Caremark Hull franchise owners explain the secrets of their success

There are many couples running successful franchises, but few have managed to make such an impact on the franchise scene as Graham and Karen Precious, who operate a Caremark home care business in Yorkshire.

Graham and Karen’s story began when a trusted friend introduced them to the concept of home care. The friend was seeing real success with his own franchise and recommended the Caremark business to the couple, as it was a well established and highly respected company noted for providing exceptional levels of support to their franchise owners.

As Graham said at the time: “We wanted to move into a business that meant we were doing something we felt was worthwhile. Also, a franchise offers you a proven system to follow, which is very reassuring. As a franchise owner, you have access to systems and support which is invaluable, especially when you are trying to get your business off the ground; plus having the opportunity to speak with other franchise owners and draw from their experiences really helped.”

Caremark – a market-leading brand

Launched in 2005, Caremark is one of the best-known home care brands. The company’s high reputation has been earned by drawing upon experience gained over the past 25 years, and by maintaining uncompromisingly high standards of commitment to serving customers in a caring, friendly and professional way. The company has steadily expanded since 2005 and now serves over 90 regions of the UK, with further franchises in Ireland and Malta.

Caremark has succeeded by offering locally focused care services, managed from offices established in community-based locations. By working closely with the support organisations within those communities, the company ensures that it provides exactly the home care services that local residents are in most need of. The organisations involved range from small community support groups to larger and more formally structured bodies such as the NHS, HSC Trusts and social services. Close liaison with these groups enables a symbiotic relationship to be built that directs skilled and sympathetic home care exactly where and when it’s needed. This makes it possible and viable for customers of all ages, with a wide variety of care needs, to enjoy life fully in the therapeutic and comforting environment of their own homes.

Caremark’s local offices are run by franchise owners and their staff members, all trained to the company’s very high standards and receiving ongoing support from regional and head office teams. It all adds up to an invaluable grass-roots resource that makes a real difference to the lives of community members. Graham and Karen Precious are typical of the people who operate Caremark franchises, and they have reaped the rewards of their hard work – in both financial terms and job satisfaction. They have also picked up some awards along the way!

Caremark Franchise Owner of the Year 2013

The couple’s first recognition came when they won Caremark’s Franchise Owner of the Year Award in 2013. Graham puts that early success down to hard work and dedication: “It is no coincidence in life in my opinion, that a strong work ethic leads to success; also having a real passion to deliver a service that is over and above the competition.”

Graham and Karen were keen to acknowledge the significance of the help they received from the Caremark support team. “It was very important for us that the support was there throughout our journey with Caremark. We have owned a successful franchise in the past for many years, therefore we are very much aware that owning a franchise is a collaboration, a partnership, and I can say without hesitation that Caremark have provided that fully from the beginning.”

The couple have found that they are able to pursue excellence in their business by working closely with their regional support manager, having regular reviews of the business model, and by employing the best people, who have the talent to do exactly what is asked of them.

Caremark Achievement Award 2014

Not only was the couple able to satisfy all the objectives they hoped to achieve when they joined Caremark, but they also feel that, more importantly, they have grown beyond their expectations and are looking to the future growth with great optimism, as Karen explained in 2013, about their diversification plans. “We have secured a place on a new framework agreement for Housing Related Support. This work will see us supporting people in the community who are struggling, maybe with alcoholism, drug addiction, a learning difficulty – we shall support them to achieve independence to live in their own home and access the community.

This agreement will continue to strengthen our private client base, so that we have a good business mix of private and local authority clients. We are in ongoing talks with Hull City Council, with a view to becoming one of their providers. We intend becoming CQC registered to support children. We continue with strong PR activity to promote our business locally and in the wider press. And we shall continue to support and incentivise our workforce with our award schemes and targets. We feel that this is an important part of our business as a thank you to all our staff for their hard work.”

Graham and Karen’s progressive and proactive approach has clearly worked, as they received a Caremark Achievement Award in 2014. Their successful Yorkshire home care franchise has enjoyed sustained growth over the last few years and is currently leading the business in Caremark’s expanding network.

Caremark Mark of Excellence Award 2014

The couple – joint owners and directors of their franchise – has now seen their efforts further recognised by the 2014 Mark of Excellence Award, which was presented at Caremark’s annual conference in February this year. This accolade recognises the tremendous contribution that Graham and Karen Precious have made, not only to their local community with the provision of dedicated, high quality home care, but also to the Caremark brand and network as a whole.

Reflecting on another year of success, Graham and Karen Precious said: “We were really delighted to receive the Caremark Mark of Excellence Award for 2014. We have a fantastic team who are hard-working, dedicated and do not hesitate to go the extra mile; and with this award we were able to demonstrate to them that their hard work and dedication has been recognised. We are all very proud of our achievements and will continue to provide the best quality service for a brand we are very proud to be part of.”

Their success story continues, as the beginning of this year saw their East Riding business move into larger premises in Hessle, to accommodate their expanding team, giving them the extra space needed for care worker training, meetings and additional office facilities.

So, what is the secret of their success in this challenging sector? Graham feels that they have made success achievable by gathering the right team around them and motivating them accordingly, and by staying true to the system. “A franchise is a partnership and we have bought a system that we follow, and it works. Once you have put the business together in the right way, you can then enjoy running it and reaping the rewards of all that hard work.”