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Are your ‘what ifs’ holding you back from business ownership?

Written by David Glover on Friday, 01 November 2019. Posted in Franchise Diaries

Do you dream of owning a business, yet find yourself full of questions that keep you from making that dream a reality?

Are your ‘what ifs’ holding you back from business ownership?

Do you dream of owning a business, yet find yourself full of questions that keep you from making that dream a reality? As with so much in life, when it comes to franchising, our worries are often the only thing holding us back.

Coming into the process with questions is natural. In fact, it’s encouraged. Here, I hope I can shed some light on how your ‘what ifs’ can be resolved by finding the right franchisor.

What if I don’t have experience in the sector I’d like to go into?

It’s common for prospective Caremark franchisees to question whether they are the right person to lead a home care franchise. However, a lack of experience in health and social care does not stop our franchisees from becoming outstanding care providers. We welcome people from business backgrounds who are passionate about helping vulnerable people.

In fact, for many, opening a home care franchise is a fantastic opportunity to experience true job satisfaction. For instance, Janis Anderson at Caremark (Aylesbury & Wycombe) began her career in banking and then venture capital, and then bought into a manufacturing company before becoming a franchise partner.

Ultimately, though, Janis felt energised by the prospect of working in an industry that improves people’s lives every day. She also recognised the business opportunity that home care represents – people across the UK are waiting to receive the standard of care they deserve, so demand is very high.

We also provide comprehensive training at our headquarters so that our franchisees are fully equipped and informed to begin their home care journey, which they tell us is invaluable. It’s important to note that well-designed training is key for a new business owner in any sector, not just those that are highly regulated. We also encourage franchisees to hire a registered manager with a high level of industry expertise, so they feel supported at all levels.

What if I have never written a business plan or approached a bank before?

One of the key benefits of becoming a franchisee, versus launching an independent startup, is that you benefit from a proven business model and (hopefully) an experienced franchisor to guide you every step of the way.

We know that some franchisees can find it challenging to write a business plan or approach a bank if they haven’t owned a business before, so at Caremark we’ve made the process as easy as possible. We provide a very high level of support at this stage and have developed a step-by-step plan that each franchisee follows when they have made the decision to open a Caremark franchise. This includes making the introduction to the bank on their behalf and arranging independent business planning advice.

No matter which sector you plan to go into, ensure that your franchisor is committed to supporting you at this early stage. Experienced franchisors are the most likely to throw their weight behind you and your business. We have a network of over 120 offices, so we have repeated the process many times with many different people. Look for proven success, rather than hedging your bets, and the initial stages will be far smoother.

What if I have no experience in certain areas such as marketing or recruitment?

If you’ve spent your career focussing on one area, it can be liberating and exciting to branch out and develop your skills at the helm of your new business. We appreciate, though, that it can be tricky to find the right place to start!

As well as the training we offer, at Caremark we have a fantastic team of support managers that are well-versed in all aspects of running a successful home care business. Each franchisee is assigned a support manager that visits them regularly. The support is long-term - they continue to visit the franchise and assist with business development at every stage in the journey. Support managers are also available on the phone at any time, so franchise owners do not have to wait until they are face-to-face to benefit from their input.

There are a variety of resources open to our franchise owners from PR support, to marketing collateral, to useful guides on our intranet. We take an innovative approach to bolstering our franchisees and provide plenty of different routes to getting support.

What’s stopping you from achieving your goal?

Perhaps you are confronted by other ‘what ifs’ and wondering how you can overcome them. Consider whether they really are barriers to opening a franchise business – could you simply be second-guessing yourself?

When you begin researching and speaking to franchisors, find out how your questions will be addressed and what is on offer in terms of training, support and guidance. What kind of training would you benefit from, if any? Who would be your first point of contact and what areas can they help with? Does the support continue throughout your business journey?

You may find that your ‘what ifs’ lead you to your ideal franchisor, so those thoughts that are holding you back are actually what enable you to find the right fit. It is far better to have questions and seek answers than committing to a business only to find your franchisor is not prepared to give you robust backing.

Our business is creating the mark of excellence in care. We bring personalised home care to the some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Putting quality of care at the top of the agenda means that we take the utmost care in preparing our franchise partners to excel. Could we help you to overcome those ‘what ifs’ and make amazing things happen in your community?

About the Author

David Glover

David Glover is Caremark’s managing director and the bfa forum chair for London and the south east region.

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