Franchisee Jamie Hickson spent most of his working life in banking and finance before radically changing direction and joining Kare Plus, the UK’s leading medical and domiciliary care franchise.
After only nine months, Jamie is already turning over between £16-18,000 per week (over £64,000 per month), with profit margins of up to 40%. He has successfully recruited a bank of around 40 medical and domiciliary staff and ha registered manager that he employed just three months in, to help him handle his rapidly growing business.
“I have been staggered by the rate of growth – and delighted too, of course!” he says. “The potential for this business is absolutely huge!”
Jamie had always wanted to work for himself, but the trigger to focus on the care sector was an unhappy experience in his own life, when a close relative became ill and failed to receive the quality of support and care the family expected.
“Once I felt ready to move away from corporate life and start my own business, the clear unfulfilled demand for high quality care that I’d seen at first hand motivated me to look at setting up a company to provide these services,” he explains. “I quickly realised that going it alone would simply not be an option. The protocols and compliance requirements you need to even get through the door, let alone grow and succeed, are just frightening.”
Jamie recognised that the best route forward was to identify and buy into an existing, established brand, with proven clinical experience and the necessary compliance documentation already in place.
“I looked at four or five different franchise options, but once I spoke to Kare Plus, I was convinced that this was the one for me,” Jamie recalls. “The Kare Plus franchise provides much greater scope, in that unlike some competitors you’re not restricted to domiciliary care, but you can also provide medical care and nursing staff too. It makes sense for me, I can use my staff across a much wider market; so, they are happy because I can give them plenty of work, and I’m happy because there’s so much potential business to tap into on my territory. It’s win-win!”
Kare Plus offers its franchisees the opportunity to opt for either of its separate franchise packages - Healthcare Personnel (nursing/medical care) or Personal Touch (domiciliary/social care). Alternatively, like Jamie, they can opt for the full package, which draws together both elements, and reflects the current political moves towards integration of health and social care.
Steve Welsh, Managing Director of Kare Plus, explains “The NHS is bursting at the seams, and the Health & Social Care Act is a response to this, with the NHS relinquishing responsibility and releasing funds to enable patients to make their own decisions about care. Further reform proposals are expected in the form of the Care and Support White Paper over the coming months, which will address the problem of our ageing population and look at how rising demand for care can be met and managed. Clearly, there is cross-over where elderly people need domiciliary support and also medical care. So, for Kare Plus franchisees it makes absolute sense to be able to exploit both opportunities.”
Joining Kare Plus has also enabled Jamie to jump instantly onto supplier lists of leading care and nursing homes, as well as hospitals and social services agencies. This, says Steve Welsh, flows from the company’s background in the medical recruitment business, which reaches back over twelve years.
“We have established ourselves as one of the leading providers of quality nursing and domiciliary care, supplying medical and non-medical personnel to NHS hospitals, GP surgeries, private health and nursing care facilities, as well as to families whose primary concern is to have their loved ones cared for in their own home,” he says.
Kare Plus is one of the few private care service providers in the franchising arena licensed to supply to the NHS; fully accredited by the CQC (Care Quality Commission), the company is perfectly placed to take full advantage of the current climate of major political and social change.
“We’re already tendering for NHS contracts in all regions where we are looking to establish new franchisees,” Steve continues. "Over the next four years, we expect to be tapping into NHS contracts worth an estimated £140m; we will also be targeting additional growth in the rapidly increasing elderly care sector where we’re already well recognised as high quality providers.”
As for Jamie, so far he’s not even looked at the lucrative area of NHS contracts. His success to date is entirely built on meeting rising demand for private care on his territory. He confidently predicts that by the end of the year he will have doubled sales and expects to achieve a six figure salary.
“I was well paid in my previous career, but with the recession my bonuses were reducing,” he says. “Not only am I now enjoying very healthy rewards from my Kare Plus business, but I also take huge satisfaction in the feeling that I’m actually making a difference to people’s lives - and that’s what really puts a smile on my face!”