Franchisor Interview, Stef Ferrari, President, PSquared Franchising, Inc.

PSquared Franchise LogoSeptember 20, 2012– ModernFranchises.com and iFranchiseNews.com recently had the opportunity to interview Stef Ferrari, President of PSquared Franchising, Inc.

During the interview process we asked Stef numerous questions about the PSquared franchise opportunity. We found Stef and her team to be extremely helpful during the process and want to thank them for our readers and ourselves for providing such a comprehensive and in-depth interview.

Readers and potential Franchisees may reach out to PSquared Franchising directly with the information and/or EZ contact form provided below.

QUESTION: What is your name?
ANSWER: Stef Ferrari

QUESTION: What is the name of your franchise?
ANSWER: PSquared Franchising, Inc.

QUESTION: What is your position?
ANSWER: President

QUESTION: What market does your franchise serve?
ANSWER: Healthcare

Stef Ferrari, President, PSquared Franchising, Inc.

Stef Ferrari, President, PSquared Franchising, Inc.

QUESTION: What products or services does your franchise offer?
ANSWER: PSquared places credentialed practitioners in primary care settings.

QUESTION: What year did you begin franchising?
ANSWER: PSquared franchises became available for sale in 2012.

QUESTION: How many franchises have you awarded in your first year of operation?
ANSWER: We just kicked off our sales process about two months ago.

QUESTION: If you are the founder, what were you doing before you started your franchise?
ANSWER: I am one of three founders of PSquared. My partners, Vincent Penry and Rose Pryor, have owned and operated the core business, called ProHealth Partners (www.beprohealth.com), and similar models for over a decade. They had been approached repeatedly in that time about franchising their model, and in 2011 they finally made the decision to pursue that avenue. Meanwhile, I was actually working in the beer industry (believe it or not!) on business development and operations management for an emerging craft brewery in California. Vin and Rose approached me in that time to help spearhead the project, and I relocated to Connecticut to do so. I was so inspired by the idea of helping to provide a solution in today’s healthcare industry, and to grow a brand that I had been aware of for years and believed in so strongly.

Vincent Penry and Rose Pryor, Co-Founders

Vincent Penry and Rose Pryor, Co-Founders

QUESTION: What are some of the obstacles you have had to overcome within your franchise?
ANSWER: Well, there are so many hurdles to clear when building a franchise business – any franchise business. But with PSquared, we had to be a little more diligent in selecting counsel and consultants because we work with Medicare. As you can imagine, there is plenty of red tape involved in such a highly regulated area and we wanted to be absolutely sure – for both ours and our franchisees’ sakes that we had looked at every possible angle.

QUESTION: In general, how would you describe your franchise to our readers?
ANSWER: PSquared businesses provide outsourced fee for service primary care via non-physician providers (Nurse Practitioners, Physician’s Assistants and equivalents) in primary care settings at no cost to the facility. In layman’s terms, we make connections between the Practitioners and the facility so that they can augment their staff. In doing so, we help with some of the facilities’ concerns (to reduce liability and rehospitalizations, improve documentation among other things), we help offer stronger clinical support to attending physicians, and increase the patients’ access to medically necessary visits. At the end of the day, it means greater patient satisfaction, which is a positive for all parties involved.

QUESTION: What factors do you attribute to the success of your franchise?
ANSWER: Experience. I’d say that is the key. In addition to ProHealth Partners, our founders have over 40 years of collective experience in the skilled nursing field. They’ve held an array of positions during their careers, providing them the insights into the business that originally inspired the model. Vin and Rose are also both clinicians (Penry a Nurse Practitioner and Pryor a Registered Nurse), so they can advise on both clinical and operational aspects of the business. Because they not only created the model, but ran it for over ten years (and continue to do so for the CT based PHP), they’ve had the opportunity to benefit from trial and error and to really perfect the core practice. It wasn’t until they felt that they were running a well-oiled machine that they decided it was ready to be franchised.I also think that to some degree, as with any business venture, timing is a factor. The current climate is such that people are very aware of what is happening in the healthcare industry, and those looking for a franchise are taking notice. Healthcare – particularly in senior care – is a very “hot” area. Baby boomers are aging, Medicare is in the news, and everyone in the industry is searching for solutions. PSquared helps to offer one – a profitable one – for transitional care. We want to make that opportunity available to those looking for similar solutions.

QUESTION: What is your typical day like?
ANSWER: For me, right now I spend a lot of my day discussing the model with candidates. I try to connect with folks who are interested in an exciting business opportunity that is both profitable and rewarding. I work with our sales team to help find those candidates and to help spread the word about our business.

I also spend time finalizing the franchise’s infrastructure; we have an intranet portal for franchisees so that they have easy access to forms and necessary tools for the business, we have developed a comprehensive training structure that touches not only on operational but also clinical aspects of the business, and we have secured an exclusive agreement with our affiliate billing company for our franchisees.

