Looking for a reliable business opportunity that supports family values and enables you to truly make a difference in your community? Contact us today to learn more about opening a BrightStar Care in your area.
Every great entrepreneur was inspired by something or someone. For Michael O’Connor, a new BrightStar Care® franchisee in Georgia, that inspiration came from within his own home. It was 23 years ago when Michael and his wife adopted their son Joey, a 3-year old boy with Autism.
“Joey inspires me every day,” Michael said. “He reminds me of the importance of family and supporting those around you.” Michael’s passion for community and supporting families is ultimately what led him to discover the rewarding success of BrightStar Care.
This year, Michael took over the BrightStar Care location serving Lawrenceville, Athens and Greensboro, Ga. and will be opening two more in Augusta and Duluth/Johns Creek in the coming months. For Michael, this marks only the beginning of great success and his commitment to providing quality care.
Setting the Stage for Entrepreneurship
Michael is no stranger to the business world. He’s spent the last 30 years in corporate roles, starting with Gateway Computers in the 90s.
He eventually worked his way into the communication industry, starting in operations and then becoming the Vice President of Finance and, later, the Executive Director at his company’s headquarters in Atlanta.
His diverse background doesn’t stop there. In the 1990s, he owned a truck stop with a friend and, throughout the years, owned and managed 16 real estate properties in addition to his corporate jobs.
After 17 years in communications, he took early retirement intending to start a business. He was on the lookout for a company with strong financials that provided a much-needed service to the community. Michael felt strongly about investing in a brand that put people and families first.
Discovering the BrightStar Care Franchise
Throughout his research, he looked at all types of businesses - from doggie daycares to restaurants and meal prep businesses, but he kept coming back to the healthcare industry.
“I’d come across a few home health agencies, but BrightStar Care really stood out. It’s rare to find an agency with Joint Commission Accreditation and one that truly puts the quality of care first.”
Michael appreciated how BrightStar Care has a Registered Nurse to oversee all client care plans and how they go the extra mile to ensure each caregiver is the right fit for the clients they serve.
“A lot of other agencies pair them randomly and don’t take the time to truly get to know the families and their needs, or they pair them and that’s it. No check-ins, no engaging with clients… I thought about what I would want for one of my family members, and BrightStar Care checked every box.”
The Transition Process
Michael’s first location was an existing BrightStar Care he’s taking over from its original owners, Tim and Carolyn Golden. He spent the summer shadowing them to learn the ins and outs of the business. Additionally, Michael was blown away by the support of the entire BrightStar Care franchise support team.
“The BrightStar Care team is fantastic. There was so much transparency and a two-week boot camp to meet them in person, ask questions and learn the systems,” he explained.
As he was learning about the opportunity, BrightStar Care provided him with a list of existing owners to speak with and get firsthand accounts of what it’s like to run a home health business.
When Michael officially took over his first location this year, he reached out to several former employees asking if they’d like to return and several jumped at the opportunity. He looks forward to providing flexible hours, recognition and stability for all his caregivers.
Embracing Family and Community
When it comes to values, BrightStar Care aligned perfectly with the two things Michael treasures most: family and community. Some of his family members are even involved in his business.
Michael’s wife also runs her own business, where she does plenty of social media marketing. She now helps Michael market his business, while their younger son, Dylan, is learning the ropes of operating a home health agency.
At 22 years old, Dylan is learning how to run payroll, complete back-end processes and recruit new employees. As he continues to learn, he hopes to eventually run his own office.
Meanwhile, Michael looks forward to using his businesses to give back to the community beyond his clients and their families. Carolyn, one of the former owners of his location, served on the Board of Directors of Friends of Gwinnett Senior Services, and he hopes to work with this nonprofit organization to help local seniors access transportation, healthcare, good nutrition and home health care.
At the end of the day, his desire to help others all leads back to his son, Joey, who couldn’t be more excited about his dad’s new business venture.
“I know how much quality of care matters,” Michael explained. “Family always comes first, and everyone deserves caregivers who will treat them like their own family.”
Looking for a reliable business opportunity that enables you to truly make a difference in your community? Contact us today to learn more about opening a BrightStar Care in your area.