From the December 2004 issue of Entrepreneur

Once husband-and-wife team Mike and Kerri Little decided to own their own business, Home Helpers practically came knocking at their door.

At the beginning of their search, the Littles paged through Entrepreneur's annual Franchise 500®listing, which helped them whittle down their choices to senior care. They opened their Home Helpers business two months later, in May 2002.

Now, Mike, who has a chemical engineering degree, and Kerri, a former dental hygienist, have 85 employees providing 24-hour-a-day in-home care to about 400 clients. Their clients include everyone from a baseball Hall of Famer to a chemist with 25 patents to his name. And Home Helpers not only assists seniors, but also provides care to new families and people recuperating from illnesses or injuries. Their services include companionship, grocery shopping, personal care, transportation and even laundry. "Our youngest client is a 4-year-old and our oldest is 110," says Mike, 41. "Two years ago, a lot of people hadn't heard of the types of services we are doing. It's more common now."

With startup costs of about $40,000, Mike and Kerri, 44, turned a profit the second month and are confident they will pass the $1 million mark by the end of this year. And their success doesn't stop there.

Mike has created two more businesses to complement Home Helpers, though they will not be affiliated with the company. Health Calls will train nurses for house calls, while House Menders will send a handyman to clients' doorsteps to build things like wheelchair ramps and safety equipment.

Check out the Home Helpers franchise in Entrepreneur.com's Franchise Zone.