Jane Daume owned a printing business with her husband in Missouri for 18 years. But when her father fell ill and moved to an assisted living facility, she was moved by the difficulties seniors faced when they left their homes due to age or illness. Retiring from the printing business, Daume and her husband moved to Arizona where she began investigating in-home care companies. Today, she runs two Caring Senior Service locations and was the recipient of the IFA Franchisee of the Year award in 2013. Here's what she's learned.
Name: Jane Daume
Franchise owned (location): Scottsdale, Ariz. and Phoenix, Ariz.
How long have you owned the franchise?
I purchased my first Caring Senior Service location in Phoenix in October 2004 and the second location in Scottsdale in September 2005.
I chose franchising for many reasons. First and foremost, a strong franchise has a proven system of operations and marketing. Furthermore, risk is reduced by following these systems, and the most successful franchisees tend to be those who follow the recommended procedures in establishing their businesses.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Prior moving to Arizona and purchasing our Caring Senior Service franchise, my husband Richard and I owned a printing business in Missouri for 18 years. Prior to our business days, I was in middle management with Southwestern Bell and AT&T. My husband, co-owner of our business was a high school biology teacher.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
After extensive research, we found Caring Senior Service to be more personally interested in us as prospective franchisees, and were extremely flexible in working with us to establish our franchise territory. Caring Senior Service was also the most thorough in having established systems for operations and the highest standards for quality of client care.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
When we purchased our first Caring Senior Service location in Phoenix in 2004, we spent roughly $15,000 for the start-up franchise fee and about $8,000 on office equipment, software and computers.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
We conducted the majority of our research via internet searches and business trends on franchising. This is how we initially learned about Caring Senior Service. We read reviews of multiple Caring Senior Service locations, as well as competitors in the same areas. Furthermore, we felt it was important to speak with franchisees of various in-home care companies. After conducting this research, we spoke with the corporate teams of these companies, and ultimately felt that Caring Senior Service’s beliefs, standard of care and extensive training program aligned best with us.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The biggest challenges we faced in opening our franchise was first and foremost was finding and hiring quality caregivers to deliver Caring Senior Service’s proprietary GreatCare method. In this industry, smart, warm, quality and compassionate caregivers will make your business.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
It’s important to start with enough capital to invest in the business and live on for one year. Research carefully and speak with franchisees of a particular franchise before committing. I also recommend a franchise in the area of your interest. With a reputable franchise system, you do not have to re-invent the wheel, and can get started faster, return on your investment faster and reduce risk of failure.
What’s next for you and your business?
We would like to continue to attract and hire the best people to join us, coach and empower them to share our vision and mission and to grow and serve as many seniors as possible.