Meet the Family |Erika Ackerman
Duration: 13m 10s
Erika Ackerman’s passion to work with seniors started when her mother asked her to teach an art class to residents at a local nursing home. That one class grew into teaching art to dementia patients for almost a decade. Listen to Erika talk with Jessica Cornelius, Franchise Development Director, about how she decided Right at Home was the franchise she wanted to pursue as her own business. Erika opened her doors in April 2016 with a Right at Home located in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
Erika Ackerman had her own Little Cottage industry business, utilizing her background in art. She had worked with activity directors in assisted and independent living homes, and dementia patients at all levels to create high-end art projects. They would have an art show every year within the community and participate in senior art shows.
Making the Decision
Erika’s passion to work with seniors started when her mother asked her to teach an art class to residents at a local nursing home. That one class grew into teaching art to dementia patients for almost a decade. As her children grew older, she wanted something a little more challenging, so she received her master’s degree in healthcare administration. Ackerman became interested in home health care and began researching businesses she could start on her own. That’s when she discovered Right at Home.
Selecting Right at Home
“As far as the framework for the business, Right at Home seemed to have all their ducks in a row,” said Ackerman. She added that they could answer any questions, and had a good structure and process in place to guide her through opening the doors.
A Typical Day
When first starting, Erika felt like she was doing everything just trying to learn the business the first couple of years. Her Corporate business coach helped guide her on what she should be doing, relying on him to help answer questions. Eventually, Erika discovered what jobs she liked to do and what should be delegated. She said she had some issues finding and hiring good people. You also need to make sure you get the message out that you are in the community and meet with referral resources.
After being a franchise owner for several years, Erika says that she has her designated job duties, and delegates many duties to the nurses and office manager. Erika handles scheduling, payroll, billing, invoicing, and compliance. The hiring process involves pretty much everyone in the office.
Support from Right at Home
Marketing had been the most valuable support Erika received from Right at Home. Erika notes that just having national brand recognition is big. Right at Home has a national campaign; they help with Facebook and search engine optimization, i.e. Google search. Corporate has monthly posts on Facebook, and you can submit local posts, too. The framework is in place for you to get the name and brand out in the community.
Advice to a Prospective Franchisee
Hiring makes an impact on your business. You need to get the right people in the door. Your aides help sell the business for you and can help keep your clients for you. Right at Home has all the necessary tools and resources for you to use in the hiring process, located in their central library. Keep in contact, ask questions, and talk with your coach. Talk with other Right at Home franchise owners. They all like to pitch in to help out. You can always feel free to contact another owner as they have gone through the same thing.
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