Huge potential with Caremark
Building solid foundations for her Caremark franchise while improving the quality of homecare in her area are top priorities for new franchise owner Janis Anderson
In her third month of trading, Caremark franchise owner Janis Anderson is ahead of target and is busy implementing marketing strategies to ensure her Aylesbury and Wycombe-based business continues to rapidly expand.
"I have always ran or developed businesses," reveals Janis. "I love the challenge that building a business brings and it was this passion that led me to explore the franchising sector as a means to enter a different industry with no prior experience. I was drawn to the domiciliary care sector because of the huge potential that providing a non-discretionary service, like homecare, to a growing market could bring.
"Caremark stood out because it has an excellent reputation, dedicated head office staff and a strong support operation. Following an interview with the Caremark head office team, Caremark gave me the contact details for the franchise network so that I could speak to existing franchise owners if I wanted to. The fact that Caremark was upfront with me from the start combined with the existing franchise owners' positive feedback encouraged me to invest."
After completing a comprehensive introductory training course, which covered all aspects of operating a Caremark franchise effectively, Janis launched her business in November 2009. Since then, she has received ongoing support from head office, which she has found beneficial when training her Care Manager and learning how to operate the computer systems.
"This is a very exciting time because my area has a lot of potential," enthuses Janis. "Within the first few days of trading I gained my first customer and now have 13 clients onboard. I work five days a week as well as most evenings and weekends because I want to build strong foundations for my business. I am fortunate to have the support of my family, who understand that right now getting the business off the ground is a priority. Once the business is established, I intend to take a small step back so that I can spend more quality time with my husband and daughter.
"Business is better than expected. By the end of my first year of trading, my main aim is to raise the quality and standard of domiciliary care within my territory, as I firmly believe that homecare is not a service you can provide half-heartedly. If I can do this while continuing to grow the business significantly I will be very happy."
Reported by Jess Sturman
See your business grow every month with Caremark's Golden Key
Caremark's absolute commitment to maintaining the highest standards of care in the home through its network of 56 offices is positioning the brand at the forefront of how the UK is dealing with the needs of its ageing population. The company was established in 2005 by Kevin Lewis, who drew upon his decades of experience in the care sector and in franchising to develop a business model that has achieved and maintained an ultra professional reputation in the care sector.
The care in the home sector has been growing year on year since the introduction of the 'Community Care Act' in 1993 which promoted 'Care in the Community'. Care in the home providers employ non-medical carers to enable and empower clients to remain in their own homes. With the market estimated at over £20 billion per annum, Caremark has charted rapid growth since the launch of its franchise network with 56 franchised offices in the UK and Ireland and a reported average growth month-on-month of 27.5 per cent since January 2007.
Caremark's commitment to quality of service rests on a strong staff recruitment and retention record which requires comprehensive support from the head office and a proven structure within each franchise owner's office. This requires an experienced Care Manager to oversee overall standards of quality, supported by one or more Field Care Supervisors who act as the 'eyes and ears' of the business in the field, managing field staff, covering calls and monitoring service standards.
Caremark recognises that quality of care staff is paramount to maintaining the highest of standards. This commitment was most recently recognised at Caremark's Leeds franchise, which has been presented with the Care Employer Award at the Great North Care Awards.
Mia Speed is the longest standing employee in the Caremark network and works for the head office's pilot operation. She has been a carer since she was 14 and, as one of the key staff members in the operation, her career is testimony of Caremark's practised company values. "I have worked for six domiciliary agencies in my career and having been employed by Caremark I would not entertain the idea of working for others," she reflects. "I enjoy working within the team and as a carer I enjoyed the continuity of care I was able to provide. Through being given the opportunity to provide care for the same clients I was able to become comfortable with them and this allowed me to provide a far greater service."
This commitment to maintaining staff quality is at the core of Caremark's ability to provide care services to the highest standards. "Recruitment and retention remains an ongoing challenge for any service based industry," says Franchise Manager Chris Wandel. "However, with the right support and management Caremark will not only deliver a high standard of care but they also champion Caremark to other carers and support in the recruitment process."
Vital to achieving continued excellence in the quality of its care while the Caremark network grows is the recruitment of highest calibre franchise owners. "Providing the highest standards of domiciliary care throughout the UK is not a mission to be underestimated," says Chris. "The sector holds excellent potential - it's a vast and exciting marketplace in which some are finding substantial financial and personal rewards."
Caremark Network Offices
Aylesbury & Wycombe
Bath & North East Somerset
Canmock & Lichfield
South East Cheshire
Cheshire West & Chester
Cork, City South
Dublin, Church Town
Dublin, City North
Eastbourne & Wealden
Kensington & Chelsea
North & South Kesteven
Luton & South Bedfordshire
West Oxfordshire & Cherwell
Poole & East Dorset
Redcar & Cleveland
Redditch & Bromsgrove
Slough & South Bucks
West Somerset & Taunton Dean
Southend & Rochford
West Sussex, OC
West Sussex, LG
Welwyn & Hatfield
Winchester & Eastleigh