Talking two territories

Owning a multi-site is a goal which several of Caremark’s franchisees have achieved, with more of the network preparing to move towards owning a second business. Mary Wardell speaks to franchise owners Amarjit Gill and Farina Tayub, who are both successfully building second territories in the UK.

When you joined Caremark, did you envisage having a multi-site franchise?

Amarjit Gill said: “No, not to start with. However, after liaising with head office and researching an adjoining territory, it became apparent that there were great opportunities in the second area. This meant we were able to build a successful business quickly, while still working on the original territory.”

What do you feel are the benefits of having a second territory, rather than focusing on one?

Amarjit continued: “Having two adjoining territories is a definite benefit, as there is not as much restriction in terms of boundaries. Council services and hospital services etc. often cross the territory boundaries, so having more than one working area increases opportunity and means we can provide a greater level of service.”

Farina Tayub added: “Subsequent territories broaden the experience of different local authorities and communities and also allow for the added satisfaction of not having all your financial eggs in one basket. Of course, it broadens the scope of financial gain and revenue streams, but equally broadens the experience of diversity and challenges in delivering care, particularly as our territories are geographically distinct i.e. rural vs urban. A new territory has brought a fresh breeze of optimism and opportunity to our business”.

Have you saturated your first territory? If not, how do you plan to run both?

Farina continued: “Saturation is impossible and should not be a benchmark for obtaining a further territory. Growing the care hours is an ever-increasing circle limited only by the staffing infrastructure. For us, when opening a new territory it was imperative to get the right staff in the right place at the right time”.

Amarjit said: “No one can saturate their territory. The population is getting older, with policies changing to promote home care. Your limits are only in your imagination, and there are many ‘verticals’ we can provide a service to. Not only are we able to work with older people, but also people with many diverse needs. So while having more than one territory has major benefits, one territory will always provide opportunity, providing you engage with the services that both territories offer.”

What did you learn from building your first business, which helped you when you were about to open your second?

Amarjit said: “For us, it was the lessons from opening the second territory that really helped us in growing the original territory. Timing can often be of the essence, and while access to local authority work isn’t essential to a successful business, it is certainly a factor. Having successfully tendered for, gained access to, and serviced the local authority framework in the second territory, we were able to take this knowledge across to our original business, and follow that blueprint to success!”

Farina added: “We have learned that Care and Support Workers are the salt of the business. The focus has been on retention of staff, by supporting and promoting loyalty within our staff to maintain our best care workers.”

What are your plans for the future?

Amarjit commented: “The plan is to ensure that each territory is successful in its own right, without reliance on each other. Currently, our plans for the territories are to continue to grow them, ensuring that we continue to provide the best service possible and continue to get the satisfaction from providing support to people in the community that would have a lower quality of life without our support.”

Farina concluded: “We aim to reach for the stars, and Caremark is the shuttle!”