Franchise Players

Why I Upgraded From an Independent Business to an In-Home Care Franchise to Scale Business

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Naomi Cotrone

Naomi Cotrone
Image credit: Naomi Cotrone

Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

After six years in the in-home care business, Naomi Cotrone wanted to grow her business. However, her experience helped her realize just how complicated the process of scaling the business could be. So, she decided to turn to franchising to find a detail-oriented partner with systems in place. Here’s why she chose to franchise with Right at Home.

Name:  Naomi Cotrone

Franchise owned: Right at Home of Rhode Island

How long have you owned a franchise?

About six months.

Related: Why I Sold My Subway Shops to Open a Smoothie Franchise

Why franchising?

I had more than six years of experience in the in-home care industry, so I knew what scaling this business would take. The complex logistical nature of our industry and the service level our clients deserve requires a system that would have taken me years to perfect. Mistakes in this industry are high stakes, not just from a financial perspective but also from a human perspective. So, we really wanted to perform at the highest level right out of the gates.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I was working independently providing clients with in-home care, and I realized after six years that I wanted to scale my community impact.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

Right at Home was very organized and detail-oriented throughout the discovery process and made it clear that they were systems focused and meant business. This was one of the critical traits we identified very early on that was important to us, because we wanted to plug into a business that could help us succeed right away.

The most important trait to us, however, was to align with an organization that thought about people first and business second. From our initial conversations and still today, it became very clear this is a very personal business to the folks at Right at Home.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

$45,000: Franchise fee

$25,000: Startup costs

$20,000: Starting operating capital

Related: Why These Partners in Marriage Became Partners in Business

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

The first is finding great employee and community partners. The second is establishing an effective sales and marketing rhythm and prioritizing when there are so many activities and emergencies that require your attention.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

Franchising is a great way to start quickly with a turnkey solution, but you still have to build the business and deal with adversity. Be prepared to live the bootstrapping entrepreneurial lifestyle. Forecast very conservatively and never stop working.

What’s next for you and your business?

We’ve gotten a few customers that we love. Our main focus is to ensure that we are providing the best possible service to them, while continuing to build our client base as we work toward profitability.

Related: I Had More Entrepreneurial Passion Than Experience. So, I Became a Franchisee.

Edition: December 2016

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