Buy-in: Synergy HomeCare

About the business: Synergy, a franchise operation that opened in March, provides in-home, nonmedical care to those requiring daily living assistance. The company has two office employees and 13 part-time caregivers.

Owner:Sarah Hegarty

Owner's role:I perform all the administrative duties. I am in the office on a daily basis. I hire and train all caregivers. I also build the relationship with the potential client. I go out to each home and do an in-home assessment. I have a community relations representative who calls on the various hospitals, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in the area.

Why did you decide on buying a franchise rather than building a business from the ground up?

After looking at various franchises, Synergy had the most to offer for the cost. I was drawn to franchising because of the proven system that is in place. I realized that the marketing materials and training that Synergy had to offer would take months if not years to re-create myself.

How long did it take you to start your business?

I began looking at the nonmedical home-care industry last September. I reviewed various franchises and decided Synergy HomeCare was the best.

What worked well for you in starting your business?

My past work experience had been in the areas of human resources and finance. This experience has helped me perform the administrative duties of starting a new business.

What would you do differently if you could?

I initially did not hire a community relations representative to market our company to the various referral sources. I thought that I would be able to do this myself along with all the administrative duties. Looking back, I should have hired a community relations person earlier in the process.

What is your educational background?

I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in business administration.

Is there anything else you would like to share related to starting a franchise?

Once you have identified the industry that you want to start a business, I would narrow your list and complete due diligence on more than one franchise.