For the hugely successful Home Instead business it’s the personal touch and interaction with others that matters, as CEO Martin Jones readily explains
As often happens in business, particularly in sectors where there is altruistic interest, personal experience is often the catalyst for involvement.
With Martin Jones, CEO of home care provider, Home Instead, it was his father’s care situation that brought him into the industry.
“I joined the business in 2011 from a retail operations background,” he explains. “I was attracted to the company as, like many of our team and franchisees, I’d experienced having to find care for a loved one – in my case my father.
“Dad was in need of some support at home and I’d arranged for a carer to visit for a couple of hours each day. I popped in one day whilst the carer was there and found them chatting on the sofa, watching the television and having a good laugh. My immediate reaction was ‘why isn’t she doing the jobs I’ve brought her in to do?’ On reflection I realised that Dad wasn’t really bothered how clean the house was. He was simply enjoying the company, a shared experience and some humour. Lesson learned!”
In the ten years since Jones came onboard the firm has grown from 83 franchise offices to 240 with 65 of them holding an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission. The firm has also been able to expand its at home care offering as well.
“In the decade I have been at Home Instead we have expanded our range of care services. We have offered specialist dementia care for many years, and more recently partnered with Parkinson’s UK to support people with this neurological condition too, helping them live a happy and comfortable life at home.
“We have embraced a high-tech, high-touch approach to technology to help monitor client’ health whilst providing added peace of mind in the hours caregivers are not with their clients.
“I’ve seen Home Instead be a fantastic champion for working in care. Our ‘#YouCanCare’ recruitment campaign, which runs every year, shows that anyone with a warm heart and a desire to make a difference can work in the care sector.”
The National Office team at Home Instead enables the firm to offer continual support and encouragement to its franchisees.
As with a lot of franchise businesses there is the concept of a ‘journey’ behind each individual provider.
“We have a team of over 80 at National Office – all of whom are supporting our franchisees in one way or another. Franchisees are supported by our unique ‘Franchise Journey’ which identifies the most appropriate support based on revenue and tenure. It recognises that for franchise owners to be ‘the best they can be’ they need to look after themselves emotionally, mentally and physically. It has allowed us to create a roadmap to help franchisees navigate their time with us.”
The extra mile
Jones says he is in close contact with many of the franchisee businesses and has regular meet ups with annual business performance meetings, a conference, the Franchise Exchange Council, local franchisee groups, training courses or attendance at awards.
“Going the extra mile for our franchisees is an integral part of our culture. A lot of the National Office team have experienced finding care for a loved one and so the drive to go above and beyond is ingrained in each of us.
“Having a network of 240 franchisees over 15 years, and working together through the pandemic, means we’ve supported them in rather personal things you may not expect or plan for when first starting your business – but we’ve been there every step of the way. Whether it’s jumping in the car at 5am to support an office who have suddenly lost a vital member of the team or simply supporting someone through their regulation interview, they are never alone.”
With advances in technology, particularly in the home, Jones sees a very positive and innovative future ahead for the care at home sector.
“Our living rooms will become places where we receive healthcare as well as medical care, technology will play an increasingly important and exciting role in care delivery (without diminishing personal contact), and the needs of an ageing population will increase as people live longer.”
Exciting times await and the seal of approval from inclusion in the Elite Franchise 100 adds to the firm’s credibility in the franchise community.
“It’s affirmation that we are one of the leading franchise brands and provides a compelling proof point for those seeking the right franchise opportunity for themselves.”