Opening a business is a challenge for anyone – whether as a first-time business owner or a seasoned professional. For Ari Titkin, acquiring his first home health care franchise location in Wayne, New Jersey, occurred during a period of unprecedented uncertainty: the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Ari hasn’t let this unique obstacle deter him from his goals of serving his community and exerting control over his own future.
Ari comes from a family of small-business owners and franchisees, but he started his professional career in finance. He eventually made the transition to IT consulting, followed by his most recent stint in product management in the media and entertainment industry. However, something was missing.
“I’ve always had the itch to build something of my own, be my own boss and have greater control over my destiny,” said Ari. “I became tired of the corporate America culture and felt I could make a greater impact as a business owner rather than being another cog in a very large wheel.”
The strong encouragement from other family members who had transitioned into franchising gave him the final push he needed to move into a new direction.
Finding a Way to Serve and Connect With the Community
Once he chose to leave the corporate world, Ari took his time reviewing franchise models and brands, and he happened to hear about BrightStar Care from a long-time friend of his brother. BrightStar Care immediately stood out.
“I’ve had my own experience with home health care, as my grandparents needed care for years. We loved their caregivers, and I realized what a valuable service they provided as they kept my grandparents safe while giving us peace of mind,” said Ari.
On the business side, Ari recognized growth trends in the elderly population, an increasing desire to age at home, along with the 24/7 nature of the industry, as a desirable business environment. Pairing his personal positive experience with an eye for industry success, it was the perfect match.
The Benefits of a Close-Knit Support System
Ari jumped head-on into becoming a franchisee and immediately felt the immense support from other BrightStar Care franchisees.
“Everything is new to me and the collective wisdom of the other owners has helped me immeasurably and I’m quite thankful,” explained Ari. “And as a leader, I’m quickly learning that decisions need to be made decisively, and I’m much more focused on numbers than I ever was in my previous career.”
However, the support system doesn’t just stop with Ari. Ari pays it forward to local rehabilitation and assisted living facilities by offering up anything he can, like lending out personal protective equipment (PPE) to the facilities that need it most, ensuring that he can build strong community relationships and help sustain local businesses.
“I’m happy to be of help to others who are also really trying to provide caregivers to people in the community during COVID-19,” said Ari. “We’re looking to the people on the frontlines and giving them as much help and support as we can; doing our part for our community.”
Creating Unique Solutions to COVID-19’s Impact
COVID-19’s impact is worldwide, and business owners are thinking outside the box to solve problems while continuing to serve their communities. Ari is no exception. Starting his journey in the middle of a pandemic has given Ari the ability to add unique offerings to his location, like grocery delivery and temperature checks, as well as offering up his help to those who have been working tirelessly throughout the crisis..
“It’s amazing to see the people on the frontlines facing this head-on and still getting their work done; I think that’s pretty inspirational,” said Ari.
Ari also faces the challenge of updating operations – which is no easy feat with new information coming out every day, along with maneuvering around changing attitudes and responses to COVID-19. For Ari, being able to adapt his strategy is crucial to keeping his location up and running.
“As news comes out, things change, and we need to be able to respond to the concerns, fears and needs of our caregivers and clients,” explained Ari. “We have to make sure we’re set up operationally – making sure we have the right PPE, right policies and the right procedures. It’s been an interesting way to learn.”
And although COVID-19’s impact has created incredible challenges for Ari, he doesn’t plan on going anywhere – and aspires to open more BrightStar Care locations as he grows.