ATC At Home offers a senior care business opportunity without headache of administrative tasks


For those who’ve chosen a career in providing healthcare to seniors, the headache of accounting is one ailment many are unprepared to handle. As the first of the baby boomers begin to retire, it’s one aspect of the industry senior care professionals can’t afford to ignore– unless they work for ATC At Home.


ATC At Home is the only business opportunity (soon-to-be franchise) in the senior care sector that provides complete and total administrative support to its business opportunity owners. ATC assumes all payroll, accounting, and workers compensation responsibilities. Instead of worrying about balance sheets, payroll taxes and administrative concerns, employees concentrate on growing their ATC At Home business.


“We’re in a very competitive and crowded sector because of growing demand,” explains Oliver Harlow, Vice President of Franchise Development for ATC At Home. He predicts the demand for senior care healthcare services to not only continue but to also expand over the next several decades.


At the expense of additional franchise developments, ATC will offer the largest protected territories in the senior care industry. While the industry norm is 200,000 – 250,000 total population per territory, ATC’s will be 500,000 total population per territory.


Harlow has been involved with senior care franchises for over 9 years and with ATC since the beginning of 2011. Over the past year, Harlow has helped the business opportunity prepare for its soon-to-be franchise status, which the company is expected to officially have within the first few months of 2012. For now, Harlow and ATC are perfecting company structure systems, and finalizing manuals.


Oliver Harlow’s dedication to ATC and senior care is personal. When Oliver was 22 years old his father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He, his mother and his younger sister cared for  him until his death 10 months later. A few years later, Harlow’s grandmother suffered a stroke during her visit to his family over Thanksgiving. His grandmother suffered partial paralysis. Following her rehabilitation, Oliver cared for his grandmother until she sadly passed away a year later.


“This is a rewarding industry,” Oliver reminds me. Once ATC is officially a franchise, he’s eager to recruit franchisees who share his enthusiasm for helping others. “Natural-born networkers, relationship builders, outgoing and people-oriented types who come from a selling and people management background,” are ideal for ATC’s business model he says. Of course, the ideal future franchisee will also have the capital to start the franchise and also the means to support themselves as the business is on its first legs. “You can’t throw your last dollar into it,” says Harlow.


When speaking about the future, Harlow is excited. Though he’s never been a franchisee, he’s always been, “attracted to the opportunity of building from scratch” but feels his “strengths are better suited to a corporate environment.” Oliver’s past positions with senior care franchises have been rewarding and he’s looking forward to helping more people “find and realize their goal of business ownership.”


If you’re interested in senior care franchises and business opportunities or learning more about ATC At Home Healthcare, visit

AMEX Excludes Franchises From Small Business Saturday

“With every dollar we spend, we cast a vote.”


My economics teacher used to repeat this whenever the question of spending came up. If only it really were that simple. She was right, though, in that with every purchase we make (and don’t make) we vote businesses on and off of America’s economic island. The holiday season is a retailer’s chance at surviving the tribal council.


As I’m sure many of you in the franchise industry have heard, American Express (AMEX) excluded franchises from participating in Small Business Saturday this past weekend on November 26, 2011. While many are understandably upset about the exclusion of their business from AMEX’s economic initiative, the situation opens the door to several important questions, including but not limited to where franchising fits into America’s spending psyche.


Many blogs, articles and forums have focused how this happened and how it can be remedied next year. I’m personally more interested in why it happened. If the franchise industry can figure out what inspired AMEX to exclude an entire industry, in which many businesses in my opinion qualify as small businesses, perhaps the thought process behind the decision can be resolved as opposed to simply the situation.


First and foremost, while the success of fast food franchises has certainly helped the industry as a whole, it hasn’t helped the industry’s reputation as a small business job creator. The general public most likely doesn’t understand what franchising truly entails. The term “franchise” often conjures images of McDonald’s golden arches, not mom and pop independently owned businesses.


The term “franchise” should first make us think of an agreement rather than a fast food restaurant. For those who don’t know, the franchise agreement is made between two parties: the franchisor and the franchisee. The franchisor lends his trademark or trade and accompanying business model to the franchisee who in turn compensates the franchisor with a royalty fee, and often an initial fee, for the right to do business under the franchisor’s name and use of the business model. In some cases, but not all, the franchisor takes responsibility for creating marketing materials and implementing marketing strategies to further the success of the franchise. That being said, marketing isn’t free and may factor into the franchise’s royalty fee.


Aside from the extraneous fees, franchises aren’t so different from small businesses. They are are owned and operated by the same kinds of people as small businesses. They serve and employ the same local residents. Lately, they’ve been facing the same economic challenges. It’s understandable why so many franchisees and franchisors are upset.


We’re all, consumers and businesses alike, pinching pennies right now. There certainly isn’t much profligate spending happening this holiday season. The Wall Street Journal hinted that only 29 percent of small businesses are able to give year end bonuses this year. As I said before, every dollar we do or do not spend really matters.


From what I’ve read and heard, marketing has been another issue within the franchise exclusion situation with AMEX. AMEX’s Small Business Saturday offered $25 dollar credits to shoppers who shopped at qualifying establishments, those independently owned and operated businesses that don’t have the budget for national marketing campaigns. These credits didn’t extend to those who supported chains or franchises during Small Business Saturday.


Then again, it’s an understandable mistake. For those of us who are part of the franchise industry that may be difficult to digest. While we recognize the hard work and long hours franchisors and franchisees put into their respective roles, many outsiders can’t see beyond the brands and logos we have pushed to make mainstream.


It is my hope that next year AMEX helps the franchise industry’s small business owners financially by including them in Small Business Saturday. I also hope AMEX helps the franchise industry’s reputation by putting a Main Street face on mainstream logos, so everyone, including industry veterans, remembers who’s behind the cash registers and counters.