Minneapolis — Sonus, a division of Amplifon USA, has announced the creation of the first hearing industry franchise model. Kathy Foltner, AuD, will lead the launch in the eastern United States, serving as Sonus’ vice president for Franchise Sales, East.

The new franchise model will allow audiologists to own their own practices, while receiving the marketing, branding, and administrative synergies of a franchise system.

The company believes that audiologists in a franchise system will be able to compete more effectively in the widely forecasted hearing aid-related growth from aging Baby Boomers. The Sonus press release also views the franchise model as a solution for hearing aids potentially becoming a high priced commodity.

The Sonus franchise model is designed to allow audiologists to focus more on patients and improving satisfaction, rather than focusing on products, technology, and promotions.

The Sonus model will include exclusive territories, marketing assistance, a wide selection of hearing products, store design, IT system support, and a national call center for lead generation support.

Kathy Foltner, AuD, has been hired to lead the franchise effort in the western United States, and Thomas Tedeschi, AuD, will serve the western United States as the company’s vice president for Franchise Sales, West.

In addition to Foltner’s 30 years in the audiology industry, she teaches classes in business and practice management at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, and is the author of numerous business articles, chapters, and a book, Success Is a Decision of the Mind.

Foltner commented in the press announcement, "The Sonus Franchise is what has been missing in our industry. It provides the professional structure, support, and resources to reduce the risk that many fear about private practice, it provides the tools to manage and expand existing private practices, and it allows seasoned practice owners a great method to transition a private practice to a new audiologist owner."