Mary Worthington opened her Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Pembroke, MA in 2012. She shares with Franchise Business Review how franchising has enabled her to achieve her professional goals as well as advice for prospective franchisees.
Do you think owning a franchise offers advantages over working for someone else or starting a business from scratch? I highly recommend buying a franchise over starting from scratch. Why recreate something when it’s already been designed, tested, re-evaluated and improved? The key is to find a franchise network that subscribes to the practice that we are all stronger if we always work together on our common goals. Prior to buying my Home Instead Senior Care franchise, I looked at ten different franchise networks as part of my due diligence. Knowledge is power and knowing the history of an industry and that of a franchisor is important in selecting the right product/service.
Knowledge is power and knowing the history of an industry and that of a franchisor is important in selecting the right product/service.
What factors led you to enter franchising? I began my professional journey in retail and became a social worker. I felt good about the positive impact I was able to make as a social worker, but also felt somewhat restless. I realized I really needed something more fast paced, something that I could lead and own and hopefully still find a way to make a difference in the lives of others. Senior care interested me, but I felt I lacked experience with home care, exposure to the home health world, and most certainly the marketing experience that was going to be necessary for me to build a business. I started looking at franchises because I felt strongly that it made sense to go with a proven business model with a track record of success, brand recognition with consumers, and quality support structure.
What did you select Home Instead Senior Care? I signed up for the Franchise Business Review e-newsletter for more information about franchising and received news that Home Instead Senior Care was named the #1 franchise opportunity. The opportunity piqued my interest because it fit my ideal concept of being able to build my own business and give back to the community by helping families meet the daunting challenge of providing care for aging parents. It also struck a very personal chord with me as well because my 84-year-old mother was in the midst of caring for my father, who was living with Alzheimer’s disease. I felt my personal experience with my parents would provide me with empathy that would help me relate well to challenges other families were facing.
What past experience do you have that has helped you be successful? Earlier in my career, I had developed and managed a chain of retail stores in the northeast for many years, so have business and management skills. My social work background is helpful when it comes to assisting families during challenging times.
Buying a franchise isn’t a turnkey arrangement, but it’s pretty close to it.
How does Home Instead Senior Care assist you? Buying a franchise isn’t a turnkey arrangement, but it’s pretty close to it. Home Instead gave me everything I needed to build my business. Between the training, online resources, availability of everyone at the home office and the amazing network of fellow franchise owners, I can always find what I need. There is great comfort in knowing that support is right there at all times no matter what the issue.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a franchisee? It’s great to have my own business, but in all cases, the buck stops with me. It is nice to know however, that I have a tremendous amount of support from the team in my office, my fellow franchise owners, and the home office.
What things do you at home and at work that make you successful? At home, I run to keep myself in shape and mentally sharp. It’s a great stress reliever and clears the mind. At work, I have developed a great leadership team. The confidence I have in my team enables me to have a good work/life balance.
I have a tremendous amount of support from the team in my office, my fellow franchise owners, and the home office.
Do you think women are particularly suited for franchising? I believe woman have a special talent for multitasking, which is a much needed skill for running a business. Any given day can bring a litany of diverse issues to be dealt with. I also think women make great managers and problem solvers. They oftentimes play the role of caregiver throughout their lives, and this experience easily lends itself to home care.
Can you shed some light on how Home Instead Senior Care is meeting your financial expectations? So far this journey has been fantastic. I’m planning on a 25% increase for 2017 after a 37% increase in 2016 and 87% increase in 2015. I’ve recouped all the cash needed to get the business up and running and enjoy a healthy income. I credit my success to representing a great brand, having experienced fellow owners to brainstorm with, a supportive home office and the team work that takes place every day in our office. I feel so blessed to be doing this. My only regret is not buying a franchise earlier!
To see how Home Instead Senior Care’s franchisees rate it in a variety of crucial areas such as leadership, culture, training and support, financial outlook, and franchisee community, click here.
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