“Over eight million people live, work and raise a family outside our capital cities, and this number is growing every day.”
In a recent article in Inside Franchise Business, Mary Aldred, Franchise Council Australia (FCA) CEO spoke about the FCA’s campaign to “support regional revitalisation by highlighting franchises as an efficient, innovative tool to address service and small business ownership gaps.” Southern Grampians Shire Council is one council working closely with FCA, taking a proactive approach to generating business growth for their region.
It’s a timely reminder of the benefits of a franchise system when building a small business, particularly in a regional area:
a recognised brand the community can trust
organisational systems that ensure you can develop a business plan built around proven structures
corporate support to assist you with training and guidance where needed
Which is great news if you’re looking to start your own business and are living in, or looking to move to a regional area. So the next question is, will a Nurse Next Door Home Care franchise business work in your regional area? Whilst the short answer is yes, we’ve identified four opportunities for someone looking to build a home care business in a regional community:
1. Government focus on regional growth
Although populations may be smaller in regional areas, a desire to downsize and simplify makes a move to regional cities and towns an attractive option for people over 65. Recent data confirms this, suggesting a greater proportion of older people live outside capital cities and noting greater concentrations of older demographics within regional areas.
Across the country the Australian Government has renewed its commitment to supporting regional areas, developing a plan to manage population growth and distribution. This includes the support of increased migration to regional Australia – 23,000 places in the migration program will be set aside for regional visas as well as expansion of the ‘Designated Area Migration Agreements Program’ to more regional areas, giving employers flexibility to supplement their workforce, as required, where Australian workers are not available.
So whilst traditionally you may have thought that opening a business in a rural or regional area came at a higher risk due to lower populations, small communities may in fact offer greater opportunity with more concentrated populations of people requiring home care services.
2. A much needed service
This focus on growth in regional areas, coupled with statistics of a growing older population and the knowledge that 1 in 3 households is impacted by disability means a home care business brings a much needed service to your local community.
Recent Milliman data examined the spending patterns, behaviour and trends of Australian retirees for the past 20 years showing that the desire to manage and maintain both our physical and mental health in order to maintain lifestyles and well being makes expenditure on home care, aged care and health care a priority.
3. Close community networks
Living and working in your own community is one of the greatest ways to connect with and support people you know and care about. Locals in any community are happy to see one of their own becoming successful. For Nurse Next Door Franchise Partners it doesn’t take long for the ‘Bold Pink’ brand to get people talking.
Networking is one of Nurse Next Door’s biggest assets, especially in a rural community or small town. Committees, Clubs, and local chambers of Rotary, Probus and other business networks are an integral part of a regional community and provide a great opportunity for business owners to get to know their community and understand how they can really make a difference. Peter Coulter is a Nurse Next Door Franchise Partner in his small community of Comox, British Columbia (population 13,627). He says one of the keys to his success is his familiarity with the needs of his community. “It’s easier to reach everyone. We provide the best service we possibly can, and that’s repaid back to us tenfold.”
4. Making Lives Better
What Nurse Next Door Franchise Partners all have in common is that they are entrepreneurs looking to build a home care business with heart and Nurse Next Door’s core values and philosophy of caring reflect this. Starting a business in your local community will certainly impact the day to day lives of the clients being cared for, often meaning they can access services and remain at home rather than moving away.
However starting a business in a small community doesn’t only benefit the lives of those needing home care services. By starting a business in your region you also brings employment opportunities that help maintain population growth. You create greater diversity in locally-based services offered to the community and assist to create strong and sustainable economic growth in the region.
And like Nurse Next Door Franchise Partners Denise and Victor Henshaw in Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, the benefit is also in the sense of personal fulfillment and engagement. Victor, a retired GP and Denise, then working in IT, took a chance on a change of career after experiencing home care first hand for Denise’s mother. Moving to the Sunshine Coast they saw a huge potential in the demographic – over a third of the population is over the age of 65! – and realised this was a chance to get involved in the community, give back and make a positive difference.
A home care franchise works well in any community but can make a special difference to those smaller towns and communities who don’t always have the services available locally. Each Nurse Next Door territories provides the best opportunity for Franchise Partners to build a robust business, allowing you to work where you live!
With a core purpose of Making Lives Better®, Nurse Next Door, under the leadership of Melbourne based Master Franchisors Matt Fitton and Amber Biesse, provides in-home aged care and disability support services built on our philosophy of Happier Ageing® focusing on possibility rather than disability.