Comfort Keepers franchise

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Comfort Keepers are an international care provider and a wholly owned subsidiary of global food and services conglomerate, Sodexo.  The company specialises in the delivery of care services to clients and patients in the comfort of their own home. Comfort Keepers have more than 700 offices worldwide and operate in 10 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, Norway and Singapore.

Comfort Keepers business details

Launched in 1998 and headquartered in Irvine, California, Comfort Keepers have offered franchise opportunities since 1999. The organisation delivers in-home care for the elderly and other adults who need assistance in daily living, including homemaker/companionship care, personal care, and with personal technology services and equipment. Some Comfort Keepers franchises also provide trained nurses to deliver more attentive services, including respite care, senior health and wellbeing care and other private nursing duties.

Comfort Keepers at a glance:

  • Stores: More than 700
  • Required Investor net worth: £300,000
  • Required investor liquid cash: £100,000
  • Min. investment: £105,000
  • Max. investment: £176,000
  • Standard franchise term: 10 years

Can I start a Comfort Keepers franchise?

You can start a Comfort Keepers franchise for fairly low pounds and the liquid cash and net worth requirements should be well within the reach of many entrepreneurs at £100k and £300k, respectively. Comfort Keepers do not mandate that new franchise owners have previous care-provider experience or possess any medical credentials, although either of these attributes would be an added advantage. Franchisees must employ a minimum of two staff (including the franchise owner) and operate a dedicated office to handle administration tasks.

Take note that the company says running a successful care business is ‘hard work’ that requires strong dedication, great time management, good delegation skills and more. They also expect franchise owners to devote all efforts to growing their office and expanding their reach into the local community. This makes a Comfort Keepers franchise an unlikely candidate for remote investment. 

How much does a Comfort Keepers franchise cost?

Despite a fairly hefty initial franchise fee, Comfort Keepers are one of the more affordable franchise options, with set-up costs ranging from £105,000 to £176,000 depending on the size of your operation. This cost ranks as low

The initial franchise fee is £55,000. Military veterans may be eligible for a 10% discount off this cost.

After opening, you are required to pay an array of ongoing fees and charges. They include:

  • Royalty fee: 3% to 5% of gross sales and a minimum of £300 per month
  • National brand fund: The lesser of £757 per month or 2% of gross revenues
  • Local advertising fund: Greater of £1,000 per month or 2% gross revenues
  • Renewal fee: £5,000
  • Audit fee: Actual cost of audit, plus 18% interest (annual rate) on any underpayment
  • Transfer fee: Greater of £7,500 or 2% of gross revenues (capped at £27,500)
  • Additional zip code fee: £300 per 1,000 residents, or by auction per 1,000 residents
  • Technology fee: Currently £0

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Estimated key costs to open a Comfort Keepers franchise:

Key Costs GuideLowHigh
Franchise fee£55,000£55,000
Professional fees£1,500£10,000
Business premises£6,000£24,000
Furniture and equipment£3,500£8,000
Insurance£3,100£6,700
Training expenses£3,000£6,000
Organisational expenses/supplies/printing £650£1,150
Telephone and utility deposits£550£1,650
Advertising, marketing and promotion£2,300£10,000
Licensing£0£10,000
Caregiver training£1,500£3,000
Background screening£350£600
Additional costs – first three months£27,500£40,000

Are Comfort Keepers franchises profitable?

Yes. Comfort Keepers franchises generate average gross revenues of £899,000 per year. Profit margins in the care business are notoriously slim, typically averaging 7.5% to 10% of revenues. This would deliver profits to the franchise owner of £67,400 or £89,900 on the average gross revenues noted above – a return that ranks as moderate and above the UK average income for UK franchise owners (all franchises) of £60,000 per year. 

What is the failure rate for a Comfort Keepers franchise?

The failure rate for a Comfort Keepers franchise is 4% in year one, rising to 10% by year three. This ranks as low to moderate.

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What are the franchise territory policies for Comfort Keepers?

The company grants franchisees a defined territory within which they may operate a single franchised business using the Comfort Keepers brand name. The territory will be a fixed geographical area, set by the borders of specified UK zip codes and containing a population of approximately 225,000 people (but at least 220,000) when the territory is established. Franchisees do not receive an exclusive territory.

They may face competition from other franchisees, from outlets that the franchisor owns or manages, or from other channels of distribution or competitive brands that Comfort Keepers controls. However, the company does grant limited territorial protections, which apply only if franchisees are in good standing under the terms of their franchise agreement. 

What franchise resources do Comfort Keepers offer?

Comfort Keepers support for franchisees includes:

  • Training: Initial training consists of education via webinars and eLearning and includes group instruction and individual instruction. Each attendee must attend every session in its entirety. If franchisees are signing a start-up agreement, they must attend and complete all segments of the initial training program to the franchisor’s reasonable satisfaction within 60 days after signing the franchise agreement. Certain portions of the initial training program involve certification by third parties with associated certification costs. Comfort Keepers may offer additional training or refresher courses periodically and may require franchisees and/or their designated manager to attend.
  • Marketing support: Comfort Keepers provides promotional and other marketing support for their franchisees.
  • Third-party financing: Comfort Keepers provides limited financial support for investors seeking franchise funding. However, you may also be able to obtain economical and flexible funding solutions from the many independent funders who provide business loans to franchise operators.

Why should you start a Comfort Keepers franchise?

International brand presence, the backing of a major conglomerate, low start-up costs, reasonable profits, an ageing UK population and an acceptable failure rate all point towards a solid business opportunity. However, entrepreneurs should do their homework on the potential customer base in their chosen territory before jumping into a Comfort Keepers franchise. It’s not just a case of how many seniors or potential clients there are in your area, it’s how many of them can afford private care services, (which may not be covered by health insurance), and how many currently do not have care or would be willing to switch to a new provider.

Successful care businesses are built on relationships and strong networks that take time and money to achieve. Investors should be prepared for the long haul with this opportunity.

What is the process for starting a Comfort Keepers franchise?

It begins with an application. Start the process today.

Secure franchise funding with Swoop

Starting a new franchise can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s easy to get lost in a maze of business loan applications that can make funding your new care business like too much hard work. Instead, cut out the hassle and cut to the chase. Swoop has the best lenders for the best franchises across the UK. Just tell us what you need and leave the rest to us.

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Testimonials

Written by

Chris Godfrey

Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, Legal and General, Inshur Zego, AIG, Met Life, State Farm, Direct Line, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance and insurance.

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