Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After nearly 25 years of marriage, Rob and Sandy Chester decided it was time to open a franchise that used both of their expertise. Sandy has 28 years of experience as a registered nurse, while Rob has nearly 30 years of corporate experience in the insurance industry. Together, they wanted to help the elderly in their community as Right at Home franchisees. Here's what they have learned.
Name: Rob and Sandy Chester
Franchise owned: Two Right at Home territories in Gap, Pa. and Elkton, Md.
How long have you owned a franchise?
We purchased our first franchise three years ago, and we just recently opened up a second territory to better serve the elderly in neighboring communities.
Franchising is great because you don’t have to start from scratch. You get a support system, and there is already an established and successful business model laid out for you to follow.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Rob was working with International Insurance and Sandy was an in home Medicare certified and in home skilled care registered nurse.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
Right at Home really aligned very well with our life experiences. We felt that we had the right background and passions to do well as Right at Home franchisees. Not to mention, you are able to give back in your community.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Initial Franchise Fee: $41,500
Real Estate/Rent: $650
Computer Hardware and Software: $4,000
Other Office Equipment and Supplies: $750
Initial Opening Marketing: $1,500
Professional Fees: $1,500
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
We worked with a business model consultant who helped us along the way to guide us and show us the right path to finding the right business for us.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
It can be difficult to find qualified caregivers. We are sending people into homes, and we need them to have the right skills to provide the right type of care. With so many people in the community needing the services, it can sometimes be difficult to find enough caregivers.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
This may sound silly, but simply follow the business model. Sometimes, people think they know better and can do better on their own. However, the beauty of buying a franchise is that many other people have been down the same path before you. They have done the leg work, and you just need to follow the guidelines they have laid out for you.
What’s next for you and your business?
We are going to continue expansion into Maryland.