I worked as a nurse for the city of Kokkola, but the contracts were short. I wanted to have an influence on things and on how the elderly are cared for. I took the risk and started a business. I completed my vocational qualification as an entrepreneur, made a business plan and got a start-up grant.
The beginning was challenging but that is not a bad thing. I am constantly learning and earning new experiences. There is a lot of bureaucracy in Finland, which makes entrepreneurship more difficult for immigrants. However, I have received a lot of help.
The most challenging part has been convincing customers, the elderly and their relatives, to accept services from me. I had to work harder because I was the first immigrant to start a care company in Kokkola. I promised customers joy and positive energy. I think the elderly need to be able to choose their services themselves. As the good word about my business spread, I gained more customers.
During the past four years, I have not had to do any marketing. When a job is done well, the service and its quality sell themselves. When customers are satisfied, everything is fine!
Business life is planning something new every day.
Flexibility is a strong feature of mine. I am an open and easy-going person. I do not give up and I wake up every day to do my job well because I love it. It is wonderful to take care of the elderly. It is ideal for me. I enjoy making people smile.
Business life is planning something new every day. I was not born in Finland and I have had an awful lot to learn. There is a lot of bureaucracy involved in running a company and a lot of rules in the health sector. When I was meeting my first client and their social worker, I did not know a contract was needed for services!
Patience and understanding cannot be measured in minutes.
It is often thought that work is just about time and money for entrepreneurs. It’s not just that if you sell 15 minutes of your time, you only give your customer 15 minutes. You must be more flexible. This is not just about time and money – we are people. Patience and understanding cannot be measured in minutes.