David Glover of Caremark reflects on how managers can be tempted from all sectors to become franchisee of a home care business
A lot of people feel ready to change career path in their 30s, 40s and 50s, but feel trapped or unable to make the change. So, operating a home care franchise is increasingly being viewed as a way to enjoy a more fulfilling role.
I spotted a survey by the Wrike’s Happiness Index recently, which found that one fifth of adults are unhappy at work – but also revealed that ‘doing meaningful work’ is the most important driver for employees in the UK. 
It caught my attention because Caremark is very welcoming of more experienced business people who are looking to change career.
It’s not unusual for someone to be starting out here in their 40s or 50s and our franchisees come from many different backgrounds. Some have worked in related professions, but many have worked in IT, law, accountancy and a range of other roles. What unites them is the desire to make a difference to people’s lives.
So, when you hear that only a third of UK workers say that their company’s ‘mission and vision’ strongly resonates with them, compared to over half of workers in the USA, it makes you proud to be part of sector where caring for people is at the core of everything you do.
We find that for many new franchisees, their former career lacked the human touch and the chance to make a difference – and they have since flourished in a caring profession. Natasha Dhariwal in Maidstone, formerly a recruiter and accountant, and Sareet Shah in East Herts & Broxbourne, formerly an underwriter, are good examples.
The transferable skills gained in different professions are highly valuable when you become a franchisee and are responsible for the daily running of the business. Skills in finance, IT and marketing can all help take the business to the next level.
Whatever their background, all franchisees benefit from an experienced support manager, peer support from an engaged network of more than 120 franchisees, and high-quality advice and training from head office. The recruitment process helps ensure that they are truly ready for the change.
It’s not a case of needing a ‘big sell’ to persuade people to make the move. A chance to make a difference, to have job satisfaction, to feel in control and to embark on a new career path is enough to resonate with many people.
Of course, it’s hard to paint a picture of what makes the perfect franchisee, because everyone has different qualities and different strengths.
But from experience, the most successful often come from managerial backgrounds where their knowledge of running teams and businesses was paramount. What they all have in common, however, is a passion for care and a flair for management.
Extensive training and support are crucial in all cases – right from the moment the business model is first discussed, and the bank manager approached.
From that point onwards, all new franchisees are allocated a support manager who visits once a week in the early days. They also visit head office for a week of residential training which is a key part of their learning.
Once the business is launched, franchisees usually hire an experienced registered manager with a lot of industry knowledge to help run the operation, and that combination of business and industry expertise can be the backbone for future success. And, of course, the start of an inspirational new career.