Senior Care Business Success Surprises Woman

by David Goodman
in Blog
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Carol never thought of herself as a salesperson, or even much of a business person for that matter.  With a shy and retiring nature, she always figured it took a gregarious personality and an overriding refusal to ever take no for an answer to run a successful business. In fact, this was her concern when after 25 years she left her job as a nurse to start a home care agency.  As someone who always liked helping people, she thought transitioning into such a role made sense from that perspective.  However, she was convinced that she would need to hire a salesperson for her agency to thrive. 

What she soon found out was that the traits that made her a great nurse – her compassion, her sincerity and her sensitivity – also made her a great businesswoman.  While these traits may not have made her successful in selling stocks or stockings, they were perfect when it came to selling home care services to the families of elderly people or to geriatric social workers, administrators at senior living community and discharge planners at hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

“I soon found out that prospective clients didn’t necessarily want to work with the consummate sales professional,” she said.  “Instead, they want someone who is real and approachable.  Home care is a very personal service and what was most important to them was having someone they had confidence in and trusted.  What I thought would be a negative – not being pushy or aggressive – I soon realized was a positive.”

As an example, Frank and his sister Sarah were well into their research in identifying a live-in aide for their mother, who had mild dementia and had recently been discharged from a rehab center after falling.  “We had interviewed several home care agencies when we heard about Carol’s agency, which at that time was only several months old,” said Frank.  “What I especially liked about Carol was that she really seemed to know what we were going through, the uncertainty and heartache we had in putting our trust in a stranger.  And she really stood behind her service. 

It’s been two years now and not only are we thrilled with the woman she placed in mom’s home, but Carol calls us regularly to make sure everything is going well.” These thoughts were echoed by Roberta, the executive director of an independent senior living community.  “The average age in our building is nearly 90 years old,” she said. “As you would expect, many of our residents have home health aides who come in several hours a day to get them ready in the morning, offer companionship and make sure they’re safe in their apartments.  This is also why we have every home care agency in town calling on us regularly. 

Carol set herself apart from the others by asking if she could volunteer to run our bingo games.  Soon, she was coming up with other ideas for events, like trivia competitions and an oral history program.  She never tried to sell her services, but the residents took such a liking to her that once they learned she had a home care agency the buzz quickly spread.  I would guess that her home care agency now cares for about two dozen people in our building.”

Carol admits to being surprised by the success of her senior care business.  “It’s been an amazing ride,” she said.  “I was looking for a venture that I could feel good about and would pay my bills.  I never thought that I could start and quickly build a million dollar elder care business.”