Carl Ward, Caremark, Kingston-upon-Thames

In his third year of trading, Caremark's first franchise owner Carl Ward is on course for an annual turnover of £700,000.

"Caremark caught my eye because I would have the opportunity to build a profitable business while providing a service that would make a difference to the lives of those in the community," recalls Carl. "I had just retired after a 20-year career in the motor trade running my own Audi and Volkswagen franchise dealerships. Boredom soon set in and I began to crave the feeling that can only be gained by running one's own business.

"I sought help from FDS Franchise Consultant Gordon Patterson as I wanted to invest in a new industry sector. Gordon suggested two very different franchises which were in my price range and Caremark happened to be one of them. The entry cost was reasonable and the initial outlay was affordable - I did not require any stock, just an office space and personnel.

"I met with Kevin Lewis, the Managing Director and Founder of Caremark, and his enthusiasm and knowledge for the business was overwhelming. I knew then that I wanted to help expand the fledgling brand by becoming Caremark's first franchise owner.

"Following an in-depth training course I launched my Kingston-upon-Thames based franchise in January 2007. Since then I have had access to ongoing support from head office as well as my Regional Support Manager so I never feel like I am on my own. It helps tremendously to have set policies and a working profit model to follow. I have 100 clients on the books and this will continue to grow as my care workers help not only the elderly but also the disabled and those who have been in an accident or have a long term illness.

"Running and developing my own business is very rewarding especially in the domiciliary care sector. My long-term goal is to take on two more territories and build up the business to a combined £2 million turnover."

Interview: Jess Sturman