How care franchises are continuing to dominate the UK franchise market

Care franchises have become a dominant feature of the UK franchise market, with our aging population driving significant (and growing) demand for homecare services in recent years.

How care franchises are continuing to dominate the UK franchise market

The opportunity is there to build a scalable and sustainable management business, in a sector recognised as resilient to recession and global pandemics.

But the sector is also known to be challenging, with business owners personally liable for upholding safety regulations and widespread staffing shortages that can limit growth opportunity.

Care franchises – with their approved Policies & Procedures, established operating systems and compliance support – can add value on top of the wider benefits of joining an established brand and following a proven business model.

And evidence shows that businesses who crack the Compliance and Recruitment challenges will lead the race towards sustained profitability…

Here, we share our three ‘Non Negotiables’ that you should look for in a care franchise: 

Support to identify a viable model for your local market

Most franchise models will target a mix of funded care sources (local authorities and NHS commissioning boards) and private clients, who need support to live independently in their own homes, but don’t qualify for help or receive only a contribution towards costs.

You will need to ensure that the demographics of your territory align with the target market for the franchise model.

If the business is targeting Government work, owners should receive support to join the relevant frameworks in their area. Profit margins can be limited by funding constraints, and the rates paid for social care vary considerably, so it’s important to research the specifics when building financial forecasts for your chosen territory area.

Quality care brands, such as Right at Home, have a stronger emphasis on marketing within their private-focused model. They support Franchise Owners to build their local brand and private client base through networking and engaging with local community – trained and guided by the franchisor of course, using their proven model.

But you must ensure the territory demographics include areas where people will likely be self-funding, as well as areas to recruit from. 

Support to build a dedicated team

Recruitment and retention has always been an issue for care providers, thanks to a legacy reputation, driven by public-sector under-funding, of care workers being underpaid, undervalued and overworked.

But many reputable homecare providers have been doing great work to redress public opinion, and demand for services has seen wages for experienced care professionals hit record highs, while providers look to lure hourly-paid workers away from other sectors with enticing incentives.

At Right at Home, an award-winning franchise with a network of 80 locations, the support team combines expertise in Marketing, Recruitment, Training, Compliance and Management to help Franchise Owners attract and retain good staff, and to develop their leadership teams of the future.

Kate Dilworth, Head of Network Development, said “The franchise system is designed to help owners build strong teams and create capacity to grow the business. We use selective recruitment strategies, offer a supportive experience for new starters, and promote ongoing training and development, with plenty of recognition and reward.

“We’ve done a lot of work to develop varied career pathways for good people working in care, and as an accredited training provider we can upskill our franchisees to deliver all of their team training in-house.

“This is a real value-add in a franchise system, as it offers multiple benefits – reduced cost, greater flexibility, and the means to shape the culture of your business around your brand values.”

<h3>Support to stand out, by being outstanding</h3>
<p>Operating under heavy regulation, it’s no surprise that almost 50% of independent care businesses don’t survive two years’ trading. Owners can only start driving growth (and profit) once they’ve passed a tough process to gain regulatory registration – and their growth can be heavily impacted by the ratings they receive from subsequent inspections, which vary from Inadequate to Outstanding.</p>
<p>Franchises, by contrast, typically see more than 90% of their businesses trading five years or more, and care franchises again bring added value in the form of expertise and proven systems for managing compliance.</p>
<p>Right at Home currently has 34% of its CQC rated locations carrying an Outstanding rating, with a national average of just 3% across the homecare sector.</p>
<p>The inspection process sees CQC inspectors speaking to Clients and families, and staff in the office and field, as well as auditing files and reviewing outcomes. The onus is on the provider to demonstrate that they are Outstanding, so this is what the franchise support team coach and train towards from Day 1.</p>
<p>Vicky & Paul Butler, owners of RaH Isle of Wight, are among the select minority in the sector who achieved Outstanding at their first inspection, less than 18 months into their new business. </p>
<p>“This was a clear goal for us from the start – as it is for all Right at Home franchises,” said Vicky. “The Outstanding rating is a hallmark of quality that definitely helps differentiate us – it helps prospective Clients trust our brand, and it’s a great marketing tool when we’re looking to recruit for our growing team.</p>
<p>“We’ve always loved Right at Home’s model of working at the heart of the local community, and underpinned by the Outstanding rating, this has really helped us establish the business on strong foundations which are now delivering really positive growth.</p>
<p>“We are quite blown away, when we look back on the journey of the last couple of years – there’s no way we could have achieved all this without a great franchise behind us.”</p>
<p>This article comes courtesy from <a href=Right at Home the UK’s most highly recommended provider of one-to-one homecare. Supporting people to live independently, and with dignity, in their own homes.

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