We had the good fortune of connecting with Gregory Gomez-Mira and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gregory, what is the most important factor behind your success?
There are many words that come to my mind. Perseverance. Resilience. Grit. These are all characteristics that have helped me grow my business since 2013. When I purchased my business, it had already been in operation for twelve years. Fortunately, the company had a good reputation and an existing client base with a referral network established. I saw a tremendous amount of potential in this business and the brand. The goal and challenge was to grow the business. Perseverance. Resilience. Grit. These were all necessary and required for me to grow the business over the last seven and a half years. We have encountered obstacles, made mistakes and experienced growing pains; however, we have always focused on quality and providing the best service possible to all of our clients. We have consistently tried to truly impact the lives of our clients while providing meaningful and purposeful employment for all of our caregivers. It has not been easy; however, we have been successful at growing our business each year by working hard, not giving up and always trying to improve. Having a dedicated and passionate team is also required for any organization to flourish. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful team who believe in our mission and really enjoy working with the seniors we serve.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own and operate the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Southwest Houston. Our organization employs caregivers who primarily go into people’s homes (we also have clients who live in independent living facilities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes) and help them with activities of daily living enabling them to stay home. Our caregivers assist our client’s with all of their personal care needs such as bathing, toileting and dressing. We prepare and serve meals to ensure our clients are eating healthy and receiving proper nutrition. We do light housekeeping services such as laundry. Our caregivers provide transportation and can drive clients to their doctor appointments, pharmacy, grocery store, etc. Last, we provide companionship. I believe that social stimulation is one of the more underrated services we offer. Social stimulation from non-family members is so important, especially for people with cognitive impairment. We know that this is one way to help slow the progression of dementia. In summary, a family is paying for one-on-care provided by an individual who is screened, trained and supervised by our office staff. Our primary niche and goal is to help people stay home and age in place. There are many factors that set our business apart. I will focus on three key areas. First, we are firm believers in training. We are not a broker where we hire independent contractors and place them in homes. All of our employees are W2 employees. This is important because they are managed, supervised and held accountable. When hired, new employees go through a full two-day orientation class. We have an online learning management system that we use and we offer monthly training to all of our employees. The training provided is delivered via webinars and live virtual classrooms. The key training areas that we focus on are Alzheimer’s and dementia, personal care, infection control and universal precautions, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, arthritis and congestive heart failure to name a few. We also have quarterly caregiver meetings (virtual meetings now during the pandemic) where we focus on training and complete team building exercises. In order to remain employed by our company, a caregiver is required to complete one training class per quarter. Second, we actually drug test all of our employees. Many companies say that they drug test; however, when probed you will find out that they drug test upon suspicion. We drug test all of our caregivers before employment and we randomly drug test throughout employment. This is very important as we want our clients to trust the individuals that will be going into their home. We have a rigorous screening process to ensure that we hire compassionate and trustworthy caregivers. Third, we have a robust office team available 24/7 to assist all of our clients and caregivers. When you call our company, you will always reach a live person ready and happy to assist you. Regarding how I am where I am today, I believe I answered this in a previous question. It has been difficult and there have been many challenges. I believe that the biggest and most important lesson that I have learned is to persevere and never give up. There are ups and downs owning a business. There are emotional highs immediately followed by emotional lows. I have always believed in our business, mission, office staff and caregivers. We have grown and tripled the size of our business since I have been here in the last seven and a half years by focusing on quality, always trying improve and continuing to push forward. I am a big believer in serving my community and positively impacting the lives of those we touch. I am a large advocate of helping people stay home and age in place if that is their desire. I will conclude with our Vision Statement which is our guiding principle. “We are striving for excellence by bringing positive change to the lives of clients, caregivers and ALL those we encounter.”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Houston. I am originally from San Antonio; however, I have lived in many other cities in the U.S. including Fort Worth and New York City. I moved to Houston about ten years ago and I knew immediately this is where I wanted to stay. I love Houston because it is a large city with so much to offer. There is so much diversity here and this always seems to surprise tourists. I live in Montrose and I have always enjoyed this neighborhood. If my best friend was to visit, I would encourage him to stay here. Montrose is great because it is one of the few walkable neighborhoods in the city where you do not need a car. There are so many great restaurants in Montrose so we would definitely go and eat some amazing food. I really like sushi and one of my favorite sushi restaurants is Izakaya Wa in the River Oaks district. I really like all of the Houston parks and Buffalo Bayou Park is very near. I like to bike through Buffalo Bayou so we would spend an afternoon biking various trails with excellent views of downtown. My wife is Vietnamese and we love to go to Chinatown so this would be a must. I have been to Vietnam and the pho in Chinatown here is better than any pho I had in Vietnam. My favorite pho restaurant is Pho Danh in Hong Kong City Mall. After eating pho, we would stop to get some fresh sugar cane juice and then go visit the Vietnamese Buddhist Center. I am a big sports fan and Houston has so many professional sports teams including: basketball, football, soccer, baseball and rugby. In non-pandemic times, I would take him to as many of these events as possible. We have been fortunate to have very good professional sports teams so the games are always entertaining. I am a history geek and actually find Texas history to be quite interesting. The San Jacinto Monument represents a key victory leading to Texas Independence from Mexico. We would go here to view the reflection pool, go into the museum to learn about the Battle of San Jacinto and then go to the top of the obelisk to capture stunning panoramic views of the city and gulf. While we are over in that area, I always like to visit the ship channel. Many Houstonians do not realize that the Houston Ship Channel is one of the busiest seaports in the world. This is a key driver of the Houston economy along with oil and gas. I like to sit and watch the massive ships move through the ship channel. It makes you realize the tonnage volume that goes through the city each day. Due to Houston being the oil capital of the U.S., it is important for any tourist to drive through Highway 225 “Gasoline Alley” and see all of the refineries. I actually like to see this area at night with all of the refinery lights on. It reminds me of the importance that oil has on our local economy here. I do not think it is possible to visit Houston and not go to NASA. I read the book “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe and it was so inspiring to read about the pioneer jet pilots who later became astronauts and ventured into space reaching the moon before the cosmonauts of the former U.S.S.R during the space race of the 1960’s. The Galleria seems to be a Houston staple and my best friend would need to visit the Galleria for all of his shopping needs. Last, Houston would not be complete without a trip down to the coast. My wife and I like to visit Galveston or Freeport from time to time to get out of the city and see the beach. We would end the week with a nice beach day followed by a trip to Gaido’s for some great Redfish or Red Snapper.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a complex question. I know I am very fortunate to have had and continue to have loving and supportive parents. My father has always been my role model in life. He has dedicated his life to helping others and he has the strongest work ethic of anyone I know. He is currently 79 years old and still works full time. My brother is my mentor. He also is an entrepreneur and he has been instrumental in my growth and development as a business owner. I have an amazing office manager who has been with Home Instead Senior Care for over 10 years. She is a natural leader, wears many hats and has directly contributed to the growth of my business. I also have a wonderful wife who is an entrepreneur as well. She is very supportive and a visionary in her own business. I love her and learn from her as she always seems able to put things in perspective. She reminds me to be thankful for our healthy life, be grateful for what we have and she continues to try and make the world a better place every day. I have read many books and it is hard to pick only one that has had the largest impact on me. If I had to pick one book, the E Myth by Michael Gerber is definitely one of my favorites. Working on your business and not in your business is a principle that I struggle with but would like to move towards as our organization continues to grow and evolve.