It wasn’t until BrightStar Care franchisee Mike Perez had to become the sole caregiver for a loved one for 14 months that he realized the dire need for a home health care agency in his city of Santa Barbara, California.
“That was a crash course for me on what options are available for people who needed to provide care for a loved one,” Mike said. “I knew nothing about medicine. But I was thrust into caring for someone who was basically dying. It was a real eye-opener for me.”
As a salesman in the construction industry, Mike had no professional health care experience prior to becoming a BrightStar Care franchisee. Luckily, his wife Sharon did have a professional background in health care, which allowed Mike to focus on the financial and sales side of their franchise.
In February 2017, Mike and Sharon opened their BrightStar Care and became one of the fastest-growing BrightStar Care franchises in their history. They currently employ more than 80 caregivers, service over 40 clients and have become a staple of the Santa Barbara community.
Never Say No
Mike and Sharon had one principal in mind when it came to running their home health care agency in their first year.
“We never say ‘no,’” Mike said. “If someone called with a case, we would say ‘yes’ and then figure out how to do it. We never wanted to miss a shift. We still try not to say ‘no.’”
Connecting with Caregivers
As a BrightStar Care franchisee, you realize caregivers are the most crucial part of your home health care agency. Mike and Sharon know caregivers do more than just provide valuable service for their clients.
“Caregivers are the most important people in our company,” Mike said. “They do the hard work and are the face of our company and community. That’s what we tell caregiver candidates we’re looking for.”
Mike and Sharon want their caregivers to truly feel a part of their community. To help create that community, they hold quarterly meetings with all their caregivers to make sure they are all on the same page as well as provide a time for them to socialize. It’s important to Mike and Sharon that caregivers feel a bond to BrightStar Care and their fellow team members.
Taking this a step further, Mike and Sharon have a completely open-door policy for anyone on their team. Their emphasis on transparent communication is part of their success.
“Anyone can come into our office anytime and talk to one of us,” Mike said. “We don’t have any bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo where they have to go through three people to talk to an owner. If they have a problem or just good news, they can bring it right to us. We have candy in the breakroom. If someone wants to come in with their kids and hang out, we love it. Come say ‘hi’ to us.”
A Business Built for Success
Running any business is a lot of work. The benefit of owning a franchise, however, is that a lot of the work is done for you. By working within a proven business model, you have an advantage over independent business owners that need to build brand recognition and spend time developing a business model that works.
Mike and Sharon love the fact they don’t have to rebuild the wheel with BrightStar Care. They follow the plan and have begun to enjoy their non-work-related hobbies, such as sailing and spending time with their baby granddaughter.
”BrightStar Care has provided a lot of support for us,” Mike said. “If we ever have a question, we can get an answer. We’re passionate about the company and we’re looking to build a great, long-lasting business.”