Right at Home: Meet an Owner - Paul Blom
When Paul Blom opened his Right at Home franchise in 2001, the home care market was just starting to grow. In fact, Paul’s Minnesota-based Right at Home Twin Cities was only the third franchise location for Right at Home, currently making it one of the most tenured in the system.
“The industry has come a long way since our launch 21 years ago,” said Paul. “When we opened, we had to focus on educating the public about what home care even was, let alone the fact that Right at Home is exceptional at it. We had a strong stable of caregivers and struggled to find clients and people who could make referrals to us. Today it’s a different story. We’ve built up an excellent reputation and don’t have to focus at all on marketing since our referral network is so strong.”
Paul estimates that he hasn’t allotted funds for a marketing budget in about five years since his referrals are so robust. Over the past two decades, however, the marketing budget isn’t the only big change that Paul has had to tackle.
From In-Person to Virtual Support
When Paul and Bob, his husband and business partner, first started thinking about pursuing home care as a business opportunity, they weren’t sure where to start the process. Eventually, they learned about Right at Home’s franchising program and were amazed to have found that the exact model they were looking for already existed.
“It was so nice that we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Paul said. “There was no Discovery Day back then, so we drove down to Omaha to visit the corporate headquarters and to meet with the franchise team. We spent the day with them and pretty quickly realized that they were the kind of people we wanted to be associated with.”
They were people who were more focused on the answer to “why do you want to pursue this?” than on the level of investment and the desire to make money, which was exactly what Paul and Bob were looking for; they wanted to make an impact on the lives their business would touch.
“Right at Home really cares about making a difference in the quality of life for not only the seniors we serve, but also for their families, our employees, our coworkers—we’re about improving the quality of life for everyone we encounter.”
The pandemic marked a shift to mostly virtual support, but Paul still feels just as supported as ever.
“I don’t think there’s a franchise system out there that provides a system of support on the level that Right at Home does,” he said. “That really shined through during the pandemic. Without any pressure from the franchise owners, Right at Home’s corporate office procured and shipped face masks out to our offices, held weekly Town Hall meetings to help us navigate this strange time in our history, and offered timely support when we needed it. It was invaluable.”
A Shift In Recruiting Practices
Between today’s job market and the increased demand for in-home care as Baby Boomers age into retirement, Paul has seen a noticeable shift in how their business has to think about caregivers.
“We are now getting about ten referral calls per day that come in, which is a huge shift from what it was over 20 years ago, and as a result, we are struggling to find enough caregivers that we would trust to hire in order to fulfill that need.”
Despite the caregiver shortage right now, Paul is still able to maintain his impeccable Right at Home reputation thanks to a focus on relationship building and managing expectations from the outset of a new relationship.
“I make sure that we’re never overpromising anything,” he said. “We still maintain a pretty low weekly hour requirement to keep the barrier for entering our services low, which allows more people to gain access to care that they need.”
What has changed, however, is Paul and his staff being able to offer more flexibility and juggling caregiver schedules to accommodate them along with the clients.
“We’re still trying to figure out how to make sure our caregivers have full schedules, so there’s a lot more negotiating with clients and their families, but everyone is on the same team and working towards helping to provide support for our clients at home.”
Advice for the Next Generation of Franchise Owners
As a veteran franchise owner for Right at Home, Paul can confidently recommend this line of work to those who are looking to go into it for the right reasons.
“Before you commit to purchasing a franchise, take a good look at yourself and what your reasons are for pursuing this opportunity. If it doesn’t involve improving the lives of everyone you touch—clients, caregivers, co-workers—then you won’t find success here. But if that’s where your intentions lie Right at Home will support you and you’ll find great success.”
If you’re interested in learning more about a Right at Home franchise opportunity, visit rightathomefranchise.com/
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