When Bettina McGriggler decided it was time to leave her job in corporate America, she knew she would be a first-time business owner, but didn’t think too much about being the first in her family to own a business, nor that she would be the first franchisee owner in San Antonio, Texas, of SYNERGY HomeCare —a leading, national senior care franchise.
McGriggler had a corporate career for 28 years, primarily in the printing industry for financial services in the retail division. During those many years, she honed her skills in client interaction, management, HR, sales, operations, and marketing. But like most entrepreneurs at heart, she longed to be self-employed.
How She Discovered Her Passion
She embarked on her journey of discovery, exploring a variety of businesses that she thought she could both be passionate about and had great growth potential. This was not a quick process, ultimately taking her a few years.
Eventually, McGriggler landed on the senior care industry, sparked by a very personal experience. As an only child, she grew up in a household where her parents took care of her grandmother. In 2004, her mother had a stroke, and she found out firsthand how difficult it was to coordinate all of the required services to take care of her mother at home. Combine that with the fact that there are now over 34 million people in the U.S. over age 65–approximately 12% of the population, and in 25 years, this age group will grow to over 70 million—incredible business growth potential.
She looked at several senior care franchises; SYNERGY HomeCare was the choice because of its impressive team—both operationally and the owners’ network. McGriggler recognized that the support center team had a lot of experience in the industry, particularly as caregivers.
How She Vanquished Challenges
Today, McGriggler has an average of 30-35 employees in just four years of business. She credits part of her success to her office manager that she met at church. When she was having doubts about making the leap from her corporate job, her now office manager, as well as her deep tie to her faith, helped her make the decision.
Since making her decision, she’s never looked back. However, that doesn’t mean she didn’t encounter challenges. It was definitely harder than she imagined when she first got started. The industry faced hiring challenges and several regulations had changed. She was required to begin paying overtime, travel time, and mileage to her caregivers.
McGriggler’s Best Advice For Future Franchisees
But she recovered through all of that and is optimistic about the future. As for her advice to those considering purchasing franchises themselves, she offers the following:
-If you’re in the process of starting a business, find something that will excite you and you can be passionate about.
-Realize you won’t be an expert at everything. Know what you’re going to handle personally and what you need help with – BE HONEST!
-Vet and vet again! There’s no such thing as vetting too many owners before making your decision.
-Identify the worst-case scenario and prepare for it.
-For existing business owners, rely on faith, family, and friends: Faith will get you through anything; family will give you the support you need; and friends you can vent to in hard times, network with, and can provide accolades when you really need them.