The right choice for success
Ruth Solomons believes the success of her homecare business comes from delivering quality services, valuing her employees and receiving great support from her franchisor. It is just over a year since the former assistant head teacher opened her Right at Home office serving the Harrow area and she is loving being her own boss.
The Franchise Magazine: What helped you decide to join the Right at Home franchise?
Ruth Solomon: I wanted to be my own boss, creating a thriving and successful business, but also be part of a larger network so that I could draw on the experience and expertise of others. Right at Home UK stood out from the others that I looked at in terms of the detailed information given on the Discovery Days, the depth of the interview process and their evident passion for helping Franchisees to succeed.
TFM: What did you do before taking up a franchise?
RS: I spent my working life in education in a range of roles including teacher of Biology, Head of Year, Head of Science and Assistant Head.
TFM: How did you raise the finance?
RS: I used the lump sum from my pension, backed up with savings. Since I joined, Right at Home have introduced a business planning service within their initial franchise fee and also offer plenty of support in securing finance.
TFM: What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
RS: I went through an excellent two-week training programme at Head Office, followed by ongoing weekly telephone support and regular meetings and webinars. I still receive regular calls from the head office team and the nature of the support has altered as my business has grown.
TFM: What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
RS: There is no typical day, although there are periods when I am out a great deal marketing and other times when I am more heavily involved in recruitment and day-to-day operations.
TFM: What challenges have you faced?
RS: Unfortunately we had a very long initial wait to receive a registration visit from the Care Quality Commission, and this meant that I was incurring expenses paying my Registered Care Manager and running the office.
TFM: Has running your business changed your life, and if so how?
RS: I love being my own boss, rising to the challenge of creating something from nothing and having greater control and flexibility regarding my working week.
TFM: What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
RS: As we were advised during our initial training, meeting and talking to the right potential referral sources within our service area has been best way to establish the brand locally. It’s also important to have a good internet presence, as often people will research their care options online. I have found traditional means of advertising less useful.
TFM: What differentiates your franchise from the competition?
RS: As a franchisor, I’d say Right at Home stands out for the support it gives its franchisees. As a care provider, our biggest differentiator is the emphasis that we place on the quality of our care, and on providing fair pay and accredited high quality training opportunities for staff to ensure we attract the best CareGivers.
TFM: What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
RS: I’d advise them to find out as much as they can about the market that they are considering going into, and to talk to other franchisees.
TFM: What are your plans for the future?
RS: Right at Home Harrow has been open for just over a year now and has made a very good start; we are becoming known as a quality provider in Harrow and the surrounding area and an office that really values its staff. Within the next couple of years my aim is for us to become the local home care provider and employer of choice.
TFM: Would you do it again?
RS: Yes. I am very happy with my choice of franchise and very proud of what we are achieving.