Meet the Family | Eric Hicks

Duration: 15m 26s

Description: Eric Hicks has been a Right at Home franchise owner for approximately 17 years with four offices in Charleston, Beckley, Princeton, and Huntington, West Virginia. Eric saw the industry was continuing to grow and was able to put a footprint in various cities in southern West Virginia. He services a lot of people and provides what he believes to be the good care they need and are looking for in their home.

Prior to purchasing his first franchise in 2005, Eric started out in healthcare and specifically geriatric care in 1993, working in nursing homes, and running their therapy departments. Before the early 90s, people used to go to nursing homes, or convalescent centers, and stay there forever. In 2003, his stepmother had a stroke and went to a skilled nursing facility for rehab. When she was ready to go home, she was going to need help. When Eric looked around the area for someone to provide in-home care, he was underwhelmed with the options. It seemed like the perfect opportunity and surrounded himself with kind, caring people providing a very good, professional service that has helped 1000s of people in southern West Virginia.

Eric did look at other competitors, but the thing that stuck out was Right at Home felt like they cared about his success. When he visited the corporate Right at Home in Omaha, the people there wanted to get to know him as a person, know more about his experience, what his thought process was, and how much he cared about the business in general. They were very supportive.

A typical day for Eric is usually arriving at the office around 8 and starting by reading the previous day’s notes on interactions with the various clients and caregivers. He always tries to read up on an industry article or two to keep abreast of what’s going on in the home care industry. Then each one of his offices has a morning stand-up done within five to ten minutes. The admin people discuss different things going on for the day. The calls are recorded, and he listens to the recordings. After reading the notes and listening to the recordings, he can get a jump on the various tasks for the day, which can change from day to day. He typically tries to visit each location once a week or at least every other week. Eric oversees the business from a financial perspective, doing bank reconciliations, reviewing bills and insurance, and looking for other avenues of growth, moving into private duty nursing or skilled care. Because a lot of medical home healthcare companies don’t do that kind of care, Eric thinks some third-party payers are really looking for one-stop shopping. He sees that as a big growth opportunity. 

Eric decided to expand his office after looking at the number of seniors in the market and performing a competitive analysis. Following the analysis, he determined the people in that area were doing a poor job. There was an opportunity for his office to come in and provide service at a higher level. Eric believes if they continue to do the things they are supposed to do and follow the roadmap, they will be extremely successful. 

Eric values having Right at Home corporate staff provide support with QuickBooks and the finance side. He felt Corporate has done a great job of keeping him abreast of what’s happening from a national standpoint, on where the industry is going. When you buy a franchise, you’re buying a name and a set of advisors. You want a name identifiable by the general public, and a set of advisors with experience in this industry. You want a group that knows the challenges and can offer competent advice as to how to overcome those challenges. Eric is very happy with the support and knowledge Right at Home has provided.

Eric shares this advice for prospective franchisees, “Make sure you have the energy to do it. When you start, you may have to work 10-14 hour days, but then you’ve got to be able to backfill with competent people, so you don’t burn yourself out. Hire the best and give them the tools to do their best and be successful.” Eric believes the key to being successful is sales.  Overcoming operational deficiencies can be done as you move along, but there’s no substitute for overcoming a lack of sales.

#Franchising #Leadership #SuccessWithSignificance

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