Two women co-workers and friends, Nikole Stillman and Elisabeth Nassberg, decided it was time to take their expertise and open their own private-duty home care business. After researching several markets, Nikole, Elisabeth and Elisabeth's husband, Jacob, settled on Naples.
To help acclimate them to the new market and get their business started, the young entrepreneurs turned to Naples SCORE mentor Chick Heithaus. Other SCORE mentors helped them develop advertising and marketing, and look for additional financing sources. "It was a match made in heaven," says Elisabeth. "They were there with us in the very beginning stages."
Unfortunately, soon after Just Like Family Home Care was founded, the economy floundered, and Nikole, Elisabeth and Jacob needed to adapt. They turned to SCORE again to help them be successful in a tough economy.
"We utilized some SCORE mentoring sessions to move forward, even if it was not as quickly as we had planned; we had to adjust our business strategy to keep up with the economy," says Elisabeth.
Through it all, Nikole, Elisabeth and Jacob continue to give back to the community, both monetarily and with their own time. "When we first moved here to start the business, the YMCA was the best child care in town," says Nikole.
Recognized as the YMCA's Volunteers of the Year in 2009, Nikole says there are about 20 different programs there the three of them are involved in. Just Like Family Home Care is the recipient of the 2010 SCORE Award for Outstanding Woman-owned Business.
"Even with all my business background, I really needed someone to help bounce things off of. (SCORE was) there with us in the very beginning stages. SCORE Counselor Chick Heithaus always came up with ideas."
—Elisabeth Nassberg, co-owner, Just Like Family Home Care