By MARILYN TINNIN
Statistics on the failure rate for startup businesses should cause any ambitious entrepreneur to think long and hard before investing his heart, soul, and resources into a new venture. Success is always about much more than a good idea as Mike Davis, CEO of Covenant Caregivers, can tell you.
In January 2012, he took a giant leap of faith to launch Covenant Caregivers. The economic forecast was anything but rosy, but Mike had been turning the idea over in his mind for a while. It seemed the harder he prayed about it, the more God nudged him in that direction. He had spent the previous fifteen years in a variety of positions, all providing care and services to the elderly. Mike believes older people are frequently underappreciated, and he genuinely enjoys being around them, hearing their stories, and giving the attention they desire.
His education (he has an MBA), his experience, his passion, and his willingness to work hard have all contributed to a great success story. From his humble beginnings working from his kitchen table, cell phone in hand, Covenant Caregivers has graduated to a corporate office employing 90 people and boasting a long list of satisfied clients—in just one year!
“It is really abundantly clear that God was preparing me all along for this business. While He has given me many challenges in the first year, He has protected me along the way and prepared me so well. I am just amazed by it when I sit down and think about it.”
One key to Mike’s success is his personal involvement in every aspect of the business.
“You have to be a working owner,” Mike says. “Families who are about to entrust you with their mom or dad deserve to see your face, and they deserve to have you check on them, to check on their loved one, and to know you care.”
A working owner is exactly what he is. He frequently drives clients to their doctor’s appointments himself. Being familiar with the personalities and preferences of his clients helps immeasurably when it is time to match a caregiver with a family. It also allows him to know the individual challenges his caregivers face when dealing with a specific client. It is time well spent, and Mike laughs that it is never ever dull! He says, “When you own your own business, you have to be willing to do a little of everything!”
The caregivers Mike employs all undergo a screening process and a background check, but it is really in the personal interview that Mike decides if the applicant is a good fit for Covenant Caregivers. He sets the bar high looking for employees who feel as called to take care of the elderly as he does. “It really is a matter of the right attitude and the right heart,” he says. The ability to be with someone for as much as 12 hours a day requires a level of commitment and compassion. He has an aversion to the word “sitter,” explaining that he wants to provide some value and stimulation for the client. Although about 40% of his employees are Certified Nursing Assistants, all have similar skill sets and experience.
This young husband and father of three daughters loves to go to work these days. Finding your God-ordained purpose in one’s vocation—it just doesn’t get any better than that! His six year old, Mary Huntley, describes her father’s work this way. “He takes care of grandmas.”
For more information on Covenant Caregivers, call 601.856.5660 or visit their website at www.CovenantCaregiversMS.com.