In this Salute to American Success, we’re taking a look at BrightStar Care, a provider of home care, child care and medical staffing services for individuals, families and healthcare facilities. It was founded in 2002 by Shelly and J.D. Sun.
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After hiring multiple companies to provide home care services for her husband’s grandmother, the couple decided to take a chance and create their own business which would supply all types of home care needs to customers.
“We decided to take a leap of faith,” Shelly Sun said. “I did the finance and operations part of the business. We invested $100,000 and I took a six-month sabbatical from my job in corporate America to see if it would work.”
In 2005 the co-founders, seeing an opportunity to franchise their business model, decided to try franchising.
Today, BrightStar Care has more than 300 units, two of which are company owned. By the end of 2016, the company plans to add about 50-60 additional units, and is in the process of expanding internationally, according to Sun.
“We have been very intentionally slow,” she said. “We want to grow in a way to honor the brand we built.”
Based on her own success, Sun says entrepreneurs need to have a positive attitude and strong work ethic in order to build a fruitful business.
“Being an entrepreneur is very lonely and you can never have a bad day,” Sun said.
Sun noted the importance of building an informed advisory board and having a strong financial acumen, especially for female entrepreneurs.
“You need mentors who have had success or knowledge who can help you,” she said. “It’s especially important for women to get educated on finances. Women sometimes have difficulty getting financing, so they need to be able to ask and answer questions bankers may have.”