What factors do you see as being critical to succeeding as an entrepreneur?
Have a heart, compassion. And you need to approach every opportunity, even if it’s a challenge, with the same passion.
What personal factors do you find to be helpful as a business owner?
I’m very open, warm and friendly. I’m compassionate about people. You can tell I’m a caregiver. I’ve been caregiving for a long time. Sometimes I will lose money on a job because I spent too much time with the client, but I don’t consider it that way. We have some tough jobs. We have cases sometimes where the client doesn’t know they’re moving, because the family is taking them from their home. A lot of our clients have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. We had a case last year where we had a niece literally pulling her aunt out of the house. My team was standing in the corner, crying, because they were watching this happen. That’s why we go through the Alzheimer’s training, and we train four times a year. It’s very important that the team understands how to work in the different situations we encounter.
How do you handle the slow times?
We’re pretty proactive in slow times. We’re out there marketing, making phone calls.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would it be?
Find out what you really want to do. When you get up in the morning, what is your passion? Do you want to go to an 8-5 job? Do you want to run your own business? I really had to do some soul-searching. When I left my corporate job, thank God I had the support of my husband, because I left a pretty decent job to make nothing. This was my passion. It was tough at first, but you can succeed if you have people around you who can coach you and help you through the process.
Have you ever questioned what you were doing?
All the time. We want to get to a point this year where we actually make some money.
How do you overcome that?
Right now we’re putting different processes in place to help us. My husband has come up with some spreadsheets and other processes to help us with problems, management tasks, things like that. We’re also slowly identifying the things that are costing us money so we can eliminate them.
If you could go back and talk to yourself when you first started out, what would you say?
Approach every day with different thoughts. Sometimes I have to do affirmations in the mirror. Treat each day like a new day, try not to hold in stress, let it go and move on. Personally I used to dwell a lot on the past. But I had to wipe that clean and move ahead, because this business wouldn’t be successful otherwise.
What do you look forward to in the future?
I’d like my business to thrive enough to where I can take a lot of vacations. Right now I have permanent part-time staff that only get paid when we get a job. I would like to grow it a little larger and be able to pay them salaries. And I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to pack boxes and do things like that, but when a client needs me, I will be there for them.
What do you see for your business, your industry going forward?
This is a different type of concept that people still need to be educated about. A lot of people still don’t know we’re out here, even with as much marketing as I’ve done in four years. It’s a needed service, and I know it’s not going to go away. I’m at the tip of the baby boomers. Whether they have partial support of a family or none at all, these people are going to need help. I plan on doing this for a long time.