By Marcia Charlesworth
Working with Comfort Keepers is more than just a career for Dave Bull and Janet Jacobsen-Doucette—it is one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Having run the senior-care franchise operation together for the past two years, serving the White Rock and South Surrey communities of British Columbia, Dave, the franchisee, and Janet, his business development manager, have striven to build their brand and grow a business based on helping others.
What they do:
Since starting his Comfort Keepers franchise in 2005, franchisee Dave Bull has worn many hats, overseeing all operational and sales aspects of the business. In addition to executing sales and marketing initiatives and building relationships within the community, he was also responsible for hiring, training, scheduling and managing caregivers. In 2007, as caregiver management continued to pull him away from sales, Dave recognized his business had hit a plateau; he would need to make a change to continue to grow.
Acknowledging his own limitations, Dave hired Janet to take a lead role on the sales side of the business. Over the past two years, he has passed on an increasing number of responsibilities to Janet, taking a more advisory role as franchisee.
The pair keeps in contact three or four times a day by phone. While Dave still handles the bookkeeping and accounting, Janet works closely with him to further develop and grow the business, drawing on support from both the franchisor and an experienced office team, including client care co-ordinator Becky McCaffrey and caregiver co-ordinator Jane Botha.
Janet is also directly involved with day-to-day operations, including caregiver recruitment, scheduling and office support. At present, the location employs 30 caregivers, each of whom Dave and Janet consider vital to the success of the franchise. Janet also works to develop relationships with local service groups and businesses, both over the phone and face-to-face, to increase visibility in the community.
Together, the pair has established a record of success, including 90 per cent growth in billable hours. They were also recognized for top sales and top growth (for year over year annual sales) at Comfort Keepers’s 2010 annual franchise conference.