QUESTION: What is the typical day like for one of your franchisees?
ANSWER: A franchisee – once they’re up and running at full steam – will spend time every day on the two main responsibilities: recruiting and business development. They want to maintain a pipeline of both qualified labor and available facilities so they can continue to make the connections that will grow their business. They will work with our affiliate billing company, Revenue Enhancement Solutions, on a regular basis to secure reimbursements and they will make sure that facilities are getting what they need from the Practitioner. Communicating with the clinicians is critical, though a franchisee does not interfere with their practicing medicine.We also recommend that our franchisees work from a dedicated home office, so they have the flexibility to tailor their day to fit their lives. If they need to pick up the kids from the bus at 3, they can plan for that. We think it’s a very lifestyle-friendly franchise.

QUESTION: Who is your typical franchisee?
ANSWER: We are speaking with candidates that come from a number of camps. While having some healthcare experience is certainly a plus, it is not required. We look for highly motivated individuals with strong business backgrounds, management and interpersonal skills. Those may sound like resume buzzwords, but they are absolutely relevant here!

QUESTION: What types of skills and personality traits are you looking for in a potential franchisee?
ANSWER: Entrepreneurial spirit and motivation are important. Also, this franchise is about hiring good, solid folks and connecting them with a perfect match for their skill sets and individual interests. PSquared franchisees must have great insight and instincts in selecting those people and matching them, as that is the basis of the business. It is imperative that they’re comfortable having those conversations and being able to create and leverage a network of associates.

QUESTION: How would you describe the training program for new franchisees?
ANSWER: Our initial training program in our Connecticut corporate office is broken up into two sections. There is a one-week operational training that includes all aspects of running the business, as well as a one-week clinical training for either the owner/operator or their “Clinical Lead” Practitioner that touches on the most important and relevant information in the skilled nursing setting. That clinical training also includes a day of shadowing with one of our established clinicians in our home business in Connecticut.In addition to these intensive training weeks, we will come out to each franchisee’s territory for a few days when they get started and accompany them during interviews with Practitioners and pitch meetings with facilities to help guide them initially. We also offer ongoing training, support and consultation. We very strongly believe – as cliche as it may sound – that our franchisees’ success is our success. We need them to succeed and plan to make sure that they have all the tools they could possibly need to do so.

QUESTION: In general, what advice can you give to aspiring franchisees contemplating buying a franchise?
ANSWER: Research and be diligent. Find an opportunity that you’re passionate about – that is often overlooked! Make sure that the industry in which you’re looking is a stable one that will sustain your business.Also important when doing your diligence on a franchisor is determining what their “hands on” experience is like. Did they develop the idea or did they buy it from someone who did? Did they actively operate that concept? Choosing a franchisor that has gotten their hands dirty and has been in the trenches, so to speak means that you’re going to have access to advice from someone who knows first hand what you’re attempting to do. They will know the ins and outs of the business and how to troubleshoot with you when necessary.

QUESTION: How has your life changed since becoming involved with your franchise?
ANSWER: My eyes have really been opened to a whole different side of the business world. I think when many people hear the word “franchise” they think mainly of fast-food. In my business development experience, growing a brand was something that was done internally, but being involved in a franchise has demonstrated this completely different strategy – and incredibly effective strategy – for making your product more available.

QUESTION: How large would you like to see your franchise become?
ANSWER: We are actually looking to be fairly conservative with the size of our system. Because of the sensitive nature of the healthcare business, we would prefer to stay on the smaller side and be able to offer attention to our franchisees whenever they may need it.

QUESTION: What other information would you like to share that might be helpful to potential franchisees?
ANSWER: Again, I try to stress the passion part. Purchasing a business based on the fact that you know the brand may seem like it’s less risky, but if you buy a fast-food joint and you don’t like burgers, it’s going to be a long day at the office!

Ask as many questions as possible before signing your Franchise Agreement. Sit down with the franchisor, inquire about their vision for the system (How big with it be? What kind of marketing plan will they implement? What states will they go into? Will it be international? ), and find out as much as you can about their individual experience. If they are the ones you will be going to with questions or concerns, make sure they are qualified to answer them!

QUESTION: Do you operate any other franchise concepts?
ANSWER: No

QUESTION: Franchise freestyle (please tell us anything else you would like our readers to know about you, your staff or your franchise):
ANSWER: Our franchise is a unique model that deals specifically with the hot button issue of transitional care. We provide a profitable solution and help to prevent rehospitalizations and improve the continuity of care.

QUESTION: Your phone number and extension:
ANSWER: 203-521-9806

QUESTION: The address of your corporate office:
ANSWER: 324 Elm St. Suite 202B,  Monroe, CT 06468

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From: The Modern Franchises Team