Partners developed a business of caring
September 1, 2014
Senen Cabalfin owns Executive Care of Central Jersey with her business partner, Jeff Wolf.
When did you decide you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I was born to be a businesswoman. I was raised in a business-focused environment. My family is from Manila, we owned several ice cream factories, which was my first introduction into the business world. In 1989 my husband and I started a spouse-preneur by doing house makeovers and then flipping them. In 2002, I became a full-time nurse entrepreneur with the start of Special Care Community Services Inc. and SCCABALFIN Services, which both have a health-care focus.
Why did you start this business?
Baby boomers are aging and the health care industry is changing. From being a nurse for many years, I thought it would be nice if I could help to provide care to the elderly while in the comfort of their own homes, instead of serving them in hospitals or institutions.
Were there any challenges that made you think twice about striking out on your own?
No, I’d been in business for so long that I developed immunity to challenges. But, of course the shadows of challenge are there all the time, you just have to learn how to handle situations. Problems have solutions.
If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
I would not do anything different, I am very thankful for the opportunities in the health care industry that I have had. Florence Nightingale is my role model. My focus is on providing care to enhance the lives of patients from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
What’s the best business advice you have ever received?
Excellent customer service is the best marketing tool.
What personality trait helps you the most?
My heart, my brain and compassion. Being a nurse for 20-something years has helped because I have a better understanding of illnesses and how the aging process can affect a person’s morale.
What’s the hardest part of the job?
Finding a qualified caregiver who can surpass my standard of care.
Pleasing our patients. They love our care and the compassion they received from our team.
What surprised you the most about running the business?
Demand vs. supply and the urgency of needs for the caregiver.
Describe your most unusual customer, job or work experience.
A patient was discharged unsafely from a facility to go home with three different “ostomies” and no nurse around. It so happened that I was there to give the oxygen, the feeding and empty the ileostomy bag.
How would you like the business to grow and change?
I would like to grow to meet the rapid growing needs of the health-care providers and the ever-changing health care industry.
In one sentence, tell us why customers should go there.
Customers should choose us because of our different approach in providing quality care.
What do you love about the community where your business is located?
The amount of support we receive from our community has always been wonderful.
When you leave work, do you leave the office behind, or are you always in contact?
We only leave behind the physical structure – the office – but the phone system is forwarded to us and using the state-of-the-art software we can access our caregivers and patients’ information anywhere we are. Our office is open 24/7.
What do you do in your off time?
Rest and recharge so I can function in full force the next day.
When you leave the business behind some day, what will you do?
You mean when I retire? I got this business so I can bring it with me on my retirement. Hopefully, I will have free caregivers!
Small Business Spotlight runs Mondays. If you’re a small business owner in Monmouth and Ocean counties interested in taking part in this Q&A, contact Business editor Dennis P. Carmody at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see more stories, visit app.com/smallbusiness.
EXECUTIVE CARE OF CENTRAL JERSEY
Describe your business: It’s a home-care company. We deliver services in clients’ homes, providing excellent care in meeting their ADL and nutritional needs, getting their maximum independence, keeping them safe and helping them enjoy the rest of their lives.
Owners: Jeff Wolf, CPA and Senen Cabalfin RN, MSN, CNOR
Address: 958 Adelphia Road, Freehold Township
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Founded: Lenny Verkhoglaz