Dan Price Of BrightStar Care: Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Opening a Franchise

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Don’t fight the model — Working with the model BrightStar Care has already laid out for franchisees has worked wonderfully for me. New franchisees should trust the franchisor and not try to reinvent the wheel for systems that already have proven results.

The world of franchising offers a unique blend of entrepreneurship and established business models. However, navigating the franchise landscape can be daunting, especially for those embarking on this journey for the first time. There are lessons to be learned, pitfalls to avoid, and success stories to be inspired by. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Price.

Dan Price is the owner of 17 BrightStar Care Franchise locations across Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. Dan first began his adventure with franchising in 2016 when he became the owner of BrightStar Care of Leesburg, VA. Armed with his passion for home care and adept business mindset, Dan is looking forward to expanding his business footprint even further over the next several years.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion about succession, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Ileft the tech world in the late 90s and purchased a farm in northern Virginia, where I raised honeybees and grew sunflowers at a relatively large scale. I have always been involved in the community and shared my knowledge of the environment with the local school children and donated the cut flowers to the senior citizens.

Knowing my passion for my community and especially the senior population, my friend suggested I purchase his home care agency from him. After researching the BrightStar Care brand, and meeting with executives in Gunree, Illinois, I signed on as owner of BrightStar Care of Leesburg and haven’t looked back since!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

After half a decade of ownership at the Leesburg agency, I decided it was time to expand my operations and bring quality home care to more people across the country. In 2023, I expanded into 16 new territories including more in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and its Maryland suburbs, southern Maryland, and West Virginia. It was incredible to undertake such a massive expansion, but the results have been amazing to watch as my staff has flourished in our new agencies and we can have a positive impact on more lives.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Failure is not an option” That’s a quote associated with NASA’s Apollo 13 flight director Gene Kranz. I’ve been an entrepreneur pretty much my whole career. I’ve won some and lost some. When I came into the BrightStar Care network, I felt like: this is a proven model, I have a strong, supportive franchisor and a growing market, there’s just no reason I shouldn’t be able to succeed at this. When I ran into tough patches, I just told myself to work through it and ask BrightStar Care for help– In this venture, Failure is not an option.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We have an amazing team and company culture. Everyone on the team has a positive spirit and takes pride in being part of an organization that’s helping people. We’re a happy company. I remember a client who we’d been helping for over a year remarked that the reason she’d hired us is that she could hear the smile in the voice of the woman who answered the phone when she first called our BrightStar Care office.

BrightStar Care offers five potential streams of revenue to franchisees including companion care, personal care, home health care, national accounts, and medical staffing. The uncapped earning potential allows endless room for franchisees to grow and expand their business. In addition, BrightStar Care is the only national home care franchise to receive The Joint Commission’s Enterprise Champion for Quality Award, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare, consecutively for the last decade.

Franchisees receive support throughout ownership, not just during onboarding. We are each assigned mentors and we have various franchisee groups to provide additional support to fellow owners within the network.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. What factors did you consider when selecting your franchise, and how did you determine it was the right fit for you?

I was drawn to BrightStar Care’s trusted network, quality care for clients, and multiple streams of revenue for franchisees. I have found that home care franchising is both a pandemic- and recession-proof business model, which has provided invaluable care for clients and consistent work for our nurses and caregivers over the last few years.

Can you share a significant challenge you faced while establishing your franchise? How did you overcome this obstacle, and what did this experience teach you about running a successful franchise?

This is a 24/7/365 business and at first that felt a little overwhelming. I knew that of course when I got into BrightStar Care, but living it was an eye opener. I don’t know if it taught me a new lesson, but it certainly reminded me — running a successful franchise is about building an amazing team to share the load.

Looking back to when you first started your franchise, what was one aspect that completely took you by surprise? This could be related to the franchising process, customer interactions, or day-to-day management that you hadn’t anticipated.

When reflecting on the transition of ownership, I was pleasantly surprised by its smoothness. The momentum was already in place, and I simply adhered to the process outlined by the franchisor. What truly made the experience remarkable was the discovery of an incredible support team and a dedicated staff of caregivers and nurses who shared my passion for making a difference in people’s lives.

In hindsight, what advice would you give to potential franchisees about selecting a franchise that aligns with their personal and professional goals?

I was not someone who came from health care but have been lucky to find myself at the helm of my BrightStar Care agencies. BrightStar Care does not require a background in healthcare or home care to become a franchise owner, they just require franchisees to align with their mission to provide a higher standard of care and have a passion for helping others.

I would tell potential franchisees to follow their passions and what makes them happy.

How do you balance adhering to the established systems of your franchise with the need to innovate and adapt to your local market? Can you provide an example of a successful adaptation or innovation you implemented in your franchise?

To help recruit top-tier talent in my region, I partnered with a local Certified Nursing Assistant training school to start a program to help introduce recent graduates to the opportunity of a career in home care. This local partnership has allowed me to establish an early relationship with caregivers and ensure that I have a continuous funnel of talent to join my team.

What are your “Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Opening a Franchise”?

1 . Take advantage of local marketing — BrightStar Care has a dedicated local marketing team that works with owners like me to implement best marketing practices. This has been very helpful for me, not coming from a marketing background. A little bit of budget for marketing can make all the difference, it is worth it to invest in targeted geographical ads on platforms like Google, YouTube, etc.

2 . Don’t fight the model — Working with the model BrightStar Care has already laid out for franchisees has worked wonderfully for me. New franchisees should trust the franchisor and not try to reinvent the wheel for systems that already have proven results.

3 . Invest in multiple territories — Now that I have greatly expanded my own franchise footprint into multiple territories, I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. Owning more than one franchise operation can greatly increase your return.

4 . Don’t wait — I opened my first franchise when I was in my 50’s and after I already had two different careers under my belt. I would encourage anyone interested in entrepreneurship not to wait!

5 . Franchisor Support — Opening a new business doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With franchising, the franchisor offers initial training, guides, and support to get new franchisees up and running. BrightStar Care additionally provides support to franchisees throughout their ownership with ongoing support groups, training, and conferences.

As your franchise has grown, what have been the key drivers of its success? Looking forward, what strategies do you plan to implement to ensure continued growth and sustainability in an ever-evolving market?

Relationships are the key to success in any business I have been a part of during my lifetime, whether it be finance, farming, or franchising. The relationships we build with our clients are personal and also how we often receive new business referrals. I am in this business for the people and my passion for working with and helping others, so to me relationships matter above all else.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

The well-being of my clients and staff is always on my mind. Working with clients who require both medical and non-medical care, client satisfaction and quality care is the top priority at BrightStar Care. This goes hand in hand with hiring and employee satisfaction as we want to ensure all staff meet our standards of excellence and are passionate about caring for others.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Exactly what I’m doing now! The work we do at BrightStar Care is truly impactful and ensures seniors and those in need of care can safely and comfortably age in place. If I could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the world, I would continue expanding my Brightstar footprint offering accessible home care to seniors and families across the country. Many people who need homecare are in a difficult part of life. Helping to reduce that difficulty and increase happiness feels like a noble calling.

How can our readers further follow you online?

You can follow BrightStar Care on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/brightstarcare/), Instagram (@ brightstarcare_corporateoffice), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/brightstarcare/), and X (@ brightstarcare)

Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.