Introducing Sue Hills, Caremark (Mid-Sussex), a franchisee since 2009.
Sue’s business covers a large area in Mid-Sussex, which she runs from her office in Haywards Heath.
Prior to buying her care franchise, Sue was a Registered Mental Health Nurse before becoming a manager within the Community Mental Health Team and moving towards inpatient services.
I wanted to run my own business and one that had a maximum chance of success. The idea of being part of a community of other franchisees was appealing as I knew I would always have someone to talk to. Having run a couple of businesses prior to Caremark, I knew how lonely it could get!
I liked the idea that Kevin Lewis (CEO) had previously owned a successful home care business. His knowledge and experience was therefore invaluable. Also, my background was in health and social care and therefore the combination of this experience and franchising seemed to offer the perfect match.
I would say building the business from a zero turnover to in excess of £1.5m within four years. I also learned that I was very entrepreneurial and I now apply this talent to develop my business – keeping to the system of course! I was also able to offer my long-time manager the opportunity of joining me as a franchisee – I believe we make the perfect couple!
I would say that it has exceeded my expectations. I earn more than I ever have before and work less hours – what more could I ask for!
Yes, very much so. I knew that I wanted a business that would not require me to be present at all times and that was not dependent on “time for money” i.e. it did not depend on my own man hours. This was one of the key criteria that influenced my selection.
Yes, most definitely. From the very beginning I started to look for staff that showed initiative, passion and most importantly, loyalty. I then delegated responsibilities to staff and stood back to enable them to get on with this. This model has worked extremely well and if I wanted to, I could virtually retire but I would be bored! There are also always more opportunities to investigate and pursue.
My passion is in the field of self-development and empowerment and this has played an integral part in my own business development. I belong to various business and self-development groups which inspire me and I do not see attending these as “work”. I read a lot of personal development books as well as attending seminars and workshops. I have just finished writing an eBook on franchising and am about to write another. I am passionate about the franchising and believe that it will continue to be an attractive proposition for franchisors and franchisees.
I have also walked the Anthony Robbins “firewalk” a couple of years ago which proved that you really can achieve what you put your mind to! I enjoy holidays with my family which I have always managed to take even quite early on in my business, as a strongly believe this is a time to relax and remove oneself from the day to day operations of running a business.
Ask yourself the following questions first!
If you honestly answered “yes” to the majority of these questions, I would suggest that running your own business is right for you. Maybe ask your friends and family whether they see you as a business person?
Yes. I would have sought more support around the financial aspects of running a business from the beginning, especially regarding cash flow. The saying “cash is king” is so true! Overall, I am very happy with how I have developed the business to where it is today.
A day in the life of Martin Steyn from Caremark in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling.
Sharan Dhaliwal spent 25 years working for the NHS before becoming a franchisee for Caremark.
Duncan Smith was new to the social care sector when he started his Caremark franchise in Kirklees.
Friends and former colleagues Andrew Peace and Mark McKenning launched their first Caremark franchise in Barnsley in 2011.
Graham & Karen Precious bought their Caremark franchise in Spring 2009 and have not looked back.
Abhay Shah hadn't always planned to have a career in care but he looked into the prospect of starting his own business when daily number crunching became monotonous.
Husband and wife team Richard and Emily Magrath are the owners of Caremark in North Down, Ards & Belfast.
Caremark's Charles Folkes delivers over 3000 hours of care per week to vulnerable individuals in the Redcar and Cleveland area.
I researched various sectors before reaching the decision that domiciliary care offered the sustainability and a straightforward business model which allowed for positive cashflow and personal reward.– Charles Folkes, Caremark Redcar & Cleveland
Since I joined, Caremark has done everything they promised they would do. The support has always been there and Kevin Lewis has even come out and given me a morale boost when I've needed it.Amarjit Gill, Caremark Redditch & Bromsgrove
After doing some research, there was really no doubt in our minds, that the only choice we would be happy with would be Caremark, given the emphasis on care and not profit.– Richard Magrath, Caremark North Down, Ards & Belfast
CEO and founder of Caremark Kevin Lewis has over 25 years of experience in the UK home care sector
A strong ratio of 15:1 between franchisees and Regional Support Managers