How did you get into the industry?
My family owned a hearing aid office in Sterling Illinois. I was an apprentice at their practice.
What’s New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?
The hearing industry is changing rapidly. 3rd party referral and payment sources are now covering almost everyone with either a direct benefit or an indirect discount plan. OTC hearing aids have been approved by the legislature and should be legally available soon. Combine these issues with the COVID virus and we are seeing downward forces on revenue that are causing the brick and mortar competitors to close their doors permanently leaving an expanded market for us.
Where do you see opportunities or challenges for the franchise moving forward?
Immediately with assistive living facilities and other communities on lock down it is more difficult to get into see our clients. This will make starting up new franchise more difficult. This is also helping us as the administrators have been asking us to come in and service them, which will allow the franchisees more successful in the long run.
What is your goal for the business moving forward?
Full saturation of the markets will allows us to make stronger networks and alliances with regional and national facility owners.
Talk to us about training and support and how you deliver.
We will bring the franchisees into our operation and assist them in setting up their business and networks. We have the back office experience and personnel to keep their schedules full and their businesses busy. We teach them how to network and assist to find networking opportunities.
Your most difficult moment at the business?
Growth pains have been hard. We grew so quickly that I hardly had time to make the necessary changes. Saying no to new business opportunities isn’t in my DNA so I have had periods of working 7 days a week 16 hours a day.
Define your Franchise Model?
A. Training and Support Model? 2-4 days in our MA headquarters getting systems into place and learning our marketing methods. We will then spend 2-3 days in their region assisting them with their networking and training on our methods. Ongoing support is daily contact with our PCC’s, and back office staff.
B. What is the Fee Structure? $30,000 franchise fee, 10% royalty and 1% SEO marketing fees. $49/mnth phone, $275/mnth data base, medical records, billing system fee. Insurance billing is available at 5% of amounts collected.
C. Territory Definition? Typically, an area that should have a 3rd year revenue stream of $350,000-$600,00. Usually a 35-mile radius depending on the territory. Normally based on counties and/or zip codes.
What does your franchisee do in the business every day?
Outline the daily opening procedures – What needs to be completed at the start of the business day? Log into Sycle. Log into Partners Technology. Log into email. Log into Waze and set travel appointments.Contact PCC (Patient Care Corodinator) to verify appointments and discuss schedule. Complete all to do’s from previous day in Sycle. Check in orders, make sure rechargeable aids are charged, assemble deliveries for the day. Verify previous days deposits cleared. Order replacement supplies
Outline the daily closing procedures – What needs to be completed at the end of the business day? Input all electronic record notes. Order any products sold during the day. Upload Photos of insurance cards and documents into sycle. Enter sales and repairs into Sycle. Deposit any checks/cash. Enter payments into Sycle. Run any finance plans. Fill out any insurance payment request forms and upload to sycle. Put to do’s into sycle for PCC or Insurance biller to file claims and follow up on. Check manufacturers portal for status on any outstanding orders. Log into 3rd party portals i.e. Truhearing, HCS, Hear.com, etc to track orders/appointment status and payments. Respond to any voicemail or emails. Check confirmation status for next days appointments.
Outline the daily operating tasks to be completed by a Manager or staff member. Be sure to include how to schedule/assign these tasks. Travel to clients residence and perform hearing tests, sell hearing aids/products, deliver hearing aids/products, repair hearing aids, perform cerumen management if properly trained as allowed by law. Collect all payments and insurance information. Input chart notes and end of each appointment. Schedule deliveries for products that have been received. Constantly communicate schedule and ETA with PCC. Consistently develop strong relationships with COA’s, AFL’s, SNIF’s, etc. Attend monthly networking meetings and health fairs.
Who is the ideal franchise candidate?
Must be licensed to dispense hearing aids in their territory. They will have common sense, high customer service and ethical motives. They should be very well versed in providing solutions to hearing disorders.