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Del Salinas on All Things Considered Franchising Podcast

By Caring News

Our Director of Franchise Development, Del Salinas, was interviewed by Scotty Milas on "All Things Considered Franchising." They discuss the senior care industry, specifically the non-medical side, and Caring Senior Service's approach to franchising in this space. Del explains the brand's history, experience, and technology, highlighting our focus on providing support and structure to franchise owners. They delve into the importance of relationships between franchisors and franchisees, emphasizing the need for mutual support and feedback. Del also shares insights into franchisee backgrounds, emphasizing their passion for providing home care. Watch the episode or read the full transcript below.



Full Podcast Transcript

00:05 – Scotty

Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of "All Things Considered Franchising." I am your host, founder of the podcast "All Things Considered Franchising," Scotty Milas. I am also the founder and owner of Scott Milas Franchise Coach.com. "All Things Considered Franchising" is a podcast dedicated to the entrepreneur focusing in on merging brands, solidified brands, people who are interested in learning about business ownership, independent. We do run some podcasts on independent business owners, but it really focuses on the entrepreneurial spirit people who are focused on potentially researching and exploring business ownership.

Scott Milas Franchise Coach.com is an organization I started many, many years ago that helps people, a consulting organization that helps people research and explore business ownership, helping you map it out, a roadmap sort of speak, and a business model that introduces you to opportunities that potentially fit. The services, guidance, education and research all that Scott Milas Franchise Coach provides is absolutely at no cost to you. Great segment today. Great guest. An industry that continually is booming because of people like myself are continuing to age. Our guest today is Director of Franchise Development for Caring Senior Service, Del Salinas. Del, welcome to the show.

01:37 – Del

Hey, thanks Scotty. I appreciate you having me on today.

01:40 – Scotty

Yeah, you know you and I were chitchatting before we started to record and you know one of the things that we were talking about is the senior market, the senior industry, I think is broken down into 2 categories. There is the medical side, the medical need, and then there is the companionship side. There is the non-medical, the companionship, seniors needing help with daily activities — whether it is transportation, food shopping, taking someone to the doctors, but it’s a growing market because the population continues to age. So, tell us a little bit about Caring Senior Service, the brand itself. You’re starting to make a name for yourself in the industry. You’re up over 55 and close to 60 territories awarded at this point. So tell us a little bit about the brand, and maybe we will get into a little bit more about you and how you got into franchising because you and I have kind of a similar background which caught my attention.

02:50 – Del

Yes, yes. So Caring Senior Service has been around over 30 years. You mentioned the territories we’re awarded. We’re not huge. We’re a good size in home care space, but what we do have is tons of experience. Our CEO and founder began in 1991 and in 10 years as a single owner with multiple offices, and then started franchising in 2001. And we’ve been growing since then. He still owns and operates locations and so does our Vice President. We bring that to the table. We bring that experience. You as an owner what you would do every day, managing a team, and then the kind of blueprint to do that not being present how you can do other businesses and other hobbies, and other parts of your life. So we bring that unique hands-on experience to all of our owners and have a great team at our headquarters here in San Antonio to provide that support and structure. So you know our big differentiator is our experience that we bring and then leading edge technology. We have our own software we created for the home care space and being able to pivot and grow as the home care space grows allows us to do a lot of really cool things.

04:10 – Scotty

That’s interesting. So let’s take a side step. You have an interesting background. You come out of the food restaurant business. A lot of experience and expertise on the operational side, the support side, which is good because franchisees need support. I mean that’s one of the things that we coach our clients on is taking a deep dive into the marketing operational support that franchisors give to franchisees that are coming in. I mean obviously you’re part of an organization, you own the business, but you have a partner. So talk a little bit about what caught your attention about Caring Senior Service and your expertise as far as background, how it fits into the senior market.

05:00 – Del

Sure. I’ll start and end with people. It’s a people business. We are working with our clients, our staff and our team. My success in the past was building teams. In the restaurant business working with franchises and corporate level and then my own business as well, it’s all about the people. When I was looking into the home care space due to some personal situations and in growth, I ran into Jeff. I’ve known Jeff quite a while, Jeff Salter, who is the CEO and founder. And we started talking about a department that he was trying to grow within Caring. It’s called our HUB Department. He was looking for someone to lead that department who would be working with our owners directly to acquire clients and acquire staff and caregivers. So my expertise coming in was how to work with clients and work with teams and onboarding, training, so I had a lot of experience moving into that role here within Caring and my first 3 years was doing that specifically working with our owners and our offices on acquiring clients and working on building their teams. I had day-to-day interactions with our owners and offices. That led me to have more expertise in the development side that I’m doing now.

