“I am the owner, but I still do some of the direct care. I want to know my clients and understand their needs. Everyone has my cell phone number, and people are amazed at this level of service. We are also continually expanding our service line and will be adding some limited medical services to our offerings in mid-2013.”
Teresa Nelson is the owner and president of Home Helpers & Direct Link, a company that provides personal and companion care services, medical alert monitoring and medication management to help the elderly stay active and independent in their own homes.
A Wyoming native, Teresa and her husband came to Pocatello in 2002 when she was hired by Idaho State University. When the economy crashed, Teresa found herself unemployed. Owning her own business was a longtime dream and the time seemed right to pursue it. Teresa met with a counselor at the Pocatello SBDC office and with a franchise consultant. The consultants matched her with different business ideas that fit her skills, experiences, and personality. One business model she was matched with was in-home senior care, and, after additional research, she agreed it was a perfect fit. Thus, Home Helpers was born.
Teresa’s educational and employment backgrounds fit well with senior care, but she felt the need to obtain additional industry-specific training. She became a Certified Senior Advisor, ® which enables her to be a resource and provide her clients with complete information to help them find the best solution for their individual situations.
In only 2 ½ years, Home Helpers has grown to provide care for clients from Rexburg to Preston, and American Falls to Bear Lake. Sales more than doubled between 2011 and 2012 and the business now employs 45 full- and part-time employees. Teresa continues to plan for expansion. She is looking for a full-time Regional Manager to cover the Idaho Falls territory and address demand in that area. She continues to consult with the Pocatello Small Business Development Center on marketing and employee management issues.
When asked how she differentiates her business in a competitive market, Teresa said, “I am the owner, but I still do some of the direct care. I want to know my clients and understand their needs. Everyone has my cell phone number, and people are amazed at this level of service. We are also continually expanding our service line and will be adding some limited medical services to our offerings in mid-2013.”
Teresa gives back to the communities in which she operates through membership in the Pocatello, Blackfoot, and Idaho Falls chambers of commerce. She serves on numerous committees and in organizations including Rotary, Community Services Council and the Seniors First Network. She hosts a monthly Family Caregiver Support group and speaks regularly at meetings, educational seminars, and non-profit groups.
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