Name: Kevin Karkut
Market: West Orange County, CA
Location: Seal Beach/Los Alamitos, CA
Kevin Karkut has Orange County in his blood; he’s never moved more than ten miles from his childhood home. He’s always thought that Seal Beach is home, so when he came to a crossroad in his career, he decided to give back to his community by providing a much-needed service to those growing older in his home town and the surrounding areas. After 30 years in the corporate world, Karkut is thankful for the guidance and support that Right At Home provided him so that he could open his own franchise in the community he loves.
Q: What was your career before franchising and how did you learn about Right At Home?
A: I’ve spent the past 30 years in the financial sector of the corporate world. I worked at the Fluor Corporation for 25 years and when they moved their headquarters to Dallas, I decided to keep my family in Huntington Beach so that our sons could stay at their school. The past five years I have been with the Irvine Company and when they made a business decision to eliminate my position, I knew I was at a crossroad in my career again. After 30 years in the corporate world, it was a time for me to step back and reflect whether I wanted to continue working in the financial sector, or do something different. I always knew I wanted to do something on my own, but I didn’t know exactly what it would be and where to start. The Irvine Company gave me access to outplacement seminars and one of them was a franchise seminar. I took a personality test and it paired me up with the Right At Home franchise. After much prayer and spending three months researching the brand and receiving positive feedback and encouragement from current franchisees, I decided that Right At Home was a move in the right direction for me.
Q: What was most appealing to you about joining a franchise system as opposed to starting your own business?
A: For me, it’s having a system in place that works. I have the flexibility to run my own business but I get support and direction as well. I’ve never considered myself an ‘idea person’—I’m more the ‘operations man.’ I’m working with people who have been down this road many times and that was appealing to me. When I imagine what it’d be like starting up my own business without guidance and protocols in place, it’s overwhelming. Each day is a learning experience, but I lean on the franchise system to provide direction and keep moving forward.
Q: What did you find most appealing about senior care?
A: I saw an opportunity to give back to my hometown and provide a service that will be beneficial to the community. I want to provide a service that is needed, especially as the baby boomers grow older. As my mom grows older, I know she’d be more comfortable staying at home as long as possible rather than be admitted to a facility. Right At Home allows older folks to stay in their homes longer than they might be able to without the option of in-home care.
My sister is a nurse and she’s been involved in home healthcare for the past 14 years. She’s involved in my Right At Home franchise because I believe her expertise and prior knowledge of the home consultations will be valuable for our clients. Both my sisters and mother are nurses, and I think they’ve influenced me in wanting to be a part of home caregiver services.
I have two sons, Brandon, 23 and Cameron, 21. I foresee that one, if not both, will join in the new family business eventually, but I think it’s good for them to get some corporate experience and have a taste of working with other business professionals before committing to my business. But being a father, I would love for them to be involved in my Right At Home franchise down the road.
ABOUT RIGHT AT HOME
Right at Home, a privately held provider of in-home elder care and assistance, was founded in 1995 by Allen Hager, a hospital administrator who was concerned patients needed additional assistance after their discharge from the hospital. Before opening the first Right at Home office, Hager became a Certified Nursing Assistant to gain a better understanding of the care giving issues that families faced as their loved one returned home. Today, Right at Home generates more than $173 million in annual revenue through its 200-plus offices across the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil and now as the first in-home senior care franchise to enter China. Outlets are franchisee-owned and operated, and staff skilled professionals are trained to provide home-based care for thousands of clients daily. For more information about Right at Home, visit www.rightathome.net.