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Working Together as a Couple in Franchising After two successful, separate careers, Jody and Jerod Willow teamed up to open a Preferred HealthStaff location together.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jerod and Jody Willow
Jerod and Jody Willow

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

Jody and Jerod Will had their own separate, successful careers for most of their lives. However, when they noticed a need in their community, the couple decided to work together to take action. The duo teamed up to open the home health care franchise Preferred HealthStaff. Here's what they've learned.

Name: Jody and Jerod Willow

Franchise owned (location): Preferred HealthStaff in Dillsburg, Pa.

How long have you owned a franchise?

We have owned this franchise office since August 2014.

Why franchising?

Jerod and I feel that franchising gives us a head start in the business of home health care. The reputation, policies, and procedures for Preferred HealthStaff are already in place.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I was a registered nurse in a hospital in Pennsylvania. My husband, Jerod, works in road construction and also has a successful small business.

Related: Why You Need to Get Your Hands Dirty as a Franchisee

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

Jerod and I have a friendly history with Donna Moyer, co-founder of Preferred HealthStaff. She is a fellow registered nurse. We feel the ideals she based this business on are the same ideals that we have. Preferred HealthStaff provides all-inclusive care to the community and medical staff to local facilities. Whether you need an in-home caregiver or someone to drive you somewhere, Preferred HealthStaff can help.

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

The largest expenditures we had were the cost of the franchise and the purchase of the office space. The cost breakdown is very minimal for our office. We found our desks for free on Craigslist, the filing cabinets and chairs were also free from a business that had downsized. Our computers, all-in-one printer, and phones are new and were the next area we spent a sizable amount of money.

Related: From Military Pilot to Engineer to Personal Trainer

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

The internet provided us with most of our information. Also, working at a hospital I was able to ask coworkers and discharge planning teams what they thought of an in-home care business for the area.

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

The most unexpected challenge was the purchase of our building. Having a good realtor helped, but you want to find the perfect space and that takes time.

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

I would advise anyone to really research the franchise and the territory that you are looking to purchase. Also, take into consideration how much input the corporate office will have in your day-to-day running, and how much support you will receive.

What's next for you and your business?

We hope to continue to grow as a business by hiring more caregivers and providing services to more clients and facilities.

Related: How a Struggling Veteran Found Success at a Train-Themed Restaurant Franchise

Kate Taylor


Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

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