Marine Corps Veteran Finds Way to Give Back as BrightStar Care Franchisee
BrightStar Care franchisee Jack Nicol joined the U.S. Marine Corps in the mid-1960s, when protests against the conflict in Vietnam were escalating.
A lot of people, he said, don’t see how compassionate soldiers actually become. In the military, you quickly learn to look out for each other, and soldiers often grow close with one another. The military helped foster compassion in Jack, and ultimately led to him becoming a BrightStar Care franchisee in Jupiter, Fla. Compassion, after all, is at the root of the home care industry.
“In the home care business, the team – office staff and caregivers – needs to be passionate about making sure the clients are cared for,” Jack said.
On the Road to Franchise Ownership
But, when Jack returned from the military, he didn’t know he could turn that care for others into a career. He went to work at a newspaper in Detroit and in less than a year, he advanced to a management position. He later went to work in the printing industry, and owned a printing company for 27 years.
Jack had planned to retire after selling the printing company in 2006, but he stayed on for two more years to help transition the business to the new owners. He was 63 when the transition was completed, and found the idea of retirement did not set well with him. Jack began looking for another business to buy. Through a franchise coach, he explored multiple franchising opportunities. The franchise coach learned that Jack was passionate about giving back to the community through volunteering, and he thought the home care industry would be a good fit for Jack.
“When we started looking at the home care industry and saw the potential growth of the senior population, we became interested and looked at different concepts,” he said. “BrightStar Care caught our attention because of their business model and their focus on client care.”
Boots on the Ground Marketing
Jack and wife moved from Miami to Jupiter, which are 81 miles apart, where they knew nobody. Without any business contacts or a friend in the Jupiter area, Jack managed to meet 650 people in that community by going door to door and striking up conversations with people. He collected business cards and tracked referral sources.
“I wore out a lot of shoes,” Jack said. “I talked to anybody who would talk to me, just to let them know we were here, what BrightStar Care did and why we were different.”
Jack Earns His Stripes as a Franchisee
Face-to-face marketing worked, and nine years later Jack is a successful franchisee with BrightStar Care, doing what he’s passionate about – providing care to others.
Jack’s advice to anyone thinking about becoming a BrightStar Care franchisee is be prepared to put in the work that first year or two in order to enjoy the benefits down the road.
After all, it’s not unlike starting any new business, but if you’re thinking about entering the home care field, it’s important to also consider it’s a 24/7 business.
“Starting out, the phone can ring in the middle of the night and on the weekends, and you have to get involved,” Jack said. “But, as the business grows, you hire people for various roles, which includes fielding those calls. You get your nights and weekends back. But, you have to be committed right from the beginning.”
Connecting his experience as a marine to his experience as a BrightStar Care franchisee, Jack said his time in the military prepared him well for business ownership.
“The training in the Marines is second to none,” he said. “Joining was one of the best decisions I ever made because I came out a better human being. I had more self-confidence and learned how to see things through. Failure is not an option – the military training cemented that thought in my head. That has really helped me in business throughout my career.”