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  • Writer's pictureEssential Speech & ABA Therapy

Benefits of Franchising in ABA Therapy

Prospective franchisees often have many questions when considering an ABA therapy franchise. One common question during an intro call is: “Why can’t I just do this on my own?”

This is a fair question. It highlights the need to understand the distinct advantages that a franchise system offers over starting an independent practice. This post will explore the unique benefits of a franchise opportunity in ABA therapy. We will also explain why partnering with Essential Speech and ABA Therapy, an established autism services franchise, can be a smarter, more effective choice.

First, franchises are incredibly valuable to the United States economy. Statistically, they are a key contributor to several economic conditions. Franchises contribute 3% to the United States GDP and employ 8.66 million individuals, highlighting their significant economic impact (Statista, 2023).

While there is an inherent risk in any business venture, franchising offers the advantage of utilizing an existing model. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 80% of businesses survive after two years, and that number falls to around 62% after four years (2023). However, a FranNet study found that 92% of franchises survive after two years, and a remarkable 85% survive after five years (2023). This data demonstrates that franchising significantly mitigates risk, offering a more secure path to business success.

So, franchising is not only a key player in the U.S. economy but is also a proven way to increase your chances of success year over year. As you evaluate different brands, the specific benefits will vary. For us, it is about empowering our franchisees to make a profound difference in a financially viable investment.

Why Essential Speech and ABA Therapy Franchise?

Essential Speech and ABA Therapy is more than just a therapeutic center; it’s a community dedicated to holistic care. We integrate speech therapy, applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy, and occupational therapy under one roof, ensuring that every child receives a comprehensive and coordinated treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.

Our ABA programs use evidence-based practices and positive reinforcement to improve social skills and long-term well-being for people with an autism diagnosis. Our approach is not just about therapy; it’s about building brighter futures for children and their families.

For our franchisees, our goal is to simplify both sides of the process. Before fully committing to a franchise agreement, we provide extensive opportunities for research and understanding. This includes an in-depth exploration of our business model, financial forecasting, market research, and validation from current franchisees.

Franchisees benefit from a continuous stream of support right after signing the franchise agreement. This includes training before opening and ongoing continuing education to ensure initial and sustained success.

Clinical Quality and Excellence in Care

We should start with what matters most: the clinical quality you provide to the families you serve. In an autism therapy franchise model, clinics are often small businesses owned and operated by local community members. This local ownership is crucial for building strong, trust-based relationships with parents, ensuring that each family receives personalized and attentive care.

We developed our clinical support system after understanding the daily challenges faced by BCBAs in other clinical settings. Issues such as lack of support and overstrained caseloads highlighted the need for a franchise model that blends the high standards of smaller practices with the extensive resources and support of a larger organization.

Our franchise support alleviates common issues that lead to staff turnover. From monthly individual meetings to group meetings and continuing education sessions, the BCBAs on our franchise team support your team directly and help in employee retention.

Centralized Resources

Each of our owners holds important leadership skills and passion for the mission, but may not come directly from ABA. Our goal is to provide all resources required to ensure our owners can become experts in the field.

To overcome those differences, our team centralizes resources and creates a system that coaches owners on running their businesses rather than starting from scratch. The wealth of internal knowledge, recorded training, and task analyses ensures that franchise owners and their staff have answers to every question at their fingertips.

On the rare occasion that an answer is not available in the existing system, franchisees have a dedicated team of support staff ready to assist and create documentation for future reference.

Standardized Processes and Training

The clinical process begins with the initial recruitment of a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA). They will be the clinical leader of your business and will set the tone with parents from the start. We provide comprehensive support for this crucial step, including job descriptions, hiring strategies, interview preparation, and candidate evaluation, ensuring your business attracts and retains top talent.

After hiring, the next steps are onboarding and initial training, areas where franchisees have a comprehensive playbook at their fingertips. We offer three types of training for your clinic staff: initial training, continuing education, and ad hoc sessions. All franchisees benefit from a fully standardized initial training program. Continuing education and ad hoc training focus on addressing pressing topics and frequently asked questions, ensuring your team stays informed and effective.

