Mother Knows Best: Two Mother-Daughter Teams Foster Successful Multi-Unit Operations

Family members working together in a franchise business is not that unusual. In fact, many families have created considerable multi-unit franchise operations - and fortunes - by keeping it all in the family. According to the Small Business Administration, an estimated 90 percent of businesses in the U.S. are family-owned or controlled. Furthermore, an American Family Business Survey from MassMutual found that almost one quarter of all family businesses are run by females. With an estimated 27.2 million small businesses in America, that's a lot of women and families working together. Women like Heather Petersen.

Heather Petersen's parents, Rick and Elaine Petersen, took on an Interim HealthCare franchise 32 years ago in New Hampshire. They were the first in the area to offer private nursing care. Even during the tough times of those early years, Heather says her parents held onto their belief that patients needed and deserved the option to recover at home with as much nursing support as they wanted. Today, the Petersen family owns 6 Interim HealthCare locations and has expanded their services.

"Of all the patients and families we serve, I think my mom has a particularly special place in her heart for the mothers and fathers of our pediatric patients," says Heather. "As a mother of three, she has tremendous compassion for these remarkable parents who handle the challenges of caring for an ill or disabled child with so much strength. I'm a new mom myself, and I understand the incredible trust these parents place in Interim HealthCare when they invite our caregivers into their homes. That trust is something we do our best to honor every day."

Heather also credits her mother's family values for influencing the way they do business. "For my mom, family is the most important thing," says Heather. "As the owner of a home care agency, she takes great pride in providing a service that keeps families together and reduces the stress of caring for ill or aging family members. We often hear from families who are completely overwhelmed and Mom can look these folks in the eye and say 'Don't worry - we'll take care of it.' And then we do."

Elisabeth Haslup works with her mother, Kelly, at their Interim HealthCare office in Charlottesville, Virginia. She says she loves working alongside her mom and draws inspiration from her and sees the bond they have as a huge advantage in running their business. "We are in tune to each other's strengths and can use those every day to balance our duties and responsibilities," says Elizabeth. "The rewards of working together far outweigh any challenges that may arise. My mother's compassion and work ethic inspire me in all that I do in and out of the office."

Petersen and Haslup are great examples of how family members can encourage and inspire each other to work together to build a successful family business. These are truly family affairs.

Published: May 25th, 2011

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