At Home Instead, Inc. we believe every brave person who has worn a military uniform should be encouraged to further their passion for serving others. It’s a big reason why Home Instead® offers incentives and financial opportunities that encourage veterans to consider home care business ownership. Not only do we want to salute those who put their lives on the line for freedom, but we also understand these men and women present the unique kind of leadership and discipline talents to be successful – for years to come.
Home Instead has seen success time and time again throughout our 26-year history – with veterans either acquiring an existing business or starting their own and going on to build some of the most productive and profitable home care locations in our network.
But don’t take our word for it – take Jim Kordenbrock’s. The U.S. Army veteran joined the Home Instead family in 2020 when he bought a home care franchise in sunny Orange County, Calif. We recently sat down with Jim to discuss his start in the care business, his successes and roadblocks, and what advice he’d give to those interested in franchise ownership.
Tell us about your journey, Jim. What sparked your interest in a franchise?
Jim: It was really my parents. My father, who was 92, passed away from Alzheimer’s. My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer exactly a year later and died shortly after. We all helped as a family and pitched in to help them, but we had caregivers that ultimately made it possible. Through that experience, I really gained a better understanding of the importance of taking care of older people.
What were you doing before you decided to become a franchise owner?
Jim: After my military career as an army helicopter pilot, I was working in advertising and marketing, but I really wanted to transition into something that was more meaningful – something that made more of a difference. A friend of mine, who hired me to the ad agency, told me about a neighbor involved with a home care group.
So, that contact brought you to Home Instead?
Jim: Well, I first talked to a competitor. The funny thing is I thought Home Instead was the little guy – a relatively small company. I couldn’t believe that a large company would have these kind of values and culture. I thought, “these are the cool – little guys.” It wasn’t until I read the financial disclosure that I understood how big the company is -- how awesome it truly is.
As a veteran, how did the onboarding process go?
Jim: Because of COVID-19, I did everything virtually – so it was probably very different than how a lot of owners go about it. I purchased the existing franchise after a guy, who I was very close to, passed away. Home Instead has such a wonderful program for veterans that waves initial fees, which of course is amazing. As an organization, I love that we support the vets. I think they provide so much value to the company. How they react, how they lead, there’s just so much that’s consistent with how we successfully operate.
After being in the home care business for two years now, do you have any advice for new or potential owners?
Jim: First, talk to as many existing owners as possible. Visit offices and see how they do things. The way the owners are open – and candid – and helpful is remarkable. Learn their styles and learn what will work for you and you’ll no doubt get off on the right foot.
Secondly, use your resources. As a marketing guy, I always wanted to create my own stuff. You don’t need to do that here. Follow the processes in place and the things that the home office offers. The training we are offered is also a huge asset in learning the businesses and key players.
My last advice is to get out in the field. I got registered in the state of California as a caregiver. I did it – I got out and saw how they do it and made me understand how to lead, how to relate to my employees. I think I got that from the military as a platoon leader.
What are some things you’ve had to overcome or adapt to as a new owner?
Jim: There’s a lot of regulation in California – so Care Pros have to be registered. Sometimes it takes a while to get that approval. It can also be hard at times to recruit Care Pros in this market. Additionally, there’s often infighting with families – since it’s such an emotional time for them -- that our care team has to be prepared for.
How have you mitigated those challenges?
Jim: I’ve taken a page out of other owners’ playbooks by offering great benefits, 401k, chiropractic, etc. I also remind them of the importance of their job, taking care of someone’s mother – father. Most Care Professionals see the value and have a purpose for why they do what they do.
Carrying over from your military career, do you still feel like you get to serve your community and/or country?
Jim: Absolutely. In the military you always have a mission to accomplish. As a franchise owner we have a mission to provide the best care, and that means everything has to come together to do that. Our whole team is part of that mission.
Are you a veteran considering a new leadership opportunity? Give Home Instead a call today at 888.702.5987 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can be part of a network recently ranked as a “top franchise opportunity” for women and veterans by two industry publications.
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13323 California St., Omaha, NE, 68154, USA
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