FirstLight Home Care franchisees Don and Craig Randall share their insights on what it’s like to be multi-unit senior care franchise owners.
Names: Don and Craig Randall
Locations: Myrtle Beach SC, Charleston SC, Beaufort SC, Greenville SC
Number of Employees: 350
Franchise owners since 2012
Tell us about your background. Did you have prior experience within the medical or elder care sector?
We had no experience whatsoever in medical or elder care! We are a father and son team. We had years of experience in running our own businesses but in a completely unrelated industry. We processed, bought, and mined gold.
What made you decide to transition into franchising with FirstLight Home Care?
The experience we had finding care for my grandmother in the final months of her life greatly influenced our decision. We didn’t even realize the industry existed we but saw the need firsthand in our own lives.
Was FirstLight Home Care the brand you started exploring initially or were there other brands you were interested in?
We first started thinking we would like to be involved in adult day care or hospice but thought that home care was a much better fit for us.
What were your top criteria when considering franchises?
We were most interested in an opportunity to learn a new business and have step-by-step guidance on how to start from scratch and grow. The main factor that we weighed was our trust in the management team. FirstLight checked every box during our Discovery Day in Cincinnati!
During your research process, did you speak with or meet with other FirstLight Home Care franchisees?
We spoke with the majority of active franchisees at the time. They were blunt, communicated the difficulties, and explained the opportunities and the rewards as well. We could see a piece of ourselves in each franchisee we spoke with.
Did you view the FBR Franchisee Satisfaction Survey results and Top Franchise awards? If so, did they have an impact on your decision?
Yes, we did. We wanted to feel as comfortable as we could with understanding the risks and rewards as well as the future opportunity. FirstLight as a franchise was relatively young but the management team had decades of experience, and that gave us a high level of trust and comfort
What was your experience like when you first began speaking with the FirstLight Home Care home office?
From day one, they were wonderful, communicative, and supportive of our need for industry knowledge and training.
Is FirstLight Home Care a full-time or part-time business for you?
Full time. As we have grown, our roles have continually changed. But, for the most part, it’s being available seven days a week from six a.m. to midnight, ready to offer encouragement, advice, answer questions and guide the managers at each location to foster growth and team unity.
How does FirstLight Home Care support you and your success?
The team at FirstLight is always available to us, in person if need be, by phone, or by email. We have multiple sources we can go to at any time. This has been a constant for us in the last decade. Without their key guidance, we would be much smaller and less profitable than we are today.
Do you currently participate in the Franchisee Satisfaction Surveys? Do you feel your feedback is heard?
We do participate and continue to feel that the feedback is both heard and acted upon.
How many units do you own today? Do you have plans to expand someday?
Currently, we have seven territories, we plan to add three to five more over the next few years.
Thinking back to the first year or two in business, what were your biggest challenges?
Leaving the unproductive ideas in our heads behind, and learning to embrace the franchise model. Once we followed the model, success followed.
Are your businesses active in their local communities?
Community engagement is a vital part of our path to success! In each territory, we are members of the Chambers, various business organizations, and regional networking groups.
Do you partner with any other local businesses or medical offices?
Often times we do share happy hours, lunches, and other social activities with local businesses. Networking helps us to stay in front of our own referral sources as well as the sources of our sources. It allows our circle to always expand.
What advice would you give to potential new FirstLight Home Care franchisees?
Understand your six-month, one-year, two-year, and five-year plans. Defer as much income as you can in the first five years to invest in yourself and the growth of your business. Embrace the sacrifice and the grind of the beginning days of your business because they will be a source of pride that keeps you going for many years beyond.
For more information on FirstLight Home Care franchise opportunities:
Call: (866) 288-4727
Email: [email protected]