Quality Kare counts, says Kay
Personal experience of widely varying standards of care persuaded Kay Gynane to start her own business in the sector. Sadly, Kay had nursed her husband through terminal illness, as well as caring for her grandmother. She explains how she encountered many different care agencies while looking after them and, as a result, wanted to offer a service that she felt could fill the apparent gaps in the market with Kare Plus. Megan Dunmore Reports
"I’d previously been working in London at Post Office Ltd headquarters and was responsible for a team dealing with the customer helpline and complaints,” says Kay. “It had been a pretty stressful 18 months and I’d wanted to escape the corporate world and the commute for some time. So, when my Nan died and left me some money, I thought this was my chance to set up a business of my own.”
Although healthcare was a very different career choice for Kay from the high profile roles she’d held working for big household brands for over 25 years, she was keen to make use of the business and marketing skills she had acquired along the way and believed that, given the right opportunity, she could build a successful business.
Having decided that franchising was the way forward, Kay looked at three different alternatives in the care sector, but says for her, Kare Plus emerged as the clear choice.
“I visited the Franchise Exhibition at the NEC Birmingham and was immediately drawn to the Kare Plus stand,” she explains. “It was well branded and looked very professional. Then when I chatted to the Kare Plus team I immediately felt they were speaking my language – in fact, we got on so well that in the end I didn’t even bother visiting the other companies because I knew I’d found the right franchise for me.”
Having completed her training, Kay set up offices in premises on a busy main road environment on the outskirts of Stafford. She has created a welcoming, smart and professional office space that reflects her commitment to quality, setting her business apart from competing agencies in the area, both in terms of distance and reputation.
“A culture of quality comes from the top,” she says. “My aim is to recruit the best people; the best people want to work for the best agency – and that’s Kare Plus Stafford. I’m making sure I have a great team of people before I start marketing my services in earnest. The territory Kare Plus has mapped out for me includes a large number of care homes and hospitals, including those such as Care UK, Four Seasons and Mencap, where the company already has national contracts in place. However, as a business owner, it’s up to me to develop my own customer contacts too and there is certainly plenty of opportunities in this area.”
Kay has already taken on a young apprentice, Lauren, who she describes as a ‘Godsend’. Lauren joined Kay straight from school and is working towards a professional qualification – a Diploma in Business Administration – while gaining vital experience in a working environment and providing much valued support to Kay as her Kare Plus business grows.
She concludes: “I opened my Kare Plus office only a few months ago in June this year, but I’m so busy and I’m getting busier. There’s certainly a great deal of demand for our services and Lauren makes sure the office runs smoothly, the necessary paperwork is in order and that there’s always a bright, professional voice at the end of the phone when anyone calls Kare Plus Stafford.”