Steve Welsh, managing director of Kare Plus has had a varied career with his most recent role being in international recruitment before joining Kare Plus, initially as a franchisee. Steve is a people person and loves the buzz that comes from building relationships and giving others the support and opportunity they need to reach their potential. He has built a happy and successful management team at Kare Plus, which is seventeen strong at the moment but growing.
Steve is a family man with two children. He enjoys keeping fit and walking in his spare time along with fine food and wine.
FranchiseExpo: Tell us about the Kare Plus concept.
Steve Welsh: Kare Plus is the most comprehensive provider of nursing and domiciliary care in the franchise market place, supplying medical and non-medical personnel into the community. The Kare Plus concept is based on a healthcare staffing solution that reaches every area of healthcare through NHS hospitals, GP surgeries, private health and nursing care facilities, local schools, prisons and direct to families via the personalisation agenda.
FranchiseExpo: How and when did you become involved with Kare Plus?
Steve Welsh: I bought a franchise from Kare Plus when it was owned by the previous owner and within four years had bought the company. I could see that the model could be updated to reflect the dramatic changes in the healthcare sector and the owner realised that I had the drive and the vision to take the business forward, so despite refusing many previous offers he sold the business to me.
FranchiseExpo: What was your background prior to joining Kare Plus?
Steve Welsh: I was in international recruitment but looking for a new challenge.
FranchiseExpo: What are some of the advantages of being a Kare Plus franchisee?
Steve Welsh: Kare Plus offers any business person with the right skills unlimited opportunities to grow a successful business. The market for healthcare service is growing, over the next four years, we expect to be tapping into NHS contracts worth an estimated £140m, let alone the rapidly increasing demand for health and elderly care from the private sector. We also offer some unique advantages over our competitors. For example, Kare Plus is the only private care service provider in the franchising arena licensed to supply to the NHS that is fully accredited by the CQC (Care Quality Commission). We offer franchisees a choice, they can take medical or non-medical service or both and have a much more extensive reach into the community.
FranchiseExpo: Who is your ideal franchisee?
Steve Welsh: There is no typical Kare Plus franchisee and we do not target a particular group. Some of our franchisees have a background in nursing or social work and have been drawn to run a business for themselves in a sector they know. Others are simply business people, such as accountants who recognise the opportunity to make money. One of the most important skills is to be a great communicator and to be able to generate confidence in the people that are buying the Kare Plus service. The ideal franchisee is a self-starter that is prepared to work hard and has the necessary determination, vision and commitment to succeed.
FranchiseExpo: Tell us a little about the healthcare market?
Steve Welsh: Massive changes within the health service and an ageing population are creating huge market potential. The NHS is bursting at the seams, and new legislation recognises that, relinquishing responsibility and releasing funds enables 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.
FranchiseExpo: What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned in growing this Franchise?
Steve Welsh: Relax, be confident, be flexible and focus on the quality of the carers and nurses that are provided. Sometimes it seems that when you are trying to open doors they will not open no matter how hard you push. I have learnt that they will open if you relax and focus on the quality of the service that you provide. Word of mouth recommendations about the quality of carers and nurses is the best form of advertising and the key to growth.
FranchiseExpo: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
Steve Welsh: I use our customer base as a basis for inspiration. Listening to their feedback helps shape the future of the business.
FranchiseExpo: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Kare Plus franchise?
Steve Welsh: Be flexible, agile and ready to work in a sector that is experiencing unprecedented change. Don’t be afraid of hard work and utilise the experience and support that the Kare Plus team can offer such as training, IT, sales and marketing and national contracts.
FranchiseExpo: In your opinion, why do you think that Kare Plus would be a great opportunity for someone?
Steve Welsh: A Kare Plus franchise offers a unique combination, the ability to build a profitable and substantial business alongside the opportunity to make a real difference in the community. Our franchisees are making a difference to people’s lives, which creates great job satisfaction and a real feeling of fulfillment.