A year ago Dr Louise May began her journey as a Kare Plus franchise owner. One year on, Louise has surpassed her own expectations and more than achieved her first year goals.
Louise began her healthcare career as a nurse. From being a sister on an intensive care ward, she progressed in to nursing education, eventually rising to senior management and running a department at a University in the North West of England. She has undertaken a secondment as a managing reviewer for the Nursing Regulator (NMC) inspecting both academic and practice placements for the quality of pre and post registration nurse training.
Having achieved success in the education sector, Louise was ready to move on to the next challenge. The idea to buy a franchise came from an unexpected source – Louise’s daughter.“My daughter was studying business, so her course materials were lying around the house,” says Louise. “When she started learning about franchising, I was really intrigued and started looking in to healthcare franchise opportunities.”
The freedom to run a business combined with the reassurance of a tried and tested model appealed to Louise, and she went to the bfa on a fact finding mission.
“I knew I wanted to stay in healthcare, but otherwise I was fairly open minded when I began looking at franchises,” she says. “With Kare Plus, it was the flexibility that first appealed to me – the team were very supportive of new ideas for the business, I also really like that they were British-based, unlike some healthcare franchisors.”
Over the last year, Louise’s branch, Kare Plus Wirral, has gone from strength to strength. Within months of opening, the branch was steadily clocking over 500 shift hours a week, and over the week of the branch’s anniversary, Kare Plus Wirral recorded an impressive 800 hours.
“I’m really proud of how we’ve progressed this year – I have more than 60 healthcare professionals on my books and I am always looking at recruiting quality staff. We are currently supplying staff to more than 30 partner homes in the area, not to mention a growing domiciliary care service since our CQC approval last May.”
As well as offering standard Kare Plus services, Louise has also identified and introduced niche services of her own – for example domestic support. “I noticed that many of my clients were suffering shortages of kitchen and cleaning staff, so I decided to fill that gap in the recruitment market, and it’s worked really well,” says Louise.
Louise has also successfully partnered with the Royal College of Nursing and has helped organise and host seminars on subjects such as DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards).
“I want to make my business as comprehensive as possible, which is why I don’t just stick to the tried and tested – I want to see what I can add to the Kare Plus model,” she says.
Within 12 months, Louise has become one of Kare Plus’s most successful franchise owners, a feat she credits to hard work and to investing in top quality staff.
“I hired a domiciliary care manager, who not only oversees our home-care service, but also organises distance learning courses for interested staff members. I am delighted by how successful we’ve been. It’s been hard work, but would I do it again? Absolutely – I love it.”