It was through Christine Visalli’s 20-year career as a nurse in a large Cincinnati hospital that Christine saw the extensive needs of senior citizens. While taking care of an elderly man in surgery one day, she saw the distress his wife experienced, which was compounded by her need for a ride to get back to their home. Visalli offered the woman a ride and went with her into the home when she was afraid of entering it alone.
After much thought, Visalli realized through this experience that she wanted to help the elderly. She finally felt the time was right and looked into owning some sort of business that would allow her to work with this demographic.
Visalli researched all local, non-medical franchise opportunities that worked with the senior market but didn’t find quite what she was looking for. She then broadened her scope to do a national search and found HomeWell Care Services, among others.
Seeing that many franchises were developed and built on mass volume, Visalli preferred the HomeWell, a brand interested in the quality of care for elderly citizens and the success of their franchise owners.
Feeling comfortable with this approach, Visalli asked her father, Dave Gilbert, to join her in the business venture.
Gilbert believes the success of their Cincinnati HomeWell franchise has a lot to do with the merging of talents — his daughter is a nurse and understands the medical language, and she has a network of people that she knows in the industry so her ability to make contact and converse on a professional level was set before they started. Gilbert, on the other hand, has over 35 years of business management experience and together it made a strong recipe for success.
Gilbert also recognizes the role the HomeWell brand has played in their success. “Certainly, HomeWell has a very unique and good system in place to begin with,” said Gilbert. “You start with training where you are given background information and manuals that are very helpful. The computer software program they have is extremely useful. HomeWell is very supportive of its franchisees and their business structure works well.”
Gilbert and Visalli made use of the Fast Start Marketing Program that HomeWell offers franchisees — a system through which the corporate office floods the marketing region with brochures, e-mail and postcards. “This gave us a large bank of names and facilities to focus on,” Gilbert said. “We used that as a starting point and it certainly helped.”
The direct marketing to their Cincinnati client base encompassed virtually every facet of the non-medical health industry, according to Gilbert. He added that they use the literature and brochures from HomeWell extensively. This has helped them build name recognition, making their business recognizable and easily remembered.