Caregiving for elderly parents can be an extremely emotional, time-consuming, financially draining, and life-altering endeavor. 1-800Accountant client Cheryl Ketchens decided to design a small business that could help ease the stresses of those in these situations.
In September of 2012, Ketchens formally set up WellnessIsPower.com, LLC in Jackson, Michigan where she resides. The company is based right out of her home where she can remotely deliver most of her services.
Ketchens is a Coach Training Alliance Certified Coach (CTACC). With her small business, she offers services primarily specific to female caregivers. This group includes women who are taking care of terminally ill family members and those who have recently lost a loved one through her bereavement support.
“My goal is to educate people on self-care, especially females,” Ketchens says. “This is something I feel very passionate about. I want to guide others on how to get through the caregiving and grieving processes. I was a caregiver for my two terminally ill parents for 5 years, so I’ve been there and want to relay what I learned to those in similar situations.”
She talks about how difficult such circumstances can be and why there are more and more individuals out there who can benefit from her services.
“Your schedule totally changes because you commit your time to helping loved ones,” she says. “Baby boomers are playing a huge role in the care of their critically and terminally ill parents. With approximately 66 million women living in the U.S. today who are assuming the role of caregiver, it’s becoming an ever-growing need.”
How the Process in Her Small Business Works
Most of Ketchens’ services can be delivered to her clients by phone, tele-seminars, and webinars. She serves clients who are 30 years of age and older, and most are women.
“Before coaching services begin, I start by establishing a relationship with my client,” she says. “Then we go from there and I help them identify their specific needs, goals, and objectives.”
Another portion of her business is dedicated to public speaking.
In addition to helping caregivers, Ketchens welcomes any perspective client who desires her services. Her goal is to help as many people as possible achieve the successes they deserve. She and her clients are partners in a co-creative and accountability format. Ketchens says that “coaching is an ongoing collaborative partnership built on taking action. The client is responsible for his or her agenda and desired outcomes. Ketchens and her clients work together as a team to achieve the client’s desired goals and objectives.” She is results-driven and open-minded with her other services.
“If someone wants to get a promotion at work, start their own small business, advance their career goals, address their finances, health, heal from a broken relationship, conflict resolution, or simply want to get organized, I can and will help them achieve their goals. As a life coach, I help others find answers by looking inward for the answers they seek. The answers are already there. My job is to help them find them and pull them out.”
Ketchens has a very diverse and wide-ranging professional background, including working in secondary education, post-secondary education recruitment, workforce development, sales, and in eligibility and benefits for the state of Michigan. She also holds several national certifications in workforce development. She believes the variety in her professional work history lends itself well to her current profession as a life coach and public speaker.
“I’m a true people person and extrovert,” she says. “I’m the key element to making this small business work. It’s all about the value-added services I offer to help my clients reach their personal and professional goals. My passion is people, which is where I get my personal energy.”
As for advertising the company, she says networking with local businesses in her area and social media have been the most effective methods. She’s a member of her local Toastmasters club, Chamber of Commerce, and Habitat for Humanity. Her online marketing initiatives have included Facebook and LinkedIn. She is currently working on video projects for YouTube to further enhance marketing her small business.
All small business owners face some initial challenges, and Ketchens was no exception. In her words, “trying to find a balance between getting things done and spending time with family and friends” has been tough because of all the hats she has to wear. Her advice to entrepreneurs is to do as much market research as possible before starting a new business venture.
“The biggest thing is to do your homework,” Ketchens says. “Look at the needs of the market and the type of business you want to start. The need or demand of the market has to be compatible with the business you are starting. Entrepreneurs have to keep in mind the significant role the economy plays in the success or failure of a small business. If success is your ultimate goal, then the needs of the market and your niche specialty absolutely must fit in order to achieve your desired outcomes. It’s okay to feel passionate about your new endeavor, but always keep in mind how it will fit into the market around you. If your proposed business plan is not a good fit for the current market, then delay your plans for a later time.”
She talks about the pros and cons of what many small business owners encounter.
“You get up in the morning and you’re so excited about the day because you’re in the driver’s seat of your life,” she says. “On the flipside, you don’t have someone regulating your time. If you aren’t careful, you can wind up spending way too much time away from your family.”
The Importance of Getting Valuable Business Accounting Assistance
As a client of 1-800Accountant, Ketchens says she’s been “extremely satisfied” with the accounting firm’s services.
“I like the fact that I was advised to set up my LLC and take the S corporation designation,” she says. “I’ve also gotten advice on how to pay myself, tax benefits afforded to a small business, tax preparation, and more. I’ve received valuable information from 1-800Accountant. You guys have been able to answer all of my questions in a very timely, knowledgeable, and professional manner.”
She adds that the national accounting and business consulting firm can be a great solution for other small business owners looking for a full-service accounting firm.
“You’re going to get timely, knowledgeable, friendly, and professional business advice that is current and will help you and your small business be successful.”
Learn more about Ketchens’ small business at www.wellnessispower.com.
Photo credit: The photograph of Cheryl Ketchens was provided by WellnessIsPower.com, LLC and is used with permission.