When It Comes to Starting a Healthcare Business, the Franchise Model Has Many Advantages Over Going It Alone
Starting a small business is an exciting and challenging endeavor that is full of learning opportunities and responsibilities. Every year, thousands of entrepreneurially minded individuals take that step, and American Family Care (AFC) applauds their efforts.
We’ve been helping people open urgent care franchises for many decades, and we take pride in the role we’ve played not just in facilitating business ownership but in offering communities access to a suite of important healthcare services as a result.
But what’s the best way to start a small business? Essentially, there are two ways to go about it: you can start from scratch, handling all the responsibilities yourself, or you can partner with a franchisor. The latter method has distinct advantages over going it alone. Here, we’ll take a brief look at the history of the franchise model, why it’s such a superior one, and how AFC leverages it to help our franchisees succeed.
Beer, TV, and Our National Highways
Today, there are well over 750,000 franchises doing business in this country every day, but it’s taken a few centuries to get there. The franchise model is actually quite old, going back to mid-nineteenth century Germany when brewers set up contracts with tavern owners to sell their beer exclusively.
The first American franchisor, Isaac Singer, began at around that same time, awarding the rights to sell his sewing machines to traveling independent salesmen. Later, during the 1920s and 30s, iconic brands like Ben Franklin, A&W Root Beer, and Howard Johnson came on the scene to serve millions of consumers.
Many important franchise chains that established themselves in the 1950s and 60s did so as a result of two important cultural changes in the U.S.: the rise of television advertising and the establishment of the national highway system.
The former made nationwide advertising a consistent and reliable way to build brand awareness; the latter made travel to unfamiliar locations more common, creating the need for national brand names as a way of demonstrating and ensuring quality to potential customers in new locations.
Why Does the Franchise Model Work So Well?
Clearly, the franchise model is a popular one, but why is that? One reason is groundwork — the efforts that have been made by the franchisor (the team of people behind a brand) that make it easier for franchisees to run their businesses and focus on growth. This groundwork is represented in numerous ways, and below are a few of them.
- A Proven Business Model: One of the most important aspects of business ownership is developing a business model that will allow you to anticipate and respond to needs and challenges and to grow over time. Starting a business from scratch means coming up with that business model yourself; partnering with a franchisor like AFC means you can rely on ours, one that has been refined over the decades to take the guesswork out of running your urgent care center. From hiring qualified staff to interacting with insurers to marketing your clinic, our business model lays it all out and allows you to focus on what matters most — patient care and growth!
- Expert Training and Support: Any industry in which one decides to do business requires you to know something about it, and becoming knowledgeable can take precious time. But built into the franchise model is important corporate training and support. Having said that, not all franchisor involvement is equal; some put more effort into their training and support than others, and at AFC, we make it of paramount importance! That means you can come to our opportunity with no experience in a healthcare field and still feel confident in your ability to succeed. With us by your side, you’ll enjoy our help:
- Licensing your clinic
- Hiring qualified staff
- Marketing you franchise
- Keeping records
- Implementing best practices
- Utilizing technology
- And much more!
You’ll also have access to our proprietary operations and procedures manual to turn to for details about running all aspects of your clinic.
- An Established and Respected Name: Once your business doors open, it’s essential that you spend time establishing a reputation that you can feel good about and that reassures potential customers or clients. Again, this can take time. But because AFC has decades in the franchise sphere and has worked hard to build a reputation that communities can trust, starting a healthcare business with us means you won’t need to worry about making a name for yourself — we’ve already done it for you! With less effort required to build a reputation, you can concentrate on growing your presence and meeting the needs of your community.
What Are Some Common Objections to Franchise Ownership?
With all there is to recommend opening an urgent care franchise over going it alone, you’d think few would be hesitant to do so. In fact, there are numerous myths surrounding the franchise model that can keep otherwise well-qualified candidates from taking advantage of it.
Some people think it’s too financially risky to open a franchise, but in fact, franchises are statistically less risky endeavors because of all the work franchisors have already put into them. Kinks have been worked out, best practices are in place, and the business model acts as a sort of roadmap for franchisees to follow.
Others think that by partnering with a franchisor, you’ll be giving up the chance to run things the way you’d like. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. While all franchise brands do have specific guidelines and procedures that franchisees must follow, our business model allows for plenty of individuality. Letting our owners run their clinics with minimal interference contributes to our brand’s overall success, so we make sure our franchisees have the freedom they need to do so.
Another common misconception is that you’ll need prior experience in a given industry to operate a franchise. But as we’ve just discussed, thanks to our comprehensive pre-opening training and ongoing support, you’ll be prepared to leverage our business model to the fullest and stay on track toward success. Not only that, but we’re also available anytime to answer questions, listen to feedback, or address concerns.
Small business ownership is not for everyone. But for those who aspire to it, who are excited by its possibilities, and who are ready to make a difference in their community, opening an urgent care franchise with AFC can mean real rewards, both personally and professionally!
To find out more about the AFC medical clinic business model, reach out today!