How a Former Professional Enhanced His Service Mindset With a Touching Hearts at Home Franchise
Before Jeff Byrk became a Touching Hearts at Home franchise owner, he worked as a commodity trader for nearly three decades. After some time, his career became stale and he was ready to explore other opportunities.
After the passing of his father in 2018, Byrk decided that an opportunity in the home health care industry would be worth looking into. Ultimately, he sought a business opportunity that would not only be financially rewarding, but also allowed him to provide a valuable experience to the members of his community and be a role model for his three sons.
“I’ve always been involved in my community and church,” says Byrk. “I’ve done everything from volunteering to coaching sports teams. I have three sons, so I thought business ownership would be a good way to show them how you can not only be an entrepreneur, but you can also do it in a way that benefits others. One of my favorite mantras is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once said, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’ So I always think of that, and remind my sons of that, because I believe we need to be more compassionate as human beings.”
Working with a purpose
After meeting with our CEO and founder, Renae Peterson, and Director of Franchise Sales, Scott Kummel, Byrk found the perfect fit in Touching Hearts at Home. Founded more than two decades ago, Touching Hearts is a non-medical in-home senior care franchise that works to meet the needs of our nation’s consistently aging senior population. During these challenging times, more and more people are realizing their loved ones are safer at home — and keeping seniors safe at home is where franchise owners with Touching Hearts excel.
In 2018, Byrk found this to be true after opening his first Touching Hearts franchise in Elmhurst, Illinois. Nearly two years later, Byrk credits the success of his business to not only following our proven business model, but also to working with our exceptional support team.
Here’s his story.
What made Touching Hearts at Home stand out from the other opportunities you were considering?
Byrk: The main reason I chose them is because of their commitment to providing quality care to clients. They prioritized that over everything else, including monthly or quarterly revenue, unlike some other companies I was considering. I also enjoyed the fact that Touching Hearts at Home would allow me to run my own business. Granted, I’m following their proven systems and processes, but the freedom they allow in comparison to a private equity company is unmatched.
How was your initial training? Did you feel like Touching Hearts provided you with the tools for you to succeed in business?
Byrk: Definitely. They covered all aspects of the business, which was extremely helpful. Again, they have an exceptional support team. They helped guide me through everything from finding my office space to training, marketing, technology, and much more.
How does corporate support you in your business?
Byrk: It’s been two years since I opened the doors of my business, and the open door policy they offer is still intact. It’s very advantageous to have the resources and skills of such a phenomenal support team that you can call on anytime. For instance, I always have access to our CEO and founder Renae Peterson or Romana, who helps with HR among other things.
What skills does an entrepreneur need to succeed in this business?
Byrk: I think having good people skills is most important. This means you have to be compassionate, understanding and empathetic. In this business, you’re working with clients and caregivers who require those skills. The caregivers work really hard, and many of them are coming from difficult situations where they aren’t making a lot of money. From a client perspective, many people who come to you are in a difficult situation as well. This is likely the first time they are dealing with something like this with their parents or loved ones, so being understanding and empathetic is key.
What are your hopes for the future?
Byrk: I hope we continue to grow and open more locations. However, we want to grow with a purpose. I want to keep our standards high and not sacrifice the quality of care we have established with our clients. I think we’ve done this in a methodical, well-thought out way thus far. Additionally, we treat our caregivers like family. I also hope that by providing this opportunity for our family members, they are successful, advance their careers, and are able to provide for their families.
Why is now the time to invest in a Touching Hearts at Home franchise?
Byrk: The senior population is continuing to age, and the need to take care of them isn’t going away. I think the pandemic has brought to light how safer it is to age at home, and there was already a desire from seniors to receive care at home. We’re seeing a huge push here for seniors wanting in-home care. As part of the Chicago Chapter of the National Aging In Place Counsel, we recently provided services to an older woman to help her remain safely in her home and receive the care she needs. Having said that, I think there will be a huge demand for our services. Touching Hearts at Home is an affordable business opportunity with an exceptional support team who will help guide you every step of the way. This is a very rewarding career.