Franchise Business Review recently spoke with HomeWell Care Services franchisee Bruce Dincin to gain insight into what it’s like to be a franchise owner.
Name: Bruce Dincin
Location: Montgomery County, Maryland
Number of Employees: 50
Franchise owner since 2021
Tell us about your background. Did you have experience within the medical or senior care sector prior to starting your business?
No. I received my MBA from Georgetown University and primarily worked for large corporations such as American Express and Choice Hotels. I managed many different teams and led many large projects and launches of products and services. The skills I honed in previous roles, such as customer support, communication, teamwork, and commitment to excellence are all applicable to running an in-home care agency.
What made you decide to transition into franchising with HomeWell Care Services?
Coming out of college I never expected to be in Corporate America. I always wanted to be in healthcare helping people and leading by example with integrity, commitment to excellence, and employee welfare. I get energized from being with the elderly. This all led me to HomeWell Care Services. I received my in-home care License from the State of Maryland in February 2021.
What were your top criteria when considering franchises?
Because I didn’t have medical or in-home care experience, I wanted to work with a franchisor that truly helped their franchisees. HomeWell emphasizes one-to-one support and training of new franchisees. HomeWell wants its franchisees to be successful and focuses on helping them achieve that success. In all my conversations with HomeWell, they always emphasized the importance of the caregiver’s compassion. The leadership team is a genuinely caring group, with a strong strategic vision. They want their franchisees to be successful through a focus on the caregiver-client relationship.
Was HomeWell Care Services the brand you started exploring initially or were there other brands you were interested in?
I researched many industries and brands over the course of a few years. Once I decided on entering the in-home care industry, I investigated the largest national in-home care brands and even considered going independent. HomeWell Care Services was the best fit for my values, the potential upside, and the territory I desired was available.
During your research, did you speak with or meet with other HomeWell Care Services franchisees?
I spoke with multiple HomeWell Care Services franchisees, all of whom were very helpful. They helped me understand what questions I should be asking of HomeWell and of myself.
How does HomeWell Care Services support you and your success?
The initial training from HomeWell was significant and invaluable, and the support has not stopped. I meet weekly with my Franchise Business Coach (FBC) from HomeWell, attend HomeWell conferences and learning sessions, and I have access to a vast array of learning materials, marketing templates, and the ongoing support of other HomeWell franchisees. Every interaction I’ve had with the home office has been very positive and they are always there to answer any and all questions.
Is HomeWell Care Services a full-time or part-time business for you? Can you walk us through a typical day?
Definitely full time! It’s a cliché, but there is no typical day when you’re running your own in-home care agency. I like to focus on meeting potential clients, speaking with current clients, and working with the caregivers. But no matter how much you delegate or outsource, there is still a business to run, with details regarding HR, payroll, expenses, and the list goes on.
Do you currently participate in the Franchisee Satisfaction Surveys? If so, do you feel your feedback is heard?
Yes and yes. Absolutely!
Thinking back to your first year or two in business, what were your biggest challenges?
I think my biggest challenges initially were understanding the industry, the nuances, the caregiver mentality, and the client mentality. Fortunately, I love listening to the elderly tell their stories and that helped me develop relationships with my clients and better understand their needs, which helped the business grow. In year two, my challenges are navigating the business growth and the implications of growth on HR policies. I also have less time to spend with my clients.
How many units do you own? Do you have plans to expand someday?
I own Montgomery County, which has about one million residents. There is plenty of business in Montgomery County! But I would like to expand in a few years.
Is your HomeWell Care Services business engaged with the local community?
I have always been community oriented. I’m on my HOA Board, Temple Emanuel Board of Trustees, and I’m a leader in the Boy Scouts. Since launching HomeWell in Montgomery County, I joined the county Chamber of Commerce, a local BNI Networking Group, and two excellent senior resource organizations, GROWS and Senior Services Alliance.
I launched my agency during the height of Covid, so my plans of engaging with the elderly communities have still not been fully realized.
What advice would you give to potential new franchisees?
In the beginning, clients don’t come to you, you have to go get the clients. It’s fun, rewarding, and engaging, but also hard work. Also, do your math and understand how the changing labor market and labor laws in your state, county, and city impact your costs.
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