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Not just one year. Not two. Not 3 years, but three-and-a-half years was the wait business partners Robert Bertram and Robert Coan had to endure before finally opening their Visiting Angels franchise in Albany, NY, in 2012. Visiting Angels is a homecare service for seniors. And as healthcare professionals themselves, aswell as owners of an effective nursing agency, the partners were rarin’ to go with this next thing within their business career. But NY State stymied that energy because of a moratorium, at that time, on issuing licenses. Bertram and Coan were actually turning away clients. Flash-forward to today: Given that that unpleasant wait is in it, both men are ready to go and getting excited about expanding their business in Albany’s Capital District region.
Name(s): Robert Bertram and Robert Coan
Franchise owned: Visiting Angels, in Albany, NY and the administrative centre District
How long perhaps you have owned a franchise?
Four years. We began ownership in nov 2011 and opened our doors on January 1, 2012.
Related: Why These Young Entrepreneurs Entered the Homecare Industry
[Robert Bertram responding] Our decision to find yourself in franchising was tied in to the philosophy of the type of business we wished to operate. We were in the healthcare industry, and senior homecare had turn into a growing business. A growing number of seniors were and so are residing at their homes, instead of living in assisted living facilities, and there’s a greater need to look after these seniors. Visiting Angels may be the industry leader in senior homecare, therefore the decision to go with them was obvious.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
My business partner, Robert Coan, and I operated an effective nursing agency to supply registered nurses to hospitals through the brand new York area. I began my career as a qualified nursing assistant looking after patients in assisted living facilities, and got my home health aide certification. I am also a rn and also have specialized in cardiology and emergency care at some major hospitals in NY.
Why did you select this specific franchise?
Visiting Angels is similar to the McDonald’s or Subway of the senior homecare industry. Whenever we were doing our research on Visiting Angels, we mentioned the business for some of our professional contacts in the region. Each of them responded along the lines that these were in awe of the stature of Visiting Angels, so we knew we were to something. Not only is it very highly regarded, Visiting Angels is aggressive in its national advertising, and has great name recognition in the market.
Just how much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Approximately $100,000. We were fortunate our nursing agency was so successful that people could actually pay the money in advance.
Where did you get the majority of your advice/do the majority of your quest?
We did a substantial amount of Internet research to get information and reviews on the business. Visiting Angels is an extremely visible brand, so there is a lot of information available. We also reached out to other home-care agencies in the region to obtain thoughts. Finally, we’d a gathering with company officials at the Visiting Angels’ corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.
Related: A Franchisee Focused on Helping Seniors Stay static in Their Homes
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The largest challenge was definitely the amount of time it took to get our license from the brand new York STATE DEPT. of Health: three-and-a-half years! The state of NY had a moratorium on issuing licenses, so there is a significant backlog on all applications, before we finally received ours. Throughout that amount of time in which we were looking forward to our license, we were limited in the scope of services which we’re able to provide.
We’re able to provide companion care however, not offer personal care, and would need to turn away clients to other competitors. This led to a potential lack of a lot more than 50 percent of our client leads.
What advice have you got for those who want to possess their own franchise?
Do the correct research in all regions of your business. You need to know each of the regulatory issues that connect with this business in your locale. Additionally, you will should do your proper homework on choosing the right franchise and decide if it’s the best fit for you personally. The more you understand about every part of your business, the more prepared and successful you will end up.
What’s next for you personally as well as your business?
We are pumped up about growing our business and obtaining the word out about Visiting Angels in the Albany market. We’ve expanded our degree of services to meet up the growing needs of seniors and the disabled inside our communities. Our hope is currently that we are ready that we don’t need to turn away over fifty percent of the calls we get, our revenue will double.
Related: Why Health-Care Franchising Is Entering a Boom Time