Tuesday, Jul 11, 2023

Why Caring Transitions Is an Ideal Franchise for Veterans

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The senior relocation franchise offers veteran entrepreneurs the opportunity to leverage their leadership skills, tap into a proven system and continue serving their communities.

Caring Transitions, the nation’s largest and most trusted total-solutions provider for seniors needing compassionate care during life’s challenging transitions, is emerging as one of the most exciting franchise opportunities in the senior care space. Entrepreneurs from all walks of life have been drawn to the brand due to personal experiences, and one group that is particularly well-aligned with the franchise is military veterans. Not only are they used to following a proven system and working hard to achieve goals, but they are also committed to giving back to others.

“I believe that there is no one better equipped than the military to come up with a plan and execute the plan,” said Caring Transitions VP of Franchise Development Jim Stapleton. “That is what they are trained to do day-in and day-out. And that is really what franchising is — develop a plan and set up the actions to make it work.”

The Path to Caring Transitions

Noel Cajudo, who owns a Caring Transitions franchise with his wife Rydell in Menifee, California, spent 27 years in the Navy before transitioning to entrepreneurship. 

“I came into the military at 19 years old and only thought I'd be there for three years so I could get my G.I. deal and go to college,” said Cajudo. “Before I knew it, I was getting advanced, and after seven years of being enlisted, I signed up for the officer program. The admiral recommended that I become a Naval Officer, which I did for the rest of my time there. The comradery and the leadership that I served under was very encouraging and really nurtured me into becoming a strong leader.”

During that time as a Naval Officer, Cajudo says he learned all about how to be a manager, the importance of problem-solving and his love for serving others. While he enjoyed the experience, he eventually found it was time for something else. 

“After 27 years, my time was up, so I decided to retire, which was a great decision,” said Cajudo. “At that time, I was the only one of my siblings that was retired, so I was able to take care of my parents and my mother-in-law for a couple of years. When they passed away and it was just my dad, I decided to go back to work. The problem was that I didn’t want a big corporate job, but it's hard to find anything else when you are overqualified.”

So, Cajudo decided to take control of his own future by investing in business ownership. While researching franchises that were offering veteran discounts, he came across Caring Transitions.

“In addition to taking care of my elderly parents, I also volunteered at a non-profit in charge of 40 seniors,” said Cajudo. “So when I read about how Caring Transitions takes care of transitions and helps seniors through that stage in life, it really hit close to home. I looked more into it and told my wife about it, and she said, ‘You are made for this job.’ The team answered all of my questions and were extremely patient and educational.” 

Caring Transitions helps seniors relocate by spending time at their homes, helping them pack and organize their belongings, then moving those belongings to the new home and setting them up in a way that feels comfortable and familiar. Then, the team returns to the original location to arrange and host an in-person or online estate sale through its proprietary platform, CTBIDS. These equate to multiple profit centers and customizable client solutions that allow franchisees to scale their business and increase profitability.

In 2017, Cajudo officially opened his Caring Transitions in Menifee and hasn’t looked back since. 

“These past years have been so rewarding,” Cajudo said. “The turning point for us was after a year and a half when we broke even. Today, we have an amazing reputation for being a one-stop shop for seniors transitioning to a new home or senior living facility. They love us because they don’t have to deal with someone for each service. We also can leverage relationships with other providers in the community and share that with seniors, whether it be landscaping, moving or painting. We also help provide jobs for local people in the community. All of that has been very rewarding. We’ve been able to help hundreds of people.”

Veterans and Franchising: A Perfect Fit

Since starting his Caring Transitions business six years ago, Cajudo says he has learned several important lessons and has come to understand some of the many reasons why veterans make such great franchise owners. In fact, he has broken it down succinctly into seven distinct reasons. 

The first, Cajudo says, is the ability to understand the chain of command. “That is also important when you are developing a hierarchy of leadership and allocating tasks in a business,” he said. “You need to know your place as a piece of the puzzle.”

Second is knowing that you can't do it alone. “In the military, like in franchising, you have to have a team behind you,” Cajudo said. “You are not an expert at everything. You have to delegate. There are things that someone can do better than you, so you have to surround yourself with those kinds of people and trust who you put in charge.”

Third is that veterans are already familiar with following processes, Cajudo says. “The plan is already written, we just have to follow it,” he said. “The franchise offers that same blueprint. I couldn’t start a small business like Caring Transitions on my own. They offer onboarding support, training, marketing assistance and an operations manual. As franchisees, we know that if we take these steps, we will succeed.”

Fourth is a love for mentorship. “I had great leaders in the military and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have seen my potential,” he said. “Caring Transitions offers an onboarding coach that helps you every step of the way when you are getting started. From there, after onboarding, you have a business coach who works with you on a monthly basis. That mentorship is key, and veterans understand that.” 

Fifth is the ability to meet a set of standards. “The Navy, the Marine Corps, the Army, the Air Force — we all have our standards,” said Cajudo. “So does Caring Transitions. I’ve met a lot of Caring Transitions owners and they all have the same values. We all stay in that lane and focus on the welfare of seniors.”

Sixth is the drive to serve. “All veterans have that desire to serve others in their community and that is what we are doing with Caring Transitions by helping seniors transition smoothly and improving quality of life,” said Cajudo. 

Seventh is the ability to take charge. “We like to see the fruits of our labor, we like to mentor and we like to give back to the people that serve under us,” said Cajudo. “I always tell my team that I hope that I can leave a legacy in their lives and they can become future leaders.”

All of these traits add up to make veterans some of the most well-qualified and passionate franchise owners in the industry. And Caring Transitions, in particular, is even more than just a proven business model

“We are in the life-changing industry — we really make an impact on the families we work with,” said Stapleton. “This is a very emotional time for seniors and their families, so being able to take the weight off their shoulders and help them into this new reality is what drives franchisees to the brand. We have franchisees from all different walks of life — c-suite level executives, health care professionals, serial entrepreneurs — but the common denominator for all of them is that caring piece. You get both a hug and a check after every job that you do.”  

Why Now Is the Time to Join the Caring Transitions Troops 

As the Caring Transitions team continues to look for passionate and qualified franchise owners across the country, they are specifically focused on finding those veteran entrepreneurs like Cajudo. Caring Transitions has also increased its veteran discount from $2,000 off to 10% ($4,490) off of the entire franchise fee. 

“We are committed to bringing the right people into the system — we don’t just sell franchises to sell franchises,” said Stapleton. “It is individuals with a clear sense of purpose and a military training behind them who will be successful with Caring Transitions and will help take this brand to this next level.”

For other veterans interested in joining the team, Cajudo says his advice is simple: stay true to your character and the rest will follow. 

“You have to stick to your core,” Cajudo said. “I never considered being a business owner, but I kept my options open, I followed my heart and I stayed the course on where it led me. Who knew I would end up here? Now, I now can see how everything in my life was preparing me for this next chapter with Caring Transitions.”

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