HomeWell Care Services of Hillsborough County
One year ago, Jose Rincon was pursuing his career in the business world, as his wife, Katie Rincon, was on her 17th year working in the medical field. Together, they wanted to combine forces and do something that would impact their community in a positive way.
That’s when they decided to open a franchise of HomeWell Care Services, a non-medical in-home care agency that helps seniors and others live safely and comfortably at home, with assistance for day-to-day activities like grooming, bathing, cooking or even running errands. To complement the training that HomeWell provides for new owners, the couple decided to reach out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida for some much-needed guidance.
“We reached out to the Florida SBDC at USF because we needed a better understanding and knowledge of the industry locally,” Jose said. “Although my wife had been in the medical industry, and I came from the business side, we realized we didn’t know much about the market in the Tampa Bay region. So, we spoke with the Florida SBDC at USF about determining if this was a good move and investment for our savings, and they helped us decide when and where it was right for us.”
Because the couple purchased the franchise in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they also had to juggle the impact it would have on their business.
“We opened our business after the pandemic had already started,” Jose said. “We have seen a positive effect because most of our clients don’t want to go to the hospital. They do whatever it takes to stay home, and that’s an opportunity for us to keep them safe and away from exposure. This is especially true for our clients that have compromised immune systems or our elderly.”
In the years they’ve spent working with the Florida SBDC at USF, specifically business consultant Pablo Arroyo, the couple has seen improvement in many areas within their business.
“Pablo has been our source, our person go-to for any questions to give us direction when we needed it,” Jose said. “He helped us in areas like market analysis, website evaluation, and trying to get into the VA as a minority-owned small business. He put us into contact with different people who could help us.”
He added, “It’s a free resource full of knowledge and information.” Some of those crazy ideas we had before, we spoke about with Pablo, and we ended up not going through with them because of his advice.”
Moving forward, Jose is excited to see the business grow because of his relationship with the Florida SBDC at USF.
“With the Florida SBDC at USF, we’re going to allow them to take us wherever we can go,” he said. “We believe there’s no limit to what we can do, and we will continue to grow. We’ve had so much help and the amazing thing is that they don’t expect anything in return. We are just thankful for the Florida SBDC at USF and we are grateful to have them as a part of our community.”