A recent report on MarketWatch.com said that the non-medical, in-home care market is expected to grow to be a $72 billion market in the next few decades. One company that is trying to take advantage of that growth is Cincinnati, Ohio-based First Light Home Care. BusinessNewsDaily spoke with company founder and CEO Jeff Bevis about how the company has grown since opening, what other businesses can learn from the company and how to deal with rapid growth.
BusinessNewsDaily: Tell us about your business.
Jeff Bevis: First Light Home Care is a non-medical, in-home care service provider. We created the company back in late 2009 to meet the increasing need for providing care to seniors in their homes or in healthcare facilities. We have eight employees that support our network around the country and 460 caregivers out of those offices. We are serving just more than 300 clients a day.
BND: Why did you start your business? What opportunity did you see that you thought you could take advantage of?
JB: We wanted to give seniors and their families more service options. We have quite a bit of experience in this area in our management team. I have an 88-year-old father in law that lives with my wife and I and we are his 24/7 caregivers. It is just one example of seeing the need for this kind of care first hand. Additionally we saw there is such low awareness in the field that most people automatically default to assisted living facilities or nursing homes as a care option. Seeing low awareness was another factor in our decision to start the business. We want our higher standard of client services to be our calling card.
BND: Can you speak a bit about the challenges you faced when trying to start your business and how you overcame those challenges?
JB: I think one of the biggest challenges was just finding the right people for our team. In our case we are a franchisor so it is not only our employees and our team members, but it is also finding the right people to work with us as franchise owners. A lot of the challenges we have faced dealt with finding the right people and getting them on the right seat on the bus, if you will. On an ongoing basis, we have also faced challenges in managing growth and in marketing our business.
BND: What are your plans for and how do you plan to handle growth?
JB: We have 46 offices in 89 markets in 21 states today currently. Our growth is very strategic; we are projecting two or three new markets every month. Our approach to growth is we are trying to make sure it is done selectively and strategically. We are really very bullish on our demographic mapping tool. With that tool we can go in and look at any geographic area in the country and be able to well determine if there is a market there for our services.
BND: What can other businesses learn from your story?
JB: There are two things. First, it is hard trying to keep up with increasing demand. Secondly, it is very important to analyze the market and understand your potential clients. Seeing the dramatic growth in our first two years it was far beyond our wildest most aggressive projections. You have to be doubly sure that you do your homework and maybe even have a very high side projection just in case.
BND: What advice do you have for other businesses or entrepreneurs?
JB: I would definitely make sure not to get too far ahead of yourself. Also I know it sounds cliché about recruiting and finding the right people, but I would still come back to getting that real strong selection of people in place. That still carries the day and is a major and important factor for anyone who is starting a business in any industry.