Rising to the challenge

As the haul of awards earned in recent years highlights, Caremark Ltd is a franchise in which women, as well as men, are prospering and making a real difference

An increasing number of businesses in the UK are choosing franchising as a way to expand while protecting their brand and quality of service. Over two and half decades ago, Kevin Lewis, CEO of Caremark Ltd, recognised franchising as the best route to build his first home care business, taking it to market leader. Four years after selling this highly successful business, he launched Caremark, set on a mission to achieve greatness in the provision of domiciliary care. "As our network has grown, female franchise owners have played a significant role in helping Caremark achieve our goals; we have always recognised the qualities businesswomen can bring to a franchise network, whether as an individual or within a partnership."

Women who decide upon a business in the care industry are sometimes motivated to do so by previous poor personal experience of care within their own families. Being able to make a difference to the lives of others through providing a quality care and support service is a primary element motivating their interest. Some may have already worked within the Health and Social Care sector and, following a career change or redundancy, then find themselves looking at the years ahead and wondering which sector will best suit their skills set.

Helan Graham and Stephanie Doherty, joint directors of Caremark (Oldham), shared: “Following redundancy, we were delighted to join the Caremark network. Having previously considered other franchisors within the domiciliary care sector, we came to the decision that Caremark was the one for us, due to the quality and professionalism it showed at every level.”

Interestingly, since Caremark franchised its business model in 2006, three of the ‘Franchisee of the Year Award’ winners have been female, testimony to their ability to build a highly successful, profitable business, while embracing Caremark’s franchise model.

Additionally, the bfa HSBC ‘Franchisee of the Year’ and ‘Female Franchisee of the Year’ awards were presented to Janis Anderson of Caremark (Aylesbury and Wycombe) at their 2013 awards ceremony. Upon receiving these coveted accolades, Janis reflected: “It’s brilliant to be recognised for all the hard work that contributes towards Caremark’s success, especially at such prestigious awards. I became a Caremark franchise owner at a challenging time when cuts were being introduced, but this spurred me on to drive the business forward and we have since grown from strength-to-strength. At Caremark, we pride ourselves on our staff and the team excels at ensuring only the best level of service is provided for all of those we look after. I’m thrilled this effort has been rewarded and excited for what the future has in store.” Janis had previously commented: “The care sector attracted my attention because it was clearly a growth industry and was providing a service that I knew I could feel passionate about." Whether or not candidates have a background in the Health and Social Care sector is not vitally important when it comes to owning and running a Caremark franchise. What is important is the drive and determination to build a solid business, having the passion to deliver an excellent service and, of course, developing the Caremark brand within their local market place.

Franchising as a business option often appeals to the more risk-averse investor and for female professionals wanting a long-term investment opportunity that offers both a personally and financially rewarding business, a Caremark franchise should be one they consider.