A Day In The Life - Home Instead Senior Care
After a rip-roaring 2013 that saw Home Instead Senior Care showered with a number of professional accolades, the business as a whole is gearing up to keep the momentum going. Here, The Franchise Magazine talks with Home Instead's John Kirk, franchise owner for Swindon and Vale of the White Horse, about how he spends a typical day as one of the business' most successful operatives.
7:00 On days when there are community business meetings to attend, I go along to find out what’s happening in our local area. It is of course always useful to make connections – everyone knows someone who needs care.
8:30 I go back home to fine tune what I call my virtual marketing department, which means checking on Google adwords and scheduling tweets and facebook posts, it’s all about communication and sharing relevant and useful information. For me, this is a really effective way of marketing my business.
9:30 I will get into the office to catch up with the team, particularly with what has happened overnight. No day is ever the same in this business, but usually I will catch up with my Care Manager and Care Coordinator to share their plans for the day. I then check my bank account. Coming from a corporate background, I never used to worry about cash-flow, but now being self-employed, I know exactly how important it is.
10:30 Today I am going out to help a caregiver in supporting a client to a hospital. The client is really lovely and it gives me a chance to have a chat to them as well as getting direct feedback about the service we are providing. The caregiver I am helping is Kinga Dabrowska, who has just won the network-wide Home Instead Caregiver of the Year Award from over 6,500 caregivers. This was just great for Kinga and us and just shows the quality of care we provide. When I am at the hospital, I take the opportunity to touch base with the local psychiatric nurse who we have a good relationship with.
12:00 Back to the office to catch up with my Recruitment & Retention Coordinator to plan the next two weeks’ Caregiver training and grab a quick bite to eat. I have always spent my time caring and serving others, I was in the Royal Air Force Regiment, before working for Waitrose, a company with service top of their list. Although my role now is very different, there are aspects of my career to date which have helped me massively with Home Instead Senior Care.
14:30 This afternoon I am meeting with a client’s family, which turns into quite an emotional meeting – this is not uncommon in this business. When you are providing care for older people, their needs can often change as time goes on. In this instance, our client has dementia, so their family was also involved in agreeing the changes to their care services.
16:00 The eclectic nature of this business is quite remarkable and so as soon as I had finished that meeting I had to switch to corporate mode to meet with my Care Manager. I have a caring heart and a commercial mind and I have to be able to mix the two, as a successful and financially stable business comes from providing only the best of care and vice versa. So between my Care Manager and me, we make sure that our objectives are also aligned.
17:00 Towards the end of the day I take the time to contact clients to make sure that they are getting a good service from us. One truism in business is that clients will always hear from businesses at the end of each month when an invoice comes in, well I think we need to be better than that. I have an end of day review to catch up before switching over the phones to our 24/7 Duty Manager for the evening.<br/>
18:30 I head home to spend some time with my family over dinner. I will then work quite late into the evening making sure my accounts are all in order. I do all of my accounts myself as I like to know exactly where my money is going.
One thing I would say is that when potential new franchise owners think about making their investment, they always ask ‘Do the financial projections stack up?’ Well we have absolutely smashed the targets set for us and have had to make new ones ourselves in just 18 months of business. As you can imagine I am really very happy with the decision I made to invest in a franchise with Home Instead Senior Care.