06:24 – Scotty

You know, one of the things that I like to talk about in my experience as being in the food industry and now of course as a consultant running a successful podcast and helping build a franchisor, a food brand, and being part of the management team, upper management team, is that you use the word "relationships" and how that plays a key role in the franchisor-franchisee relationship. Not relationship in the success of the franchisee, the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee. I’m a firm believer that franchising is a relationship business. That you may love the product or the service that the franchise is offering but you’re just not getting, there’s not a lot of love between you know the marketing, the operations team. There’s kind of this edgy side to the relationship. I always tell my clients that if there is that edgy side and you feel that edgy side, that’s okay, that’s normal. That’s work relationships. That’s how relationships end, that you should probably walk away and find something that isn’t edgy or have that wall between you, you know before you sign on the dotted line. How important is your relationship with your franchisees as you build the brand? I mean, talk to us a little bit about what you’re looking for as the relationship builder, the key points as the relationship builder as you’re bringing people on board as franchisees.

08:03 – Del

Sure, sure yeah. It’s a partnership. Like any relationship. There is equal give and take. Not all of us have great relationships to start fantastic but they can become fantastic with listening and providing accurate realtime feedback. That’s what we look for. We look for understanding the hurdles that are coming up and providing the information back to our franchisees. In one aspect, it’s more of a coaching aspect where we’re coaching them to be successful and to follow our motto. On the same note, it’s providing the support, that backbone sort of speak, to where they can be successful without us. You know give them the autonomy to be their own business persons but knowing that whenever something happens we’re right there in their back pocket to pull us out and provide that support. There’s a huge balance of providing the access, the leadership, the coaching, and then letting them run with it and be very successful.

09:08 – Scotty

We’re talking to Del Salinas who is Director of Franchise Development for Caring Senior Service. Um, the organization focuses on some different aspects of senior care: old-timers, dementia, cancer, arthritis, all part of aging I guess and all part of becoming a senior. One of the questions I think our listening audiences has probably kind of gotten in the back of their head right now is that there are a lot of companies that do this or where do I find labor or one of the things I thought I saw was that you know you provide support on helping people find the labor or the service people that are taking care of the seniors. Can you talk a little bit about the services that you provide and the labor side of this? I mean let’s face it the labor market is tight right now. What assistance do you provide your franchisees and people coming in to help build that labor side?

10:10 – Del

Sure. So it’s kind of multi level. First is the coaching base and giving that blueprint of knowing what to do, knowing what to expect. Then it’s providing the actual hands-on support so our HUB team here within our headquarters department does just that on a virtual level. So anything that the owner and office need from a virtual level, we can do. Because we lean into our technologist so much, we are able to take a candidate from applying source that candidate and take them to scheduling. We can take that from the franchisee’s level and provide kind of a virtual assistant to their scheduler or their manager for staffing. On top of that, we also can handle those first inquiries. We allow the owner and the office to focus on their people, their current clients, their current team. And everything that we do is focused on building and development relationships really with your people, with your staff, with your caregivers, understanding their needs. Understanding their lifestyle. Understanding how we can help them because without them we wouldn’t be in business.

11:19 – Scotty

Talk to use a little bit about your franchisees’ backgrounds, people that you’re seeing coming into the business model, the characteristics of success. I mean one of the things that comes to the top of my head is that there needs to be this sales aptitude to the side of the business. I’m not talking about being a Willy Loman where you’re knocking on doors and dialing for dollars but there is a networking side to this. If you’re not doing it, you ought to be able hire somebody to be able to do it. Networking throughout the community, your territory. Tell us a little bit about your franchisees, the backgrounds, any surprise stories, anybody that you just said, “Wow, we rolled the dice and we came up with that home-run franchisee."

12:13 – Del

Sure. Actually what’s always in common is a passion for providing home care. Whether it is from personal experience or just seeing the need, we’re wanting to be successful with providing back to the community. That’s consistent but as far as backgrounds, we’re a very diverse owner group from sales and marketing to being in the home care space and different capacities, directors, nurses, we have lawyers, teachers, so a very diverse group of owners but what we do find is that one passion to provide this back into the home care space has been consistent. With that, we hit home runs. Making sure the right person comes in which provides you everything else. You come in with that desire and that passion and then we’re rocking and rolling.

13:04 – Scotty

It’s interesting you mentioned that, again we’re talking to Del Salinas who is Director of Franchise Development with Caring Senior Service and I’m the host, Scotty Milas of "All Things Considered Franchising." It’s interesting because I hear that a lot about the senior market, senior business models, that the majority of people who are getting into it are based on past experience or experience with their own family — whether it’s a mother or father or grandparent or something. Being able to care and just kind of seeing a need and putting their own kind of touches on the business model. I mean, again it’s a relationship business. We talked about that but a lot of this comes from past experiences, correct? I mean that seems to be a common thread here.

13:53 – Del

Yes, we see that quite a bit. Someone had a mother or father who they were learning in the moment and this is something most folks don’t learn about until it happens to them. So a lot of times it is something that is new and is really new for everybody. You know the clients also. They don’t know what to do when mom or dad need that support. Who do I turn to? People understand that they’re going to pay for their childcare for 5 to 7 years and there’s going to be a car payment or house payment for that. But no one thinks about when mom or dad gets older, they’re going to have to go back to that and plan for that and that cost and what that’s going to look like. So it can be quite stressful, and it can be very difficult. So to your point about the marketing piece and going out and speaking to people learning about what to do next. You know it’s providing that passion. Letting them know I went through that. Let me tell me what happened to me and give you options and this way they feel in control and they feel more educated and they can make some better decisions.

