Right at Home: What makes a good franchisor?

Ken Deary, Managing Director of Right at Home UK, has years of experience in the franchise industry, which have taught him the value of a strong franchisor/franchise owner relationship

Having been a franchise owner with McDonalds for over 11 years and now as the MD of Right at Home in the UK, I have seen the franchise industry from both sides of the fence. Our franchise owners recently took part in the independent satisfaction survey by Smith & Henderson and we were rated 95 per cent in terms of overall satisfaction. This got me thinking about what makes a good franchisor and what franchise owners should expect.

My experience of franchising tells me it’s too often about the franchisor’s need, as opposed to the franchise owners’.

Our model is the polar opposite; we focus on:

  • Franchise owners should feel appreciated and valued.
  • Rather than being dependent, franchise owners should feel independent and entrepreneurial.
  • Franchisors should include and consult with owners to give them certainty in their business.
  • Owners should be allowed to build businesses without glass ceilings.

Franchise owners can only be successful if they receive outstanding support from the franchisor. What does this support look like? Our system is built around and all about our franchise owners – they are at the centre of our business, not the other way around. In our sector – home care – franchise owners can only give superb customer service if they feel fully supported by head office. Our objective is to have fully engaged franchise owners with outstanding territories and support, resulting in turnover and profits above the sector average. The franchisor-franchise owner relationship needs to be one of trust, and there must be a win-win situation for both parties. The franchise owner has invested their time, money and effort in the business, so this must be reciprocated by the franchisor.

A good franchisor must not grow so fast that the support resources are spread too thin. Right at Home has a measured growth philosophy of six to eight new offices per year. This way we can ensure we bring on board only the highest quality franchise owners, who are absolutely committed to providing quality care at home to their valued clients.

Providing the right level of training cannot be overestimated. We have invested heavily in training and career development programmes which ensure franchise owners are fully equipped to run a home care business and that they in turn can recruit and motivate staff who will go the extra mile in providing the best quality care.

Our owners come from diverse backgrounds outside of the care sector so the training really has to be comprehensive, practical and absorbing.

Profit should not be the prime motivator for franchisors or owners. It is important that franchise owners get a good return on their investment, but in our sector we need people who also want to make a difference in their community and have a passion for caring for people. We want to be seen as the franchise of choice in the care sector and the company of choice for quality homecare in the local community.

Right at Home won the coveted British Association Emerging Franchisor of the Year Award this year.