Here at Franchise Gator, we’re always looking for ways to help educate entrepreneurs on franchising and starting their first business. In our newest series, we've decided to switch things up and learn more about franchising from the franchisee’s point of view!
In Part 1 of our 4 part series, we talk with Bill and Nancy Allen, who are current owners of the BrightStar Care of St. Charles, a private duty, Joint Commission accredited, home care agency that provides the full range of healthcare services from non-skilled companion care to highly skilled nursing care for St. Louis area families.
The husband-wife team opened their BrightStar Care in October 2012,and the two take great pride in the success they've had positively impacting the lives of local residents with family members in need of professional, compassionate home care.
Bill was a paramedic for more than 35 years, and Nancy is currently a dietetic technician at the local children's hospital. One of Bill and Nancy's greatest passions in life is helping others, which they do every single day " and they believe that that passion drives their success.
Why They Started a Franchise:
“Looking back, I knew immediately after retiring from being a paramedic that I missed taking care of people and interacting face-to-face with clients each day,” Bill Allen said. “I did a ton of research, did my due diligence for each business I considered and realized that BrightStar Care had everything I wanted. The right business for everyone is out there. Once you put in the effort, you will find it!”
Bill offers these seven important pieces of advice on how to find a business that’s right for you:
- Research multiple opportunities " Take the time to research everything that is out there. While you may think you know the business you want, you might come across another concept that you love.
- Keep your finances in mind " Before you commit to any one business, have a good idea of how much money you are willing/able to invest.
- Consider compatibility " Is the business compatible with your life? Will it make you happy in the long-run? Don’t just buy a business to make X dollars each year.
- Can you handle the responsibility? " When you start a business, it is24/7. Not only is it a large time commitment for yourself, but it is a great responsibility for everyone involved: your family, friends and employees. When starting a business where the owners stay highly involved, you need to understand that you have a lot sitting on your shoulders " hopefully you are up to the challenge!
- Consider the end goals " Think long-term. Do you want to be the owner of this business for the next 15-20 years or will you sell it in 10? Review the franchisor policies and make sure your goals are acceptable with the franchise.
- Make sure all legal affairs are in order "Invest in a franchise lawyer that can review all final agreements. They understand the necessary terminology better than most new business owners.
- Assemble a great team " Once you start hiring, you must gather a group of people that are not only hard workers, but they are people that you trust and enjoy being around every day. This will make your job much easier.
Would You Do it All Over Again?
“When people ask me if I would do it all over again, I say YES!” said Bill. “I love coming into work every day to work with my amazing team here at BrightStar Care of St. Charles.”
Get more information on being a BrightStar Care Franchisee.