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Q&A with Blossom’s newest franchisee: from NHS Clinical Lead to business owner

Blossom Home Care’s latest franchisee Craig Godbold outlines his journey to becoming a business owner

While there is no specific need for people joining Blossom of thriving business owners to come from a healthcare background, it certainly doesn’t do any harm. And the latest to take the helm of a new upcoming Blossom territory, Craig Godbold, boasts bundles of that experience.

Craig will be the owner and operator of Blossom Home Care Dorset when it begins operations in the coming months. This territory will see Craig’s team deliver premium holistic home care services to clients based throughout the region, including Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Wimborne Minster, and all surrounding areas.

Hi Craig, can you tell us more about your career up until now?

Craig: My background is in physiotherapy. Most of my physio career was spent working in the NHS in elderly care, either in the acute or community setting. I went on to a team leader role in the front of house therapy team, which covered the emergency department and rapid assessment units. 
From there I progressed into a Clinical Lead role, working for the NHS Dorset system to support patient discharge and flow throughout the county.

What were the main experiences you gathered across these roles?

There were a lot. But most relevantly, they provided me with valuable insight into just how important it is to discharge clients in a timely manner if they are deemed medically ready with the right community support and keeping them safe in their own home. 

Unfortunately, this is not always possible due to limited care capacity. This has a huge knock-on effect – not only for the patients as their care needs increase as their function declines, but also to the flow of patients getting out of hospital. 

How much were you involved in the process of discharging patients from hospital?

My role was pivotal in supporting timely discharge, utilising all care and rehabilitation resources, and ensuring we could recycle that care once patients no longer required the level of support to get them home.

To achieve this, I built strong relationships with discharge teams, community health teams, and the local authority. I was able to support the NHS Dorset system in designing new pathways out of hospital. 

How did this shape your future career thinking?

Working in the community gave me my first taste of wanting to own a care business. I wanted the system to be so much better for patients living in their own environment and be able to give them the care and compassion needed to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible.

With that in mind, what were your main drivers for starting a Blossom Home Care franchise?

I wanted to not only confidently deliver high-quality care, but also reduce care visits when safe to do so to keep client costs down. My strengths are in leadership, creating a positive environment of togetherness, and valuing staff – this makes for a really happy workforce who want to deliver brilliant care. 

Blossom matched the same ethos of what I wanted to create, so the journey began from there.

What were your biggest concerns about starting your own home care business?

I come from a healthcare background, not a business one, so my biggest concern was simply my sheer lack of business experience. This was the reason I wanted to enter franchising – the experience of Blossom Home Care and ability to learn from a tried and tested model is invaluable. I know the head office team and franchise network will always be there to support me in what I want to achieve.

If I’m brutally honest, recruitment also concerned me – but this was put to bed early, as I have already had 24 applications for my Registered Managers role. Given how Blossom is known for valuing staff, I expect the same influx of applications when we come to recruiting carers too.

How has Blossom’