Make Profits Whilst Caring for Others
As a nation we are all living longer, and in the past decades there has been a huge shift in the way we look after people who are elderly, or who require additional support to live independently at home. Whereas in the past elderly people or those with support needs were put into hospital or a home, nowadays it is all about independent living, and because of this a whole industry has grown up around the caring services.
Types of Care
There are many different types of care services which can be offered, so it is a good idea to start off your franchise journey by thinking about all of the different types and deciding which is most appropriate for your individual interests and what other companies are operating in your local area. Care of the elderly is by far the largest segment of the market, and the services provided can range from going in once a day and doing some light cleaning or cooking to full on nursing care several times a day. Care is also provided to support families with a disabled child, or people recuperating at home after a hospital stay or operation.
Council or Independent?
Many local government departments provide care staff to vulnerable groups living in their area, but as budgets are cut these services are coming under increasing pressure. Many government departments are cutting their costs by outsourcing caring to independent companies, although there is often a lengthy tendering process to go through to become an approved supplier. Another consequence of stretched budgets is that many elderly or disabled people are topping up their free care with services which they pay for out of their own pocket, and this gives entrepreneurs to offer a package of services which they tailor to the specific needs of people in their area.
Unless you are planning on running a very small, single-person franchise then one of the first hurdles to cross is to find some quality, reliable staff. Caring is notoriously poorly paid, and the long hours and strenuous nature of the work means that staff turnover can be high. If you are competing purely on price, you may have no option but to pay staff the bare minimum and put up with people leaving on a regular basis, but there may perhaps be a greater business opportunity for a high quality service with better paid staff pitched at the more lucrative end of the private market.
Once you have considered all of the opportunities in your local area, consider your financial situation before making a decision on the choice of franchise. A comprehensive business plan will be needed to convince the bank to give you funding towards starting up the company, and as the care market offers good financial opportunities, the fees for buying into a proven franchise can be anything between £6,000 and £60,000. Getting your first clients can be the most difficult step, and there will be a lot of time to spend networking and speaking to doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.