One of the many wonderful benefits that entrepreneurs bring to a community is their ability to identify a local need and create an enterprise that serves it. And because so many of these exact same needs exist in thousands of communities across the country, that successful business model can be replicated to have an enormous positive impact on our society as a whole. Not only does this positively impact economies at every level but also our culture, our values and our well-being. Greg and Katie Dodd of Dallas, Texas are these entrepreneurs. They are longtime members of the Dallas community having lived there for over 40 years and raising 6 children together. In 2009, the company Greg worked for was bought and by March of the next year he was laid off.  They found themselves in a “now or never” moment and decided it was time to become business owners. But not just any business owners. Unfortunately, both Greg and Katie had gone through the experience of having a parent who suffered with dementia during the last years of life. Weathering these experiences firsthand and seeing the growing need for assistance in this area, they found Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services and decided to join the franchise model and provide these much needed services in their community. Since then their business has been assisting seniors in the Dallas area through companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, transportation, and assistance with personal care. And the community has shown their gratitude for these services. Client testimonials include: “Seniors Helping Seniors is such a wonderful and needed service.” “The services provided by SHS have been so very helpful and appreciated by our family.” "All your providers have been amazing and your service to us has been exactly what was needed. You can be so proud of your organization.” And the need for such services isn’t going away.  On the contrary, demand for elder services will grow with the prolongation of average life expectancy. The growth of the senior population is one of the most important demographic developments of the 21st century.  By 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Census predicts one in five Americans will be seniors. Not only does this business model provide care for seniors, it also provides employment for them. Greg says, “Our helpers are also seniors - compassionate, active, dependable seniors, doing what they love to do.” The rising rate and duration of senior unemployment in the U.S. has been of increasing concern over the past few years. By utilizing this pool of employable workers, Seniors Helping Seniors® addresses multiple community needs at once. The Dodds’ Seniors Helping Seniors® franchise is just one small business that is having a big impact in its community. Greg encourages other businesses to do the same and offers the following advice for those considering this journey – “You have to be able to do something that you have the basic skills to do well, and the interest.  You want to have pride of ownership in the business you build and the service you provide. Look at the importance of the product or service, and then meet the demand.  Establish your niche, be a quality provider.” The Dodds certainly were successful in locating the business realm that would best utilize their specific skills. For the skills they lacked, like social media marketing, they reached out to their local chapter of SCORE for assistance. Through one-on-one counseling sessions and online webinars, Greg gained additional insights into their target demographic as well as advice on branding, brochure creation, and advertising.

About the Author(s)

Ken Yancey

W. Kenneth Yancey, Jr. has been SCORE CEO since 1993. During this time, he has been responsible for developing SCORE into one of the most efficient and effective job creation and business formation engines in the USA.

Seniors Helping Seniors