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In April 2013 Raymond Schroeder will celebrate his 34th anniversary as an Interim HealthCare franchisee, making it half his life dedicated to caring for the sick and elderly. At 68, Schroeder is still adapting his business as technology changes, and his longevity in the field qualifies him to be a role model for other franchisees.
As he talks about his experiences with Interim HealthCare and the growth of his franchises over the years, Schroeder speaks with enthusiasm and a joy in his voice that makes it seem like he just signed his first franchise agreement yesterday. And while he has seen tremendous change in various franchise systems over the years, he recommends it as the best model for someone who wants to go into business for himself. Interim HealthCare is a solid, established company for someone looking to invest in a concept, he said.
“You do have the experienced franchisor that walks you through things you never even knew existed.”
Schroeder’s tenure as a franchise partner isn’t entirely unusual with this particular franchise, which has been around since 1966. Originally called Medical Personnel Pool, the name changed to Interim in 1992 to reflect its diverse lines of business and adequately reflect the services it provides. But many of its franchisees have been with the company for a long time.
“When you have franchisees who have been in the system more than 30 years and are second- and third-generation owners, it means you must be doing something right,” Interim co-founder Al Sorensen has said.
According to the company’s Franchise Disclosure Document, the total investment necessary to begin operation of an Interim HealthCare franchise ranges from $115,500 to $188,500, including a$40,000 franchise free.
Today, there are more than 300 independently owned and operated Interim HealthCare franchise locations in 43 states. The company provides nursing and physical therapy services as well as non-medical home care, hospice, and healthcare staffing services.
Attorney Had No Health Care Experience
Schroeder now owns seven Interim HealthCare offices in the Greenville, N.C. area with about 270 full-time employees and hundreds of others who work varying hours that suit their schedules. While the business has evolved over 34 years, one thing has remained the same for franchisees: you don’t need previous medical experience to be successful, he said.
In fact, Schroeder began his career as an attorney. A native Canadian, he was raised in South Florida and received a degree in business from Florida State University. During the Vietnam war era, he joined the National Guard and was commissioned in the Navy Reserves before eventually attending law school.
In his six years as a practicing attorney, he worked primarily on divorce cases, including one that included legendary actor Mickey Rooney as one of the parties. But Schroeder was unfulfilled in his work. He had done some legal work on behalf of Medical Personnel Pool, and had a personal relationship with the company’s CEO. He also knew some franchisees. Before long, he changed careers, signed an agreement, and opened his own franchise in Greenville.
“The health care background wasn’t very solid and extended from my side,” he said.