Two years ago, Jeff Krueger and Ty Timmons were introduced by a mutual connection who knew they were both looking to make their mark in the home care business. Jeff is an attorney and CPA by training who has worked in various industries, holding an assortment of C-Level roles in these entities with national and international operations. He was looking for a business that would “give back to society and improve peoples’ lives,” while, at the same time, represented a significant business opportunity. Ty started his healthcare career in a rehab facility and then opened up a successful medical equipment company in 2005 where he recognized the exponentially expanding opportunity in senior home care, and decided to pursue entry into the home care space.
SAFE HOMECARE -- Support Assistance For the Elderly -- launched in 2014. With a vision to “raise the bar” for care in the home care industry, Jeff and Ty knew that by focusing on the quality of care and building their model on that foundation, they would have the formula for success in the burgeoning home care market. The plan was to launch first domestically and thereafter internationally, by establishing a franchise network. SAFE HOMECARE began franchising in mid-April of this year, with their first franchise in Denver, and negotiations currently underway for franchise locations in Houston, Kansas City, Jacksonville, and West Palm Beach, Florida.
In its first year, SAFE HOMECARE booked more than $400K in revenue. Last year, revenues increased 360% year over year coming in over $1.4M, and Jeff and Ty are tracking to a very healthy double digit growth again in their third year of business. Jeff an Ty attribute this meteoric growth to several factors:
1. It's all about the caregivers
2. Innovating and improving
3. Building the right reputation
4. Planning ahead and due diligence
Ty and Jeff shared a lot of great insights and tips for other agencies who are trying to grow their home care businesses. So much, that we're breaking their story into a 2-part series. Part 1 is below.
“We realized early on that it is all about the caregiver.”
Ty and Jeff recognized early on that the caregivers are what ultimately make or break your business. Ty speaks about how caregiving is a tough job, “but there’s always a way to render quality care with a smile and compassion.” He goes on to say, “We don’t just want a warm body, we want our caregivers to be passionate, and actively engaged, and with a conscious awareness and effort to improve the daily lives of our clients -- physically, emotionally and intellectually. We look for, and insist, that our caregivers possess the necessary heart, spirit, energy and personality, as well as the required core competencies associated with the position."
SAFE HOMECARE demonstrates sincere interest in the careers of their caregivers and in turn, their caregivers understand how much they are needed, appreciated and respected. The result is an engaged caregiver workforce that is highly invested in the quality of their work. "Our caregivers know that they didn’t just get hired simply because they passed a background check. They are proud to be part of this important work,” Jeff says.
This commitment to the excellence of the caregiving staff is exemplified by SAFE HOMECARE's hiring/orientation processes. Every caregiver hired is required to attend orientation whereby they are indoctrinated in the SAFE HOMECARE culture, before they are permitted to work a scheduled shift. Orientation includes face time with the entire SAFE HOMECARE team, including Jeff, Ty, sales and marketing, HR and scheduling. Orientation also includes in-depth exploration of the company’s values, processes, systems, policies, quality control, team building, ownership and accountability. Caregivers are encouraged to get to know everyone in the company. They are encouraged to spend time at the office and socialize after orientation.
Take advantage of opportunities for improvement.
We subscribe to the Homecare Pulse surveying protocol, and have found it very helpful. When we take that feedback seriously and respond, it is an effective tool in honing our operations. Our entire administrative team reviews the monthly survey results and the whole staff takes part. "As is human nature, when your child comes home with 4 A’s and a B, the first question is 'what happened with that B?' We are guilty of this too, and we dive into and attempt to address/correct any opportunities to improve."
What we have learned is that caregivers, like all of us, appreciate feedback and reinforcement for a job well done. While we knew this, we continue to up our game in recognizing our caregivers contributions. We have our CAREacter Allstars monthly award program as a direct result of responding to survey feedback from our caregivers.
Check back next week for Part 2 of the SAFE HOMECARE story where Jeff and Ty share more about the culture they have instilled in their agency and how the team goes the extra mile to reduce hospital readmissions!