×

Home Instead Senior Care

MAINE

William Jenks purchased his Home Instead Senior Care franchise after discovering firsthand the lack of available in-home support while caring for his ill stepmother.
Source: Home Instead Senior Care
William Jenks purchased his Home Instead Senior Care franchise after discovering firsthand the lack of available in-home support while caring for his ill stepmother.
Description: In-home care for aging adults
Owner: William Jenks
Years in business: 17
No. of franchises owned: 1
Start-up costs: $48,000
Franchisor fees: 5% royalties; 2% marketing
2015 revenue, 2016 projection: $1,900,000; $2,052,000
2016 projected annual growth rate: 13.5%

William Jenks had a successful career as a professional cellist and associate conductor for the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis changed everything.

"Standing in front of an orchestra doesn't look like much, but it's pretty physically demanding," Jenks said. He knew that he would have to plan for a career after it was no longer possible to play cello professionally or conduct a symphony. He took a position as a program director at a classical music radio station but was still looking for something else.

Jenks was in the same social circle in Omaha with the couple that founded Home Instead, Paul and Lori Hogan, and after his stepmother passed, Jenks learned about Home Instead Senior Care and bought the franchise territory for Cumberland County, Maine (which includes Portland) in 1999.

He sold one of his two prized cellos (for $75,000, the cheaper one) to raise the funds to cover start-up franchise costs for Home Instead, which provides non-medical caregiving to elderly Americans in need.

It's a booming business in Maine, the oldest state by average age in the U.S. Jenks' franchise was profitable in less than a year and revenue is expected to surpass $2 million for the first time this year.

Additional franchisee resources

Jenks learned about Home Instead Senior Care the hard way. He, along with his father, had a trying time caring for his stepmother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. His dad wanted to care for her at home, but there was almost no help and support available to him.

"I wanted to be able to offer this help to others so they wouldn't have to go through what we did," he said.

In Home Instead, Jenks found a compassionate and talented management team and business model that emphasized training, support, encouragement and ongoing coaching for franchisees. One of his biggest challenges is keeping up with the growing demand for in-home care, and finding and training the best people. Still, he considers the business his passion and urges other potential franchisees to have that same standard. "Don't just look for financial opportunity," he says. "Look for a business that feeds your soul."

Jenks said he received a recent phone call from a 94-year old woman who for months had been resisting the caregiver that her daughter had hired to help her. "She said wanted to have her caregiver come twice a week and said she also wanted us to know that the caregiver was a wonderful person and doesn't know what she would do without her. That kind of turnaround is not unusual and always wonderful when it happens," Jenks said.


"Don’t just look for financial opportunity. Look for a business that feeds your soul." -William Jenks

Make It

Latest Special Reports

  • Get inspired by My Success Story which profiles how people achieve their financial goals.

  • A globe-trotting look at the world of investing, from developed Europe and Asia trends to the least-traveled frontier markets.

  • High-end travel companies are pulling out all the stops to cash in on top clients.