Brecon Gage and his mother, Judy Gage, have been serving seniors in Victoria, British Columbia with the Comfort Keepers business model since May 2013. The Gage’s were not new to franchising, having operated another service franchised business for several years that did bathroom renovations. Brecon understood the importance of networking in the community and providing a high level of customer service in order to successfully build a business.
BeTheBoss: What made you decide to go with the Comfort Keepers franchise?
Brecon Gage: The number one factor was meeting with Peter and Laurie, the franchisors for Comfort Keepers in Canada. They had similar values to ours- a true focus on providing exceptional customer service. I liked the principals that governed Comfort Keepers Canada. I also spoke with the franchisees across Canada and saw that they all share similar values. Heather Martin, the franchisee in the neighboring market of Vancouver, was willing to share and assist new franchisees. She has proven to be a great resource, complementing the support I receive from the franchisor head office. All have been very helpful.
BTB: Tell us about the support that you received from the Comfort Keepers franchise.
BG:Initial training was intense. The one week live in-class was overwhelming and I could not remember everything. What was more powerful was the support that happened after training. There were weekly coaching calls after training which reinforced the content and lessons from training and brought the material to life. You don’t know what is going to work until you try it. Each market is different and you don’t know where the business will ultimately come from. The Comfort Keepers system takes this into account and has you focusing on 40 different sources of businesses. Then, through measuring Key Performance Indicators we are able to quickly identify the realities of my market and adjust our marketing efforts to maximize our ROI.
BTB: What advice or resources have you found to be the most helpful so far?
BG: Follow the system. My business partner (and mother) Judy would constantly remind me to focus on filling the pipeline and that it takes time to build a new business with clients. Judy had been in real estate sales and later managed a successful real estate office. She knew that a sales based business is a process and you need to keep repeating the process. You need to treat people well and focus on service. During the first 12 months I would sometimes loose site of the big picture. But I would be reminded to keep focus on consistently building my network. Most of our growth happened between months 12 to 18. Community networking clubs has been by far the biggest return on investment.
BTB: What are your future goals with Comfort Keepers franchise?
BG:We want to be known as the best senior care provider in Victoria, British Columbia. This is a competitive industry. We have 42 competitors in Victoria. That is a lot of competition! Despite this, we have quickly gained market share and built a solid reputation. We compete on quality. We are known in the community for providing exceptional care and service. We simply follow the Comfort Keepers business model. We use a planned strategic approach to enter the market and then differentiate ourselves by consistently providing elite level services.
BTB: What advice would you give to someone who is looking at a Comfort Keepers franchise?
BG:This is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I love what I do. That being said, be prepared to work hard. Be prepared to work some evenings and weekends. This is not a 9 to 5 job. You need to build relationships with referral sources and become known as a reliable resource to them. Finally, trust the system. The Comfort Keepers business model works. It is based on the experience of 700 locations operating over 15 years.About Comfort Keepers:
Comfort Keepers has been providing senior home care throughout North America for the past 15 years. Comfort Keepers has been operating in Canada for the past 10 years and provides home senior care to thousands of Canadians from coast to coast.
Providing elderly home care can be very draining and taxing on family care givers, especially children or grandchildren with full time jobs and families of their own. At Comfort Keepers we consider it our main goal to ease this stress on family members by providing quality senior home care. We use a four pronged approach called Interactive Caregiving. This model of elderly home care helps increase seniors’ sense of well-being and independence by focusing on Senior Mind, Senior Body, Senior Nutrition, and Senior Safety.