2. BrightStar Care

BrightStar Care provides in-home adult and elder care staffing service as well as child care and medical staffing services for individuals, families and healthcare facilities, the company says.

J.D. and Shelly Sun founded BrightStar in 2002 after their own poor experience with caregivers. The company started franchising in 2005 and became the first franchised company in the U.S. to specialize in both medical and nonmedical care and healthcare staffing. BrightStar expects to have 300 locations by the end of 2012.

The company is looking to move toward becoming a multi-brand franchisor. In the next few years, the company plans to add at least five brands that complement BrightStar Care's mission of making more possible, according to the website.

BrightStar has received lots of press, most notably on Undercover Boss. Shelly Sun is very active in the franchise industry (she is on the board of directors of the International Franchise Association) and speaks publicly about her experiences in franchising and how to be a successful business owner.

"It comes back to the values and the vision of the organization," Olson says, "and so when somebody's looking at an organization if it's in the area of senior care, BrightStar is definitely one to look at."

As baby boomers begin to retire and seniors are living well into their 80s and 90s, there is strong demand for services that can help keep elders in their homes for as long as possible.

"The kid's business and the senior care businesses are always there. These businesses are not going to go away," Olson says.

Segreto agrees. Sun has "put together a very unique concept, one of the best in an industry segment that is beginning to show signs of saturation. Long term, I see some consolidation," but BrightStar is likely to be on the acquiring rather than consolidating side, he says.

He also gives accolades to BrightStar's growing management team. In December, the company brought on Brian Schnell, a well-respected franchise attorney, as its COO. "I think that says a lot about where the organization is headed," Segreto says.

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