Starting a business from scratch is a big endeavour. In the beginning, there are so many hats to wear, decisions to make and things to do – seemingly all needing to be done at once!
My biggest challenge when starting A Friend Indeed was identifying who my customer really was. I know it sounds funny but it was true. I knew I wanted to be in the lives of seniors, to be of service to their needs. I knew how I wanted them to feel while working with us. But the result of my efforts at that time seemed to be off the mark. I made a few inquiries with several seniors and then with their families. I soon realized in many cases there was a huge difference in perception, to their loved one’s situation. (Now I reminded myself that every family, every senior and every situation is unique and the inquiries I made are not all inclusive.)
From one point of view, life was good. “Everything more or less is taken care of and it’s nice to see my daughter or son when they come by to help or to take me somewhere.”
From another perspective, that daughter or son is feeling pretty stressed. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, enough days in the week to get it all done because of work, the kids, the commute, appointments and other responsibilities that are in daily life. Stress, along with another prevalent factor- guilt, is what these adult children carry with them like an old backpack. Their efforts to help and be company for their loved one comes from a place of good intentions, but the fact is we live in a very busy world. We have to pick and choose where our time, effort and energy goes and if we don’t take care of ourselves, then it’s a downward spiral that affects everyone.
I understood that my customers are the adult children. What a feeling to be spending time and serving seniors as we do and causing a wonderful and positive impact in the lives of their adult children as well. The ripple effect is enormous!