65 years old or older. The oldest members of Generation X are not far behind them. By 2050, one in five people in the United States will be senior citizens.
So, if you’re thinking of buying a franchise or starting a business on your own, you may want to consider a business that caters to the senior set.
What’s out there? What would you want to consider? I have some ideas.
As the vice president of sales and development of the nation’s fastest-growing urgent care franchise system, I can attest to the vitality of the industry. It has exploded in recent decades, as health insurers have looked for ways to keep unnecessary cases out of the emergency room and cut costs in healthcare without sacrificing quality. In the last five years, the urgent care industry has grown at an annualized rate of 5.9% to $38.5 billion.
Drive around your town and start looking for urgent care facilities. You’ll probably notice that, in some areas, urgent care has become about as commonplace as doctors’ offices. Urgent care centers are now serving regular patients for checkups as well as people who come in for non-life-threatening emergencies like a sprained ankle or a poison ivy rash.
While urgent cares treat the entire family, as people age, they, unfortunately, tend to have more health issues, and seniors definitely are a big market for urgent care.
Non-Medical In-Home Care
Local media across the country often reports a surge in requests for in-home care; in places like New York City and Routt County, Colorado. As you can imagine, few people are excited to move into a nursing home. If you can delay that day for a few years, well, why not?
There are a lot of upsides to a business like this. The demand is definitely there, and the overhead is low since most of the work is done in your clients’ homes. There are downsides, though. It can be hard to find enough qualified workers to meet the demand.
Senior Care Consultants
This has been a market that has been heating up for at least a few years now. Senior care consultant franchises help families find the best location for an aging parent to live and be cared for. And it’s definitely the type of niche that a solo practitioner can fill.
It’s a growing need, and it’s not as easy as it may sound — since it involves far more than finding the right place but also determining how the home will be paid for. Some senior care consultants help families with Medicaid and other financial issues, such as life insurance and taxes, and they also can help with finding alternatives to nursing homes, such as the aforementioned non-medical in-home care.
It’s a big need, and the market is likely to keep growing.
Senior Nutrition And Fitness Consultants
This is another area that you may want to consider starting a business in — if, of course, you have the expertise. You’ve probably noticed that today’s seniors act a lot younger than yesterday’s seniors.
Now, when people hit the age of 65, they tend to see retirement as an opportunity, a chance to start a new business or to travel and have fun — to do that in your 70s, 80s and even 90s, it helps to stay healthy.
That’s where a nutritionist and fitness consultant comes in. It is their job to introduce these older clients to diets that are senior-focused and exercises that weren’t meant for somebody 30 years their junior. People are looking for help in ensuring that they not only stick around longer but that they feel better longer.
Whatever your interest, the opportunity is there, and if you’re considering buying a franchise or starting a business in senior services, I wouldn’t wait for long. Hesitation can lead to delays, which can mean putting off your dreams and career goals. And why do that? After all, you aren’t getting any younger either.