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Visiting Angels

NORTH DAKOTA

Arpitha Rao, owner of Visiting Angels, claims the non-medical in-home care service for seniors affords her more time with her family.
Source: Visiting Angels
Arpitha Rao, owner of Visiting Angels, claims the non-medical in-home care service for seniors affords her more time with her family.
Description: Non-medical, in-home senior care
Owners: Vijay and Arpitha Rao
Years in business: 3
No. of franchises owned: 1
Start-up costs: $68,000 to $93,000; $41,000 to $49,000
Franchisor fees: 3.5% of revenues
2015 revenue, 2016 projection: $450,000; $700,000
2016 projected annual growth rate: 35%

Arpitha Rao earned her bachelor's degree in engineering in India and an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2007 but wanted a career that would give her flexibility to spend quality time with her then 5-year-old daughter and family. Since her husband, Vijay, is an oncologist, Arpitha was familiar with the stories of elderly folks needing help with their personal and home care while they or their spouse battles an illness. That's what led her to the Visiting Angels franchise, the non-medical in-home care service for older adults.

"When you can help senior citizens stay in their homes and provide them with care for day-to-day chores and independence, that's a good business to have in the community," she said. The franchise Arpitha runs serves seniors in the Bismark, North Dakota, area and helps them with chores, including light housekeeping, cooking, errands, grooming and dressing assistance and sometimes just some simple companionship.

Additional resources for franchisees

Larry Meigs started Visting Angels in 1998 when he realized that aging baby boomers would represent a huge market opportunity. Today the company has franchises across the country and claims that its average franchisee takes in $1 million in annual revenue, with a profit margin of 30 percent to 40 percent. Arpitha said she was impressed with the parent company's business model and its smart use of marketing fees to build the Visiting Angels brand name.

"They are on national TV, and that drives a good amount of traffic to our local office," she said. A recently launched online community for franchisees is also welcome, Arpitha said, because it gives her a chance to easily communicate with other Visiting Angels owners to ask questions or share ideas.

Her advice to others interested in franchising? "Read the fine print in the [franchise disclosure document] and have an understanding of the total cost of opening the business. Not just the money you have to invest, but the time and effort as well."

"When you can help senior citizens stay in their homes and provide them with care for day-to-day chores and independence, that’s a good business to have in the community." -Arpitha Rao

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