Shawna Gibson left a middle-management job in Corporate America to spend more time with her kids and pursue the opportunity to own a small business. She soon found the senior in-home care industry and began researching businesses within that sector. Although she hadn’t considered franchises, she found Right at Home’s philosophy and values closely matched her own. Shawna plans to open in early October.
Why did you choose to pursue small business ownership?
My husband and I have been talking about it for years. We both have business backgrounds and we thought if we’re smart business people, we should be able to have a small business that provides flexibility and financial backing for our family.
When I decided to leave my role as Director of Strategic Planning at William Sonoma to spend more time with my kids, it was one of my focuses to do research on what kind of small businesses were out there.
How did you learn about the brand?
At the start I wasn’t looking at franchises at all. We wanted to find a viable business that had a proven financial track record and opportunity in the future. A few businesses that intrigued me but weren’t the right fit, and then I stumbled on senior in-home care. As soon as I saw the heading I thought it made so much sense so I began researching the industry and found Right at Home.
What was appealing to you about joining Right at Home?
I felt like everyone I talked to about their reasons for going into this industry were based around the same idea: to help people and be involved in the community. It wasn’t about making the most money—it was focused on doing the right thing. Everyone was so passionate about their business too, from everyone at the corporate office to the franchise owners I spoke to.
What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
I’m familiar on the business side but not healthcare, so I really had to do a lot of research around the healthcare industry, Medicare and Medicaid, expectations on the healthcare side and also what happens when you are a senior with no income or insurance.