Still in her first year of trading Karen Walters is above target to reach her estimated year one turnover of £500,000. Despite being an experienced business owner Karen began looking into franchising because of the support it offers. She explains: "I have been self-employed since I was 18 years old and although I have successfully operated a variety of businesses I was beginning to feel lonely working on my own. Although I have never been involved in franchising before I liked the idea of other people being in the same boat as me and having the back up of a national brand.
"I came across an advert for Caremark and it immediately appealed because it had a relatively low start up cost and there was no limit on earning potential. When I visited the team at head office I was very impressed with their enthusiasm and honesty.
"After completing the two weeks' training provided by head office I launched my business in March 2009. I have found the support from head office to be fantastic before, during and after the launch of my business. I have never felt that I am on my own and I'm constantly being updated with information and new legislation, which is important in the care industry.
"I really enjoy the variety that running my Caremark business brings, the days seem to whizz by and I never get bored. In the next six months I'm planning to expand my business by getting a second territory.
"Overall I feel that I am making a difference to people's lives by providing a first class care service."
Interview: Derin Ibrahim