Interview: Will Bruck on Veteran Franchise Opportunities in Home Care
As an active reservist with three tours of duty to his name, William Bruck has been a military man for his entire adult life. But in 2013, Will added a new line to his C.V.: home care franchise owner. Three years later, Will has become a passionate advocate for veterans’ home care and hopes more veterans will take advantage of the veteran franchise opportunities offered by the home care industry.
Recently, Will spoke with Visiting Angels about where his journey started, where he sees his business going, and why he thinks the home care industry offers such strong veteran franchise opportunities.
Finding the Right Veteran Franchise Opportunity
Will first enlisted in 1992, joining the army directly out of high school. He became an army reservist in 1998 and completed his undergraduate studies. Will then re-enlisted on September 9, 2001 — two days before the attacks that became a pivotal moment in our history. "That changed my life. Completely,” Bruck said.
In the years that followed, Will made two combat tours to Iraq. After his second tour, he received the G.I. bill for the second time. With it, Will decided to pursue an MBA, enrolling at Columbia Southern University.
During his time at Columbia Southern, Will decided he wanted to own his own business. He knew he wanted to open a franchise, and began to search for franchise models, including veteran franchise opportunities. But after a number of attempts, Will had only come up with dead ends.
Then, one day, he opened a copy of the Army Times. “There was a special issue on business opportunities for vets, and one of the listings was the top franchise opportunities for vets. Number one on that list was Visiting Angels.”
Only two months after reading that top veteran franchise opportunities list, Will opened the doors to Visiting Angels in Monroe County, Michigan.
Visiting Angels Corporate “Very, Very Supportive”
Will says it took only four weeks for him to decide to act on the franchise opportunity with Visiting Angels. “I started calling franchisees, and everybody was way too happy,” he recalls. Even more important, the Visiting Angels franchise model fit what he was looking for exactly in a veteran franchise opportunity.
“The model of VA was a very low initial cost for a very high value franchise. If you’re successful, you can live off one franchise, whereas most models of franchising you need to own multiple franchises to be successful.”
Will completed his training in August 2013, and opened his agency’s doors in September of that year. “They give you all the nuts and bolts, then they let me put it together the way I wanted. I got to put it together exactly the way it fit for my territory.”
But there was a catch. Will was still an active reservist, and he’d been notified that he was returning to combat.
“Before I opened, I got the heads up that I was going to be mobilized again. So that was weighing on my mind very heavily… Going into buying the franchise, it was imminent. And yet the Visiting Angels staff was supportive to the point where they said don’t worry, things happen, we’ll be there for you.”
In the end, Will hired someone full-time to run the business while he was gone. With the help of Visiting Angels’ corporate staff, he made it work. “They gave so much support while I was gone,” Will says.
An Opportunity for Veterans to Care for Veterans
After his third tour of duty — this time in Afghanistan — Will returned to find the foundations he had laid had paid off. Business was thriving. It’s only continued to grow since then. Will’s agency now employs more than 50 caregivers and has given Will the financial independence he’d hoped for.
“We’ve grown dramatically, especially over the last year.”
But even more important than Will’s success is how his business has given back to Monroe County’s veterans. “Being a veteran, I noticed that almost every single person that was being taken care of by our company was a veteran or married to a veteran,” Will says.
As a veteran himself, Will soon realized that he had found his calling. “My passion is veterans, taking care of veterans…This has allowed me to use my experience as a vet and compassion as a vet to help others in a way that someone else can’t.”
Will now has a contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs in his area, which is responsible for nearly half of his agency’s clientele. He has since worked with other Visiting Angels franchise owners teaching them how to connect with their local VA hospitals.
“Being with the VA hospital, that’s been huge for us… It bolsters our reputation, and it bolsters our ability to say, ‘We take care of vets. Nobody does vets like we do.’”
Will says that with his success, he’s considered opening up a second franchise. But he still feels Monroe County has so much to offer. “There’s so much potential right where we are.”
Home Care a Veteran Franchise Opportunity
Three years after researching the top veteran franchise opportunities in the Army Times, Will’s certain he made the right decision. When asked if he thinks other veterans should consider franchise opportunities with Visiting Angels, he doesn’t hesitate.
“I’d say do it,” he says with a laugh. “I don’t care where you are.”
Will says that veteran franchise opportunities in home care offer a way for veterans to give back to those who served before them. “I’ll go to family’s homes and I’ll talk to their mom or dad, and afterward, the children will say, ‘I’ve never heard dad say that stuff.’ It opens up a whole new door, and they realize ‘This is the company I need to go with.’”
He adds: “It creates a bond. Nothing else can connect that well.”
Will says that surprisingly few veterans seem to be operating home care franchises. He hopes more veterans will seize the franchise opportunities offered by Visiting Angels. “This business is not going away in my lifetime. It’s going to do nothing but grow.”
To learn more about the veteran franchise opportunities offered by Visiting Angels, call 800-365-4189 or request information online.