Advisor & Mentor

Caremark Founder Kevin Lewis discusses his experiences with franchise consultancy FDS, which has helped him launch not one but two care franchises

I have worked alongside FDS Franchise Consultant Gordon Patterson for 14 years, and in this time, Gordon has helped me to successfully franchise two domiciliary care businesses: one of which is Caremark. A huge amount of both brands' success is down to Gordon, FDS and its publication The Franchise Magazine.

I launched my first domiciliary care business in 1993, in response to the NHS Community and Care Act (1990). Within 18 months the business was turning over £1 million and everything started to unravel. I made the executive decision to address the problems and prevent them from occurring again and created an operations manual, which resolved the problems and inspired me to franchise the concept nationwide. In order to do it successfully I knew I needed to enlist the help of a qualified franchise consultant.

I first met FDS at the Glasgow franchise exhibition. By that point I had already liaised with several different franchise consultants but none of them had the experience or reputation that FDS had. I was completely impressed with Gordon's professionalism, knowledge and liked the fact he shared the same values for ethical franchising. I knew at that point that I had found the right consultant to advise me on how to franchise my business.

My aim was make my domiciliary care business the market leader and with Gordon and his team's help, I achieved that. In 1995 we launched the franchise opportunity in The Franchise Magazine and eight years later we had 130 offices nationwide.

Although I sold my first domiciliary care business in 2001, I could not stay away from the domiciliary care sector for long and in 2005 I launched Caremark with Gordon's help. Since we franchised the business in 2006 we have opened 54 offices across the UK including six in Ireland and we are on target to become the UK market leader within five years.

Throughout our working relationship Gordon has given me loads of advice - while I may not have always liked his advice I have always taken it and so far he has never been wrong! Gordon is an exceptional individual - he is my business advisor and mentor and has a wealth of useful business contacts.

I would highly advise anyone looking to franchise their business to enlist the help of FDS. Gordon and FDS have exceeded my realistic expectations as has their publication The Franchise Magazine. I now only advertise with the FDS media - The Franchise Magazine and UKFD online - because it has proven to be the best way for Caremark to create ongoing quality lead flow.

Kevin Lewis,
Founder and Managing Director of Caremark