“There are many ways to be successful in business as long as you are open to new ideas. Also be sure you pay yourself.”
North Idaho Comfort Keepers began in May 2000 because of struggles the owner had when caring for her aging grandparents. Kat Vercruyssen knew seniors wanted to stay in their own homes and keep their independence. She also understood that most seniors living alone struggle with tasks like cleaning their home, driving to the doctor, and safely getting in the shower.
Kat purchased the Comfort Keepers franchise with her husband, Tom Oswald. Tom handled the financial side of the business and Kat the marketing side. When Tom died suddenly in November 2004, Kat knew she needed help learning the financial part of the business.
Kat began taking Idaho SBDC classes through North Idaho College. In addition, she received mentoring from her business coach, Bill Jhung. Working with the Idaho SBDC helped her understand what her business needed to be successful. She learned about profit and loss statements. She found a way to give her 85 full and part-time employees a raise. She developed a plan to grow a sustainable business.
Today, Comfort Keepers serves five counties in the Idaho Panhandle. Kat grew her company by diversifying her client base through focusing on quality service and maintaining a personal touch. She married Jim Vercruyssen in 2008, and he is now her business partner. In addition, North Idaho Comfort Keepers provides volunteer services for charitable organizations, such as On-Site for Seniors, Alzheimers Associations in Memory Walk and Care Net.
According to Kat, “There are many ways to be successful in business as long as you are open to new ideas. Also be sure you pay yourself.”
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