Bill McIntyre and Michael Merren, owners of ComForCare Grand Rapids, have been providing in-home health care to families in the Grand Rapids area for over 10 years. Their success – compassion. Care like people are your family.
Our sole business is in-home care. We primarily help seniors so they can stay in their homes and live independently as opposed to going to an assisted living facility or a nursing home. We also have a smaller case of clients who have been in car accidents.
Research shows that people are happier and live longer if they can stay in their current environment. So, that’s what we do in a nutshell – help people stay in their homes.
Our average length of an in-home shift can range from two hours to four hours. There are times when we are in a home for 10 hours a day or more depending on our clients’ needs.
One of the toughest challenges we face as small business owners is finding qualified employees. With a labor market hovering at 4% unemployment, we find research that shows there are competitors who can interview people one day and put them to work the next day. But it takes two to three days to actually complete a background check. Our practice is to always start with a background check and offer our employees a higher wage than most of our competition. Yet we still experience no calls and no shows. Our mantra is to care for our clients and our employees like family. We try to keep our employees here long enough so they can see that we’re different.
A couple years before we actually bought our business, Mike and I would get together and talk about how we wanted new jobs, new challenges. Mike had a background in nonprofit work as an executive director. I was in sales. During this time, a friend told me about a franchise for a home care company. I read the franchise information, showed my wife and she said, “you have to do this.” Mike and his wife were also excited about this opportunity. We ended up purchasing a franchise and then actually took over our ComForCare franchise in February of 2017. At the time we had 16 employees with 15 clients. Today we have 130 clients and 140 employees.
Our mission is that we treat people like family. We care for our employees and clients like family. It’s all about compassion…all the little things about caring for people that make us different. We tell our team to take care of their clients as if they were their parents and grandparents. Family and friends are very important to us. Mike and I grew up as friends in Greenville, Michigan. We have always been close and now our families are very close…we actually spend many holidays and family outings together.
Looking back, our only struggle was cash flow. We needed a line of credit. We reached out to a couple banks. I talked to a big bank and the person at the desk couldn’t answer some of my simple business questions. But then I called the Customer Service Center at ChoiceOne Bank and the person on the phone was able to help me and address all of my questions. Since then, we have built a relationship with Aaron Griffin and others at the Bank…they are always amazing to work with in person and on the phone.
Today, we’re are reaching our projected numbers in half the amount of time we had planned. We’ve seen amazing growth. It’s been interesting and fulfilling to own a business built on compassion. Our entrepreneurial spirit and our mantra to care has led us to a career we love.
ComForCare offers private in-home care services to people of all ages. Whether because of illness, injury or aging, home care helps people live independently, in their own homes. In-home care services can assist with everyday activities while maintaining one’s sense of freedom, dignity and connections to friends and family. Services include, but are not limited to, in-home assessments and reassessments, medication reminders, safety supervision, bathing, grooming and hygiene, family respite, dementia care, meal planning and preparation, light housekeeping, transportation, companionship, transitions of care, and overall support services. ComForCare is a premier provider of non-medical in-home care with nearly 200 independently owned and operated locations in the U.S. and Canada helping older adults live independently in their own homes.
Bank with confidence with ChoiceOne Bank's Business Services. For more information, contact Aaron Griffin today: 616.430.7617.