Patience, Determination, and working together has allowed Brenda to grow her Griswold franchise 150% since starting her agency.
In January of 2014, Brenda Gross started her own Griswold Home Care franchise in Houston, TX. Prior to this she had worked in a skilled nursing facility for 10 years. She also worked as a disability case manager and as a director of rehab. She says that owning a business was a natural choice because it is “in [her] blood.” After inheriting money from her Grandmother, Brenda worked with a franchise consultant to find the best franchise for her. In an article by Entrepreneur, Brenda says, “Griswold Home Care offered exceptional franchisor support, along with access to the other franchisees for help. In many ways it feels like the security of an employer, with all the perks of being your own boss.” Brenda’s patience, determination, and collaboration has brought her to a high level of success.
It takes time…and perseverance.
Having a strong arsenal of referral sources are critical to Brenda’s success. Her first step in owning her own business was to make a list of all the possible referral sources in her area. She took time, did the research, made contact and followed up with multiple meetings and visits. Brenda highlights the importance of taking the time to sit down and talk to people who could ultimately become referral sources and explain what home care is and how it can benefit so many seniors. She stresses that “they need to get to know you and understand specifically what you do.” Home Care and Home Health Care often are confused and lumped together--even by people in the industry. “I know it can take 8-10 times that I’m going to have to see you before you’re actually going to pay attention and maybe even give me a referral,” Brenda says on the patience and effort involved in earning referral sources.
You have to be determined and committed…
When speaking with referral sources and prospective families, Brenda emphasizes that she is determined and committed to providing the highest quality care and customer service. She can even demonstrate that she is able to provide this level of service at an expedited rate. She recalls a time where she matched a client in desperate need of a caregiver in less than two hours. “It sounds kind of cliche, but we do everything we can to stay connected with the client and their family.”
Brenda is constantly cultivating strong relationships with her clients and families. It's important to build trust and to make sure she is accessible to her clients. Clients and families are followed up with on a monthly basis through phone calls and in-home visits. Brenda stresses that keeping open communication with the client and family is very important because you can proactively fix problems and gain their trust. For example, if a family is not pleased with the caregiver, they are able to tell Brenda so that she can find a better match.
Sometimes you need to work together...
Collaboration is a powerful tool in any industry; especially one with constant changes. To stay on top of industry knowledge and insights, Brenda works with her referrals and even her competitors. “We’ll share information [such as recent legislative updates] that doesn’t compromise our own trade secrets…” Brenda goes on to say, “I tend to prefer to work together -- even with my competitors.” In an article by Entrepreneur.com titled 5 Reasons You Need to Work with Your Competitors, Brenda’s practice is strongly supported. The article states that sharing information within your industry keeps everyone working towards a common goal and if “your industry as a whole looks good, so will your business.”
When asked what is next for her, Brenda says, "My goal is to be the largest home care company in our territory. We are well on our way!"