Question and answer with Caremark
Caremark Franchise Recruitment Manager Patrick Thompson talks to Franchise Consultant Gordon Patterson about the franchise’s success over the past five years and its plans for the future.
Gordon Patterson: How long has Caremark been franchising?
Patrick Thompson (pictured top): Caremark has been franchising for five years after successfully launching a company-owned operation in 2005.
Gordon Patterson: You have just had your Annual Conference. What was the purpose of the Conference, what do you think was achieved and what kind of feedback did you receive?
Patrick Thompson: The Annual Conference, while fun and a great opportunity to share experience, always has an underlying message and focus on the year ahead. The message this year was leadership and how to improve business performance and maintain our excellent reputation for quality care and support services. Already, many Franchise Owners have put into practice the practical advice they received to great effect, delivering real improvements to their businesses.
Gordon Patterson: How does the economic climate affect the Caremark business?
Patrick Thompson: It would be arrogant to suggest that the austerity measures won’t affect our network. The market we operate in is still very fragmented and so quality providers will continue to prevail. Individuals will still need care, it will be the way that is funded and by who that changes.
Gordon Patterson: What do you see as being the distinctiveness of the Caremark concept?
Patrick Thompson: It can be summed up in one word – culture. Everyone involved in the central support function works with the same eye for detail, quality provision and focus on outcome that our Care and Support Workers deliver to our customers.
Gordon Patterson: How important is franchise support to Caremark and how is it delivered?
Patrick Thompson: Support is critical. Our industry is highly regulated and has to be compliant in many areas. The role of the central Support Team is to be supporting, while eyeing the future for changes that will impact upon our Franchise Owners’ businesses. This research and development is used to further the skills of our dedicated regional support managers who work closely with the Franchise Owners.
We deliberately maintain good support to Franchise Owner ratios so that every member of the Head Office Team has time to both assist with any issues and undertake any preventative activity, like auditing for compliance.
Gordon Patterson: What is the goal for Caremark?
Patrick Thompson: Quite simply, and in line with our mission statement, which is: “To achieve greatness in the provision of domiciliary care.”
Gordon Patterson: What is the ethos that sits behind the brand name?
Patrick Thompson: Our ethos is really about two things – a first rate, high quality service delivered by people who share the common values of excellent service and support, whether looking after a Customer or supporting a Franchise Owner.
Gordon Patterson: What are your Franchise Owner recruitment objectives this year?
Patrick Thompson: We are lucky to be in the position to demonstrate a great business opportunity with proven success through our existing network, while having good availability of territory. We still have amazing opportunities all around the country in most areas. We anticipate that finding franchise owners will become increasingly difficult as there are fewer territories available.
Gordon Patterson: What kind of questions do you like to see a prospective Franchise Owner ask Caremark or indeed, any other brand?
Patrick Thompson: Due to the industry we operate in and the requirement first and foremost for excellent service delivery, we like to be asked about the industry and how we maintain our reputation for quality. It is obvious also that they need to understand that this is a management opportunity and what that entails.
Gordon Patterson: What’s so special about Caremark?
Patrick Thompson: Caremark has a great culture. This really has been important to Kevin Lewis when creating and growing the business with all staff and Franchise Owners embracing this. We pride ourselves in offering the same high quality support to our Franchise Owners as we do to our vulnerable customers. We achieve this through high support staff to Franchise Owner ratios, some of the very best in the industry.
Gordon Patterson: Are there any tips and advice you would give to someone taking on a new franchise?
Patrick Thompson: Be prepared to work hard. The first 12 to 18 months require real commitment and effort if you wish to succeed. The business model is straight forward and proven, but it needs to be implemented to the letter to achieve amazing rather than good results.
How Caremark could help you become an award-winning Franchise Owner
Caremark is a management franchise, which gives Franchise Owners the tools and know-how to provide care and support services to individuals within their own homes and their local communities.
The knowledge and support provided by Caremark’s specialist and dedicated Support Team allows Franchise Owners to utilise their many skills, to include business development, marketing, IT, finance, training and, of course, care and support advice.
“The Support Team has been professional, supportive, passionate and dedicated about the brand and the business,” says Naz Asghar, Caremark (Cheshire North East), “we were convinced from the very first impression we got from Caremark that we would get the support we needed to operate the business successfully.”
Care and support isn’t just a service offering, it is the Caremark culture. This starts at the support offered by the Head Office Team to Franchise Owners to develop their business and goes right the way through the business to delivering an excellent service of care and support on the ground.
The Franchise Package
- Sole Licence Fee For Exclusive Rights
- Ongoing Comprehensive Individually Tailored Support Plan
- Two-Weeks Intensive Residential Training Programme
- Specialist Integrated Software Package
- Territory Research
- National Website Inclusion
- Professional Membership And Registration Fees
- Operations Manual
- Document Reference Guide
- Stationery And Promotional Materials
- Corporate Uniforms