There is no substitute for face to face communications and interaction. You have to get out there and spread the word and then follow-up with each individual.

 

Brandy Streck found the passion for her in-home health business through a series of very difficult life events.  At age 26, and with two young boys and another about to be born, she suddenly found herself as primary caregiver to her 51-year-old father after a massive stroke left him disabled.  Then when her newborn arrived, she and her husband found themselves overwhelmed when he developed and struggled with pulmonary hypertension due to a genetic disorder.  Brandy learned many lessons during those dark days about herself as well as how much time and energy it takes for family members to take care of a loved one. With lessons learned, she will be launching her new business in the hope to alleviate the pain of others who face similar circumstances.

 

Brandy spent seven years as an RN after graduating with honors with Bachelor of Science degrees in both Biology (1996) and Nursing (1998) from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.  After she left the nursing industry, she was hired at positions where she would supervise, hire and train employees. These positions also required her to be fair and compassionate in her interactions with employees.  However, providing care to others was still her desire and she found Stay at Home out of this God-given passion.

Brandy Streck has taken the culmination of her experience and her skills to launch Stay at Home Senior Care of the Upstate. The new year for Brandy will pave the way to new horizons.

Stay at Home Senior Care of the Upstate will address the growing needs of senior individuals in the Upstate who require assistance in meeting the challenges that each day brings.  With a staff of highly trained caregivers, this organization strives to meet the needs of their clients from personal care to companionship to transportation to activity sharing.  With a state-of-the-art family portal, Stay at Home Senior Care provides constant contact and updates to each client and their family for peace of mind.  Most importantly, every client is matched to a specific caregiver through a proprietary software that allows a client’s needs to be matched with a caregiver’s skill set.

Where did the idea for Stay at Home Senior Care of the Upstate come from?

Stay at Home Senior Care of the Upstatebegan out of a true desire to make the world different for others.  Due to mypersonal experiences,I know how tough and emotional it is to find in-home care with the quality you need and often within a limited budget.  It is truly a very emotional time for both the senior and the family. Because of my past experiences and the strengths that I know I have, I wanted to provide a service that is both compassionate and professional.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I start my day by making sure everything is running according to schedule at Stay at Home Senior of the Upstate. Our clients always come first. We are in the process of hiring an office manager to do payroll and scheduling. My main task in the business is in marketing.  I visit many facilities related to seniors and talk about our mission and how we can assist their clients as they transition back home. I visit retirement centers, veterans’ associations, Alzheimer/dementia associations, rehabilitation centers and local community groups by the dozens within the Upstate. Visiting these facilities and letting them know what we do is critical. We have to let them know how we are different.  Part of my day also involves contacting clients and their families to ensure they are completely happy with the service we provide.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I think you have to lead with your heart, and when you do that, the ideas come to life on their own.  For me, I take what I’m passionate about, and then work very hard to execute it. That is the bottom line for me, and for most things in life.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The trend that excites me the most and which we are constantly ponderingstarting is senior day-carecenters. They can offer help to family members who cannot afford to pay hourly rates for care.  If people have to work, they can have their loved one brought to a day center and go off to work without worry. There are so many benefits to Senior Day Centers.  It gets the person out of the house and in contact with other senior to mingle, watch movies, play games, and have a substantial, healthy lunch.  These interactions can greatly reduce depression in the elderly, so the benefits of Day Centers cannot be minimized.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am up at 5 every morning even on the weekends. My mind is always focused on what can I do next to make this business more productive. When I meet new people, I think of what skill set this person might have to make my business better, such as help with the website or produce a brochure.  I am not afraid to say I don’t know everything and that I need expert advice about some things.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to stop trying to be perfect. Perfectionism is not your friend. My dad gave me a book, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I wish I would have read it back in college. When you mess up, it is sometimes hard to forgive yourself.  In the end, it’s all small stuff.  Love with your whole heart, always forgive, and just work hard.  God will handle the rest.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

One thing that I know to be true is that God is real and he works in the lives of ordinary people.  There is nothing that can change my mind about that. I know a lot of people don’t believe that, but it is as real to me as the sun that comes up each morning.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I would say learn to delegate. Hire the right people, trust them and let them do their thing. Don’t micro-manage.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

There is no substitute for face-to-face communication and interaction. You have to get out there and spread the word and then follow-up with each individual.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I would say that our failure at first was in our antiquated accounting methods. We now use QuickBooks and it has streamlined our processes from billings to payroll to general ledger. It is integrated with payroll.  I think the biggest mistake one can make is to start a business without the right software tools.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Within the industry there are so many people who cannot prepare their own meals. They cannot afford to have someone with them morning, noon, and night. I think a good business idea that would go over well is one that can provide meals to the elderly throughout the day. Meals-On-Wheels is a wonderful organization that my husband worked with for several years but they only deliver once a day.  If simple meals can be delivered two to three times per day, I think it would be great.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

We bought Airline tickets to Puerto Rico. Once we open the doors, we will not be going anywhere. So, this is the best money I have spent.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Our healthcare software matches the caregiver’s skills with the client’s needs. All of the preferences are specific to both. Caregivers can use the software to log in when they get to work. They can check-off their daily checklists. Clients and their families can even pay via our software. There are just so many benefits to the software. It is money well spent.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It is about unconditional love. It is about how God changes your heart when you can feel his love. It is a great book.  It changed my life and how I look at material things.  They are temporary in nature.  The love that we share is forever.

What is your favorite quote?

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, a small amount of caring, all of which can turn a life around.  by Leo Buscaglia

Key Learnings:

● They have a knowing compassion
● This is a small company with paid training for their professionals
● Integrity, dignity, and respect

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