Franchise Spotlight: Care Franchise
In the care home sector, you will be dealing with very vulnerable people, so you need to possess a real passion for caregiving, as well as a great business head.
Buying a franchise rather than an independent business takes a huge amount of luck out of running a care business.
You’re buying an established model and operating under a reputable company name in an industry which must abide by a large number of regulations.
However, there’s a big caveat: if people go into the business solely to make money and don’t expect to be involved in the daily graft, you won’t be able to earn a penny.
The care industry
The care home industry is relatively recession-proof, benefiting from an inexorably expanding customer base.
The market is currently worth approximately £12bn and is set to rise to at least £30bn by 2025.
There are approximately 5,500 different care providers in the UK, operating 11,300 care homes for the elderly.
Around 95% of their beds are provided by the independent sector, which includes both for-profit and charitable providers.
Master franchisor of US-based company Home Instead Senior Care, Trevor Brocklebank, believes the UK care market needs to change:
“The US model is based on getting referrals and clients, whereas most UK care companies are on social-service contracts. In the US, owners are turning over multi-million-pound revenues, with about a 15% margin.”
Home-care services are also becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with many elderly people preferring to receive assistance from the comfort of their own home rather than living in a residential facility.
This creates competition for the care sector, which is also feeling the strains of budget cuts, with local authority funding falling £4.6 billion over the last five years.
Brocklebank offers a genuine view on the industry:
“No business is recession-proof, but if you need care, you need care. You might stop going out on a Friday night for a meal, you might not go for a holiday or change your car – but the last thing most people would lose is care for a family member.”
Is it for me?
To be successful in the care home industry, you need to possess two key characteristics, compassion and business acumen.
It’s no use being immensely caring but unable to run your own business, but you also can’t be in the industry purely to make money.
If you’re considering the franchise route, industry experience is generally taught during the training programme.
However, you will still need to have good people skills, whether with your clients, caregivers or out in the community with the people who may refer business to the company.
You should also expect certain aspects of the business to be emotionally taxing.
Remember, you are dealing with the elderly who are reaching the end of their life, so be prepared to experience difficult and sad situations.
Your goal should be committing to providing your residents with the highest level of care and comfort for the latter years of their life.
Training and staff
Staff must be trained to be CQC (or equivalent) approved providers of non-medical domiciliary care.
New employees should be provided with a training program that allows the addressing of issues such as
Unlike at care businesses that provide medical care, potential staff needn’t have had previous medical nor nursing experience.
The main aspects looked at in a potential employee is a caring personality.
In a business sector which can be quick to receive criticism, it is highly important that you bring on staff that you trust immensely to uphold the high standard of care you give to your residents.
Owning a franchise also means you can benefit from having a team that handles all the business legislation; ensuring all company policies and procedures are compliant, which means you can solely focus on running the franchise to a high standard.