Richard Ueberfluss, Franchisee/Franshiser of Assisting Hands-Chicago writes about his passion for the healthcare business and how he started his entrepreneurial career with a healthcare franchise.
I always had a fascination for healthcare, which led me to become a Board certified orthopedic physical therapist and certified manual physical therapist. As I worked with my patients and gained an understanding of trends in the care industry, I expanded my scope of experience to include business management.
This lead me to earn an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, which later brought me to accept a position as an acute care hospital administrator.
I was looking for new career challenges and found I was not advancing in the corporate world as I expected. I had devoted many years to the healthcare and medical field, building million dollar businesses for others and was confident I would be successful within a healthcare-related franchise that would allow me to combine my medical and business background.
I purchased a franchise for Assisting Hands, which provides in-home care for home bound patients who need help maintaining a safe environment without life-altering injury. Ninety percent of people want to age in place in their own homes, so I understood the potential for the homecare aide business.
This decision was based on some market research by National Institute on Aging that indicated that by the year 2015, 25 million U.S. residents will be between the age of 65 and 74. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, the need for cost-effective, in-home caregivers is expected to grow. This is reflected in data from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which noted that in 2009, the home healthcare market reached $72.2 billion.”
I became an Assisting Hands regional developer in Chicagoland in August 2008, after attending training at our corporate headquarters. I officially began operations in January 5, 2009. It has worked out extremely well, and I was recently named Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association.
In fact, I recently purchased a second franchise and have sold franchises to two other Assisting Hands franchisees in Chicagoland.
Part of the reason for my success is my general empathy for the senior population and their lack of mobility. So I made a commitment to my patients to pride myself on the three T’s: therapist ownership, training, and technology to support the safe home environment for seniors. As the government and the healthcare industry seek ways to reduce healthcare costs, home care becomes a viable option because it is an alternative to lengthy hospital stays, nursing homes and other in-patient treatments. So franchising a home care business reflects changing demographic patterns and changes in health management.
I was at a time in my career that I was willing to take a risk from relying on a regular paycheck, to putting my medical and business background on the line to generate a steady income, which has occurred.
The lesson I learned is that, you have to do something you truly like and have some experience in the franchise you are operating. Pick a growing industry and do not be afraid of competition. Choose a franchise with lots of local hands-on support. Have faith in your ability to succeed and understand that success doesn’t happen overnight, but if you stick with it, you will achieve your goals.
I enjoy owning my own company and the excitement of growing my business. It is a great feeling to know that we are helping seniors and the disabled avoid falls, avoid medication errors and provide a level of companionship and safety that they cannot receive in a facility. It’s about maintaining the quality of life they need and deserve, while keeping them in their own homes. I get great satisfaction helping other franchisees in the Chicagoland area get started and grow their business.
My advice to potential franchisees is to never stop learning and never stop looking for opportunities to enhance your professional experience. My motto is: “Say what you are going to do and then exceed expectations.” But love what you do and work to excel.
Contributed by Richard Ueberfluss, Franchisee/Franchiser Assisting Hands-Chicago. His website is AssistingHands-Naperville.com