Senior Helpers growth potential

Senior Helpers taps into massive aged care growth potential

Sarah Stowe

A healthy Australian can now expect to live to about 83 years of age, an extra 20 years more than someone born 90 years ago, according to United Nations predictions.

And as our population ages, it tends to age well, thanks in part to an improved healthcare system with advanced medical treatments and vaccinations.

So we are living healthier lives, for longer, which is keeping elderly people out of residential care and providing plenty of opportunities for other businesses to deliver age-appropriate services.

The estimated annual market growth is 14 per cent for the next two decades. According to KPMG market analysis – the sector is already a $22 billion industry.

In June 2020, 16 per cent of the population was aged over 65.

Aged care potential continues to rise

As Brandon Edwards, Business Development Manager at Senior Helpers, points out, there’s a clear opportunity for small business owners.

“It’s a big part of what we propose to new owners. The demographic is getting older so there’s a fundamental increase in the potential marketplace of clients.”

And it’s fuelling interest from potential business owners.

A business such as Senior Helpers essentially helps fill the substantial gap between total independence and residential care. It delivers an at-home care service that in many cases is general assistance for clients. But it can be as intense as 24-hour support, if needed.

“Quite often a senior doesn’t need the full-on care provided by a residential facility,” says Brandon. “We provide the level of care that they need.”

An at-home care solution helps out the adult children of seniors who are often described as the sandwich generation. They are looking after their parents as well as their own kids, and managing their careers.

“From my experience families want to do everything they can to keep parents in their own home.

“We provide a broad range of support from low impact shopping and housework to high intensity care of frail adults with cognitive change.

“We do provide a lot of disability support as well,” he reveals.

A brand new TV campaign launching in March 2023 will showcase the breadth of work Senior Helpers engages in, including disability care.

“We want to have people understand we do so much more. We can provide services to anyone aged 18 plus.”

A boutique approach looks for measured growth

Senior Helpers is a boutique offering in the market, with just 15 offices open (more are scheduled).

“We want to expand and grow, but only as it further aids the owners as a whole. We won’t be growing at the expense of the care we provide,” says Brandon.

The slower and more sustainable growth strategy suits the boutique approach.

“First and foremost, we want franchise owners who are in this because they care about the people they look after. It is a for-profit organisation, and we want franchisees to have a profitable business but we want to see the care.

“That’s what we look for in people who come from a broad range of backgrounds.

“All of our franchisees are independent owner operators and they leverage the support of the franchise,” Brandon explains.

The national office provides a six-day new owner training program. During this program franchisees learn how the business functions and how to operate their own office.

Field support officers regularly visit franchisees. They review and discuss sales reports and any procedural changes, with an eye to helping the business grow, Brandon says.

It is vital franchisees keep up to date with policies and procedures and Senior Helpers keeps them informed and helps connect the dots.

Head office support helps franchisees build success

The organisation can also ease the process of becoming an approved provider of home care packages.

“You need to be an approved provider to access Government funding directly. However, there is an ability to engage with a known approved provider to access and support government subsidised clients.”

In addition to a growing market of older potential clients, franchisees can boost their businesses with an additional territory.

The business structure is actually set up to reward revenue success, reducing the royalty fees when franchisees reach certain revenue targets.

“If franchisees increase their revenue they can bring down royalties, and that encourages growth,” points out Brandon.

“As a brand Senior Helpers is fully supportive of franchisees who are in a position to take on multiple locations,” he says.

“Our growth strategy is to maintain a boutique feel. We are not singular operators but not a major player either. We want to keep that feel while slowly scaling, and work with people who see the benefit of this.”