14:55 – Scotty

Right, right. Now a couple of things about the brand itself. Your Item 7, your investment level is ranging somewhere between $117,000 and $177,000. Any average number of territories you’re seeing your franchisees come in with? Are they starting with one building from there? Are they investing in 2 or 3? I mean obviously everybody is a little bit different but kind of give us a profile on what you can expect on territories maybe size of territories, what you should really consider in the market.

15:28 – Del

Yes, most of our franchise owners come in as one territory with plans to expand by years 3 or 5. We have 5-year agreements for our franchise owners and the territory space ends up being very competitive, very aggressive. We do look at your territory as far as staffing. Keep in mind that you as the owner you’re hands on in the business and you’re going to be in that territory and what does your travel capacity look like. What does your caregiver capacity look like? Um, and being realistic. We all have I think bigger eyes than our stomach so to speak. We want to make sure that we are being smart and being able to manage the business successfully so we review that with all of our owner candidates.

16:13 – Scotty

Right, yeah we want to keep ego out of this. You don’t have to tell people that you own so many territories. You want to tell people that you’ve been successful in the business as a business owner. One of the things that you mentioned, you are looking for owners to be actively involved in the business. I would think at least for the first 12 to 18 months build it up and kind of build that little management team. You are looking, this is not a passive business model. You’re not looking for somebody to come in and be kind of a semi-absentee owner. You really want somebody involved. And the other part of this is that while this is not a retail environment where you’re going out and building, it’s more of you probably need a shared office, that type where you can conduct interviews, keep records of employees, confidential interviews. Is that correct so again it’s not a retail where you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a buildup but going into a shared office space or a small office environment renting an office not working from home, correct?

17:17 - Del

Sure, sure. You brought up a number of good points there. You know first for that initial investment, that range is to give you options. If you’re going to be hands-on in the business there’s probably going to be a little bit less for that initial investment. If you wanting to be an absentee owner, you need to hire somebody to be you and be that role full time so that’s going to be a little bit higher. To the office space, nothing real big. Something that’s easily accessible where your caregivers can come and interview comfortably and train, and big enough for working areas for you and your office team.

17:50 – Scotty

Awesome. And I do see that you offer a veteran discount for veterans that are interested in coming in, people that have served in the Armed Forces, a discount off of the franchise fee.

18:01 – Del

That’s right. It is a 20% discount for veterans.

18:05 – Scotty

Awesome, awesome. And on just about a $50,000 franchise fee, that’s a $10,000 discount so that’s really nice being able to offer that to veterans for people who have served. Del, any closing comments, any thoughts about anything I might have missed. Obviously we will get your contact information in a minute ,but anything else you want to share about the brand, the potential candidate or franchisee you’re looking for? Anything I might have missed asking that you want to share with us?

18:35 – Del

Sure, sure. No, I think we covered a lot. Just to reiterate, we’re a down-to-earth, blue-collar company. We’re looking for folks that we would want to spend 8 hours in a cave with. You know, we’re looking for people who are the same mindset that want to come in and have that passion for the business and they want to work with us like we want to work with you. So for people that want to learn more, we’re always available for a little chat and to share information with anybody.

19:02 – Scotty

Right, great, great. Del what is the best way for someone to reach out to you or find out more about Caring Senior Service? I mean is there a webpage someone can go to or obviously they can reach out to me and I can make the answer on their behalf but if somebody wanted to find out more information directly, what would be the best way to do that?

19:22 – Del

caringseniorservice.com. or caringfranchise.com. That’s the best way to get hold of us. It will come directly to me. You can also find me at dsalinas@caring.com. I’m sure you’ll have that on notes as well but caringseniorservice.com or caringfranchise.com.

19:39 – Scotty

Wow, that’s awesome. Okay, great. Um, well Del I really appreciate your time. I mean it’s hard to believe how fast 20 minutes go by. 

19:49 – Del

It flew by.

19:50 – Scotty

It does, it does but I really appreciate you being on the show. We’ve been talking to Del Salinas who is Director of Franchise Development for Caring Senior Service, a real up and coming solidified branch, strong validation, strong upper management team, a lot of experience in this industry, the management team. But even more uniquely, they are not part of an FSO. I mean so they are managing and the development and the infrastructure as a team, as a private organization so that’s a lot to be said. High-five to that and to everybody over there in management. Del, I hope we can get you back on six months from now just to get an update on how things are. Um, I am your host, Scotty Milas. We’ve been talking to Del Salinas who I mentioned is Director of Franchise Development. I’m Scotty Milas. If you would like to learn more about "All Things Considered Franchising" or have questions about business ownership through Scott Milas Franchise Coach visit our websites at All Things Considered Franchising.com or Scott Milas Franchise Coach.com. I can also be reached at email scottmilasfranchise.com. Del, it’s been great. I wish you all the best and look forward to having you back on.

21:07 – Del

Thanks Scotty, it’s been a pleasure.

21:10 – Scotty

This is Scotty Milas until next time, another episode of "All Things Considered Franchising."

Tags: Caring Senior Service News