Amada Senior Care: the well-being of your clients depends on your training
By Meredith Kay


When the life of your client literally depends on you and your business, you better make sure that you have the system, and processes in place, to offer the very best training to your franchise owners and their employees. Amada Senior Care has been helping seniors with their daily needs for nearly ten years. Their franchise owners are put through a rigorous and ongoing training program, that not only teaches them how to run a successful home healthcare business, but they also learn how to effectively train their team of caregivers, sales associates and office personnel. Amada trains their franchise owners to become competent business owners and leaders, to ensure success and further strengthen the brand image throughout the communities that they serve.

Chad Fotheringham, President (left); Tafa Jefferson, CEO (right)

Founded by two dynamic college friends in 2007, Amada Senior Care has grown from a successful home healthcare business into a franchise company with 74 units in 39 states. Tafa Jefferson was inspired to start his home healthcare business by his mother, who worked as a caregiver. When Tafa reconnected with his friend Chad Fotheringham, the two former football teammates set out to create one of the most successful home healthcare companies in the country today.

Amada Senior Care offers an intensive, eleven phase training program for new franchise owners, and they are encouraged to become adept at each position essential to running a successful Amada franchise. This includes learning Amada’s unique sales process to attract new patients and referral sources, as well as learning about Amada’s proprietary agency software and technology support system. Finally, franchise owners will also be trained how to successfully manage the day to day operations of an Amada Senior Care franchise business. This will, in turn, enable them to successfully train future employees as their business expands and grows.

“We have developed a training program that offers a delicate balance between training and support,” states Chad Fotheringham, President of Amada Senior Care. “We believe in giving new franchise owners the training needed to run their franchise self-sufficiently and to be able to support them when there is an emergency. We need the owners to do every job, so that they know every dark corner of the business.”

New franchise owners begin their onboarding with web based training that outlines the Amada business model and will prepare them for their week long training seminar at the corporate offices in San Clemente, California. This first phase usually takes two to three weeks and allows the owners, along with guidance from the Amada team, to put together a customized sales plan that will be implemented once the new franchise business is up and running.

The next phase will include a visit to Amada’s home office for five, intense days of training. Here, the new franchise owners will become educated about the home healthcare industry and the different sources of income available in the market, including how Medicare and Medicaid will fit into the referral system. Owners will also learn how Amada’s sales and marketing programs work, and how to hire and train competent caregivers, which will become the backbone of their business. The training week continues with in-depth training on franchise operations, including payroll, billing and scheduling, and will finish with training on how to utilize QuickBooks, as well as Amada’s proprietary franchise management software.

Following their week in California, new franchise owners are then sent home to implement what they’ve learned, and to begin running their Amada business on their own. Amada employs three separate training professionals to assist franchise owners in each of the three key areas: sales, operations and technology support. These experts are always available for further training and to answer questions as the new owners dig in and begin making sales calls, hiring new caregivers and managing clients. Amada feels that it is very important to offer “owner focused training” for their franchise partners during the first 12 months in business, and then they will offer supplemental training to support staff as the business grows.

Once the new franchise owners have the basics down, Amada then sends a field trainer to the new business location for three days of franchise fine tuning. At this time, the field trainer will be able to ride along on sales calls, and instruct the owner how to utilize Amada’s sales system to maximize referrals, and manage client and patient communication as effectively as possible. The field trainer will also be on hand to help screen applicants as they hire caregivers, and possible new employees.

Fotheringham says, “Once they get trained on the tackling and blocking of home care, then the test comes; to teach them how to play the game.” Amada prides itself on their franchise training program, and although they require that a new franchise owner be completely immersed in the day to day operations of the business for the first 12 months, their goal is to “train the owner out of the business.” However, they will always be ready to jump back in at any time if needed.

Amada Senior Care has several processes in place which allow them to maintain that franchise owners stick with the franchise system. It begins with their proprietary software that allows franchise owners to track everything about their business. This technology includes a mobile app that allows caregivers to clock in and clock out, as well as log each detail of their day. This information is then accessible to the franchise owner, the client’s family and doctors, so that they can see what duties were performed, and which medications were given, and when they were administered. They system is called Transparent, and it will also send out monthly questionnaires to the families of each patient, so that the franchise owner can track that their clients are happy with the care that their loved ones are receiving.

Once established, Amada conducts ongoing monthly one-on-one calls to the franchise owners. These calls will have the businesses go deeper into the areas in which they were initially trained. It allows them to better understand the industry, the business, and how the specialized Amada systems will help them grow and succeed in the first year of operation. Weekly training calls are also available for all franchises, and touch upon current topics that are impacting the market and the franchisees themselves.

All of this ongoing training, once the franchise is up and running, then becomes a part of Amada’s Traction System, which teaches leadership skills and management techniques to the franchise owners. Fotheringham further states, “Once we train the owners on how the business works, we can then train them how to train their teams in order to reach their goals more effectively. One of the biggest reasons that franchise businesses fail is fear. We want to take that fear away.”

To the founders and staff of professionals at Amada Senior Care, training is everything. They are constantly changing, and morphing with the industry and the needs of their clients. The company is compassionate and charitable, and driven to be the very best through their urgency in all things relating to their clients. The training program for their new franchise owners is one of the most comprehensive systems out there, and they plan to continue enhancing the lives of seniors around the country for many generations to come.

About Amada Senior Care
Amada takes care of the caregiving for relatives. Amada Senior Care is committed to enriching lives by providing nurturing, compassionate senior home care and by guiding families through the many senior housing options available for assisted living. Healthcare professionals and families look to Amada to help them navigate the complexities of the senior care system.

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