BrightStar Care: Addressing America’s Aging Population
“Elevate yourself to be the best in class. There is always an opportunity to improve.”
In 2001, corporate CPA Shelly Sun and her then-fiancé faced a dilemma encountered by a growing number of Americans. Her fiancé’s grandmother was ill and in need of at-home care. Months of searching for a quality caregiver proved fruitless; and on the day before the two were married, the grandmother passed away. “Through our personal journey, we identified a gaping hole in the healthcare sector,” notes Sun. “We saw the need for a better in-home care option.”
Sun set out to create a business that would fill the unmet needs of those wanting quality, at-home care. Her brainchild became BrightStar Care, a company that stands at the zenith of a major demographic trend. Better medical technology has led to longer lifespans, which, in turn, is driving increased demand for professional caregivers. In fact, as many as 10-million Americans over the age of 50 are grappling with the need to care for aging parents, according to recent studies.
Sun’s business model sought to address that need. “We set out to start a business that would offer families like us a service that we were once desperate for, a service that was not being provided anywhere else,” she explains.
To expand the company’s reach, Sun opted to make BrightStar a franchise business. The company currently has more than 250 locations around the country and was recently named by the Women’s Presidents Organization as one of the nation’s 50 fastest-growing, women-led companies. Going forward, Sun is focusing on developing the talent and tools to continue that growth trajectory. “We are incubating future executive-level talent,” she says, adding that BrightStar is leveraging technology to better serve its target market. “We’ve elevated the quality of care we provide through the use of online tools. By providing free, online resources, we foster and improve the relationship between the family and the caregiver.”
Sun, the only child of an entrepreneurial father, learned perseverance at a young age. “Trying to be good is not enough for me. Never accepting failure is in my DNA.”