Caring Senior Service Franchise
Franchise Owners: Dustin and Rebecca Rauch
Franchise Location: Waco, Texas
Number of Employees: 16
Dustin and Rebecca Rauch are husband and wife and proud owners of a Caring Senior Service franchise in Waco, Texas. This article shares their insights about their journey to owning a caregiving franchise.
“Before opening our franchise, I worked as an employee since age 15,” Rebecca Rauch explains. “After working very hard for a large employer and having my job handed to someone without experience, I began thinking of ways to own my own business. Since we would be new to business ownership, we decided against opening an independent business. We like the franchise model that offers a business opportunity with proven and established methods for success.”
“Dustin’s mom had ALS, and as the disease progressed, he and his dad were her primary caregivers. But there came a point when we needed extra help and respite,” Rebecca says. “We also had an independent caregiver who lived with my parents, and she was invaluable and an incredible blessing in our lives during difficult times. Dustin and I both worked in the healthcare industry. We knew we wanted a business that would enable us to continue serving people during their time of need.”
Opening a Caregiving Franchise Versus Going It Alone
Dustin explains, “My wife and I both had professional experience as physical therapists for over ten years before transitioning to franchise ownership. We frequently worked with patients who needed extra help at home or with transportation to and from appointments, and many of them did not have local family members to help them. Our experience working with patients and their families through the years gave us valuable insight that we apply to our business today.”
“Rebecca is very entrepreneurial,” Dustin says, “So she was excited about the opportunity to open a home care franchise. She had family members who had started an independent home care agency from scratch, and she knew the difficulties and challenges they experienced. That’s why we were much in favor of the franchise business model from the start. I know many entrepreneurs, and they have told me for years that I should open my own business. Our family and friends have been very supportive.”
When Rebecca and Dustin began looking, they explored many different industries, including some quick service restaurant (QSR) opportunities. But the more they researched, the more they realized they wanted to own a caregiving franchise.
Rebecca explains, “We were looking for a brand with a proven track record. One with many years in business; a smaller franchise system where we wouldn’t be lost in the mix—as just another number; a brand that would be supportive; one we could work with as a team to the benefit of both parties; an opportunity with a low failure rate; and most importantly and brand that exhibits a desire for excellence in every way, starting at the top, and expects the same from their franchisees.”
Conducting Due Diligence in Franchise Research
As they conducted their due diligence, they began migrating toward the senior care and home care sector. “We were friends with one Caring Senior Service franchise owner who had been open a year, and his father had owned his franchise for almost 20 years. The lightbulb went off as soon as we had the first conversation with them, and it just seemed like we were supposed to own our own Caring Senior Service franchise. From that point on, we’ve never looked back,” Dustin says.
“During our research, we reviewed the FBR franchise reports, franchisee satisfaction ratings, and articles and insights on the Franchise Business Review website. Then we were ready to speak with actual franchise owners. The franchisees we spoke with were very helpful, and they were all very candid in explaining both the challenges and the opportunities in this industry,” explains Rebecca. “We didn’t talk to anyone who regretted it or would have done something differently, even with the challenges of the caregiving industry. We contacted new franchisees and those who had been open for many years with multiple territories. I also went ‘secret shopping’ with some competitors in the caregiving industry. After speaking with them, I decided that Caring Senior Service was definitely for us. I loved how they interacted with us, explained their beliefs and business model, encouraged and supported us.”
Ramping Up a Caregiving Franchise
The entrepreneurial couple explains they’re is still relatively new at business ownership. “We are still in the overcoming phase. Staffing for caregivers has been the biggest challenge. The labor market is difficult for all industries, but caregiving is especially difficult. Caring Senior Service also has a very in-depth and extensive hiring process, making hiring even more challenging, but it ensures you are hiring the best possible. So we count that as a benefit.”
Caring Senior Service made it clear to the couple that they were there to help them become as successful as possible. “As long as we did our part,” Dustin says, “And follow their proven business model when we succeed, they succeed. Just like there are mutual benefits, they also aren’t as successful if we fail. We are the owners. Caring Senior Service encourages independence and making decisions for yourself, but they offer guidance and suggestions for what has worked and what hasn’t. It is comforting to know you are not on your own when you run into roadblocks, when something isn’t working, or when you aren’t sure about a specific situation. After being in business as the franchisor for over 30 years, there aren’t many scenarios they haven’t encountered, and they are always glad to help. I know I can pick up the phone any time, and they are more than willing to help or advise.”
Dustin and Rebecca are enjoying becoming established within their community. They’ve joined the Chamber of Commerce, and they are building relationships and partnering with local organizations. As soon as they learn the business more deeply and become a little more established, they have plans to open a second Caring Senior Service caregiving franchise and possibly a third.
Enjoying the Fruits of Their Labor
“We’re really proud of the response we’ve gotten from community referral sources and from our caregivers. They tell us that we have much higher standards than they are accustomed to,” Rebecca says. “We consistently hear about the difference in quality and premier service they see in the way we conduct business. We have already developed a reputation for operating with compassion, excellence, and respect which thrills us. This leads to greater financial success, of course. But the mutual trust and respect we’ve built in our relationships with caregivers, clients, and the community mean much more.”
The couple says they would have started sooner if they could do it all over again! “I was apprehensive about stepping out and owning a business for a long time,” Dustin says. “Now, looking back, I would have done it sooner. Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions or talk to too many existing franchisees. Do your research and then jump in with both feet. Work the plan, even when you think you don’t know what you are doing! I love knowing that we can help someone during a difficult time in their life. At some point, we will all need the help of someone else, and we all want to stay at home as long as possible.”