When Linda Cunegin’s mother, Ella May Ferguson, passed away in 2002, Cunegin found herself facing an important decision while still mourning the loss of her mom. She had to figure out if she would sell Tri-County Home Nursing Services, the home health care company that her mom started in her Queens apartment 20 years before. Or if she would quit her current job, move back to New York and take over the business.
She decided to carry on her mom’s legacy and soon began managing the business long distance from Florida. One of Cunegin’s daughters, Taniella Harrison, left her job to help manage the day-to-day operations. Cunegin soon moved back to Queens to lead the company, which serves Queens and Long Island in New York.
Cunegin is thankful that she has the chance to carry on her mother’s dream while working side by side with her two daughters. “Doing it in the memory of my mom has given me the drive to not give up during the recent economic tough times. She helps me keep looking for new markets, more clients to reach and make new footprints in the sand,” said Cunegin. Even with the recent funding cutbacks and new health care regulations, Cunegin has found ways to continue to serve her clients and increase revenue for the company through a team attitude and creative approach to roadblocks.
Hiring the Right Team
One of the keys to the success of Tri-County Home Nursing has been its focus on hiring the right people for the right position. “One of the things that we learned quickly was that having the wrong person in a position can hold you back in ways you never imagined,” said Harrison. Management also found that it’s not just a skill set, but a mixture of skills and chemistry that is important to building their team.
“We tried different people in different positions until we found the right mix for us. When we got the right patient care director and human resource coordinator, we could see things start to change,” Harrison says.
Working with Family
Being a family-owned business has also given the staff additional drive to be successful. Cunegin’s daughter, Giana Harrison, is vice president of operations. “It’s been so special to work with the people that you love and respect. Sometimes you disagree. Sometimes you get your feelings hurt. But because you are family you have a strong base that always brings you back,” Harrison says.
She says that working with family is a totally different dynamic than other jobs because you have roles that you play in the family and the role you play in the company. “You want to be respected as a professional, but you are also a sister, mother or daughter. Working with family really is a blessing,” she adds.
Opportunities Instead of Problems
With the recent changes in health care regulations, Tri-County Home Nursing Services has had to make many adjustments over the years. But the family says that one of the reasons that the company has not only stayed in business, but continued to grow rapidly is that they look at each challenge as a new opportunity instead of feeling defeated or frustrated.
“To succeed, you have to be creative with the way that you do business and keep your entrepreneurial spirit. We try not to look at something as black or white, but realize that there are lots of colors,” Harrison says. “If you can be creative with how to solve a problem or look at it as an opportunity, you can grow your business.”
Do you work with family members? How do you separate your personal life from your business?
Jennifer Gregory is a journalist with over 17 years professional writing experience. Jennifer blogs via Contently.com.
*Article by Open Forum*