Proven Business Practices with an Established Playbook

While clinical excellence is the highest priority for client progression and fulfilling our mission, effective backend business practices are crucial for a successful autism franchise.

Our franchise support team is always on call, ready to assist with any queries or needs that arise. This immediate access to expert advice ensures that you can resolve issues swiftly and keep your operations running smoothly. Our dedicated team supports our franchisees through every step—from initial training to ongoing operational assistance. We ensure you have all the tools and resources necessary to succeed.

Billing Experience and Expertise

A major draw of this industry is working with medical insurance, as it allows franchisees to generate strong revenue while maintaining services through various economic conditions. However, navigating the complexities of healthcare can be challenging.

First, let’s review a few timelines tied to medical billing. To begin services with a client, the intake process can take between seven to ten weeks, meaning you are dealing with a significant delay from the first contact with a parent to starting services. Following this, the delay between rendered services and receiving payment for claims averages 30 to 45 days.

With all that knowledge out of the way, it makes sense that medical billing remains one of the tallest hurdles in entering this industry. To streamline onboarding and allow franchisees to focus on growing their business, we have ' focus, our team has established an affiliate billing company to manage all claims during the first 18 months within our franchise system. This service includes claim management, assistance with appeals and denials, and overall revenue advocacy.

Essential Billing Solutions works as a revenue advocate for our franchisees. We elected an 18-month initial service agreement to ensure franchisees could focus on getting their business running, while not marrying them to a service provider for the entire franchise agreement. After 18 months, franchisees can renew their agreement with EBS or shop the market for alternative billers.

Direct Real Estate and Market Research

So, we have alleviated staffing and billing concerns, but what about location?

ABA therapy can come in different forms, including at-home and in-clinic treatment. Our model focuses on in-clinic therapy, placing a heightened emphasis on selecting the right real estate and understanding the demographics of your specific territory. Our team provides extensive research and reports on potential territories, considering factors such as population demographics, diagnosis rate, insurance coverage, and real estate trends to determine viable locations.

After executing a franchise agreement, we also work with a national real estate company to assist in further market research, site selection, and ultimately lease negotiations all at no additional cost to our franchisees.

Operational Experience

A franchise system is only as strong as its leadership, and our team boasts decades of experience in ABA therapy, medical billing, and general healthcare. ‘Operations’ encompasses various sub-categories, but the core focus is the comprehensive playbook provided to franchisees through our operations manual. This manual, along with our resource-rich online portal, empowers franchise owners and their staff with templates, scripts, and step-by-step directions for all necessary tasks, from setting up your practice to scaling it efficiently.

We also host monthly continuing education courses for you and your staff, covering the latest best practices and innovations in healthcare administration. Additionally, we provide recurring KPI reports, offering multiple avenues for suggestions and strategies to improve your business.

By choosing to franchise with Essential Speech and ABA Therapy, you're not just opening a business—you're joining a family committed to excellence and continuous improvement. Our extensive support framework empowers you and your team, ensuring that you can provide the best possible care to the children and families you serve.

Testimonials from Our Franchisees

Hear from some of our successful ABA franchise owners:

“As a franchisee, I’ve experienced first-hand the outstanding support and resources that the franchise team provides. The individualized mentorship has been invaluable. It’s comforting to know that if I have any question - big or small - the answer is just a phone call or message away."

"The monthly KPI reports and meetings have helped me to look at the big picture to maximize our quality care and profitability. Overall, being part of the Essential franchise family has been transformative. I couldn’t be happier with my decision and look forward to our continued success”

- Eddie W, owner of the Cypress, Texas location.

“My experience with Essential has been nothing short of AMAZING. The support from the team has been great, especially with the medical billing process."

"The billing team is very efficient and removes the burden from me so that I can focus on client care. Joining this franchise has truly been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my career and life.”

-Jackie L., owner of the Sugar Land, Texas location.

ABA therapy franchise


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