Thursday, September 6, 2012

Yolanda Schon > www.seniorhelpers.com

Yolanda Schon, Owner & Founder, Senior Helpers 


What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Becoming an entrepreneur requires a lot of personal and professional sacrifice but it’s worth it.

What did inspire you to start your business?
I opened my Senior Helpers location based on the experience I had with my aging mother that came to live with my family after my father died.   I wanted to make sure other families in our area had better senior care options when they faced the same situation we did.

How did you finance it? 
I invested everything I had in my Senior Helpers location.   I invested all of my savings and a mortgage on my house.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
Oftentimes, I feel like being Hispanic is a detriment to my business.  I have an accent, and people are often turned off when they hear it.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going? 
I face a lot of adversity as an independent business owner but I’m able to keep going due to the undying support from my loving family.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
My biggest challenges are the prevalent mentality among potential customers that in-home care should come at little to no cost and the strict state regulations I face in Florida.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?  
There are some instances where families I speak with only consider price when making a decision about caring for a loved one.   As someone who personally understands how important it is to provide elderly loved ones with attentive and delicate care, I wish more people would realize that the needs of the client are more important than just the price.

What was your childhood ambition?
I always wanted to be my own boss and I’m happy to say I’m living my childhood dream each day!

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire? 
All of the entrepreneurs I admire are local heroes and family friends and my dad is certainly my hero.  I learned a lot watching him.  Anytime something went wrong for him, he had this innate ability to pick up the pieces and start all over again.  My uncle had a similar influence on me.  It was exciting watching him and my Dad both create empires based on their own ideas.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner? 
Definitely breakfast.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success? 
I wouldn’t consider myself a success (yet) because I have very high expectations of myself.   However, I have to say being on call 24 x7, rarely enjoying weekends, and having little time for a personal life is tough.

What is your favorite quote? 
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
- Michael Jordan

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
I don’t know how people see me but I consider this whole experience pretty natural for me as I have always planned to own my own business.

Biggest mistake made?
Not starting my own business earlier! This is what I was born to do – I should have been doing it long ago.

Do you consider yourself an innovator?
Why? You might say I am an innovator because I looked for the opportunity to do something new and different.  But in reality, I consider myself a “re-novator” because I took a business model that was already in place and have altered it so that it fits my local market.   I like being creative with a proven and established business concept.

About the company
Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility. The company has nearly 300 franchises in 40 states and one Canadian province offering a wide range of personal and companion care services to assist seniors living independently with a strong focus on quality of life for the client and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable, consistent and affordable home care. For more information, please visit: http://www.seniorhelpers.com/

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