Meet Touching Hearts at Home’s Newest Texas Franchise Owner
Registered nurse is taking those skills, plus her familiarity with senior care, and delivering high-level expertise to residents in her community
Nurses are hands-on problem solvers, and Terri Van Stavern is no different. After years in that profession, including more than a dozen focusing on home health and seniors, Van Stavern decided to blend her love of caregiving with the ability to build a business that helps the population she has come to know and enjoy serving. As a Touching Hearts at Home in-home senior care franchise owner, she’s building a business that brings needed services and a positive appeal to her McKinney, Texas, community.
You know a lot about in-home care. What appealed to you about Touching Hearts At Home?
I worked as a registered nurse in the home-health senior community for about 16 years. I recently spent seven years at an assisted living retirement community that offered memory care. I thought that there were some aspects of care there that could be improved upon, and that got me thinking about how I would do things differently. I left to begin doing some private-duty nurse hospice work, and from there began looking into home care franchises.
The biggest thing I noticed and liked about Touching Hearts was the openness of the team compared with other models. I looked at a lot of information, and I asked a lot of questions. When I spoke to Scott at Touching Hearts, it felt more like a conversation than an interview. He didn’t give me a sales pitch; it was like talking to a family member. It was very relaxed, and that led me to focus more on that opportunity.
How are you going to build business?
I have a lot of contacts in the area thanks to my prior work, so I am already reaching out to make connections. We have a 700-person independent living facility here, and also assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing operations. The clientele here in terms of senior citizens is very high-end, so there is a lot of opportunity to provide the services that Touching Hearts does so well. I also believe that I can grow the business through interacting with home health and hospice agencies, because I met a lot of those people when I was working in the facilities here.
How did the Touching Hearts team prepare you for opening, and the days and weeks beyond?
I have to say it was wonderful. My husband, who still has a full-time job but will be helping me with sales and marketing, also went through it. He works in sales and knows that process, and he also knows about senior care because of his experience caring for his mother. In the training, though, we both learned so much. For me, it was beneficial having been in the industry and having a bit of a head start when we got into policies and procedures. But just because I have some knowledge doesn’t mean that I know how to operate a franchise, so they really focused on operations, marketing and other elements that I need to learn.
Being part of a franchise means I don’t have to invent all that material, and that is huge for me. We got to know everyone at the corporate level, and they make it feel like we’re all involved in a small business even though we are just one member of a growing network. It feels like family; very intimate. We loved getting to know other new franchise owners in that setting, and it was so much more valuable than sitting in a big conference room with a book, listening to someone standing in front of a white board or giving a PowerPoint presentation.
How are you feeling about your decision to become a Touching Hearts at Home franchise owner?
We have been busy with the state licensing process, getting our office space ready and the website built out. Even so, I’m looking ahead to getting clients and feeling very good about my decision. I’m a little apprehensive, because it’s just me on my own, which is a new situation for me. I’m not worried about getting the late calls from clients, because as a nurse I’ve been on call since the start of my career. And I know I can call the corporate team if I get stuck or find myself in a holding pattern, and they will walk me through the next steps. They already contact me at least once a week to see how I am doing and how they can help, which has been so nice. I know I’m not really alone, and I’m very excited to be part of the Touching Hearts at Home family.
Learn more about a Touching Hearts at Home franchise
Now is the time to join the Touching Hearts at Home in-home senior franchise family. We are a pioneer in the non-medical, in-home senior care industry, and we anticipate rapid growth for our company as the Baby Boomer population ages. A Touching Hearts at Home franchise business is an opportunity to make a living doing meaningful work as you serve members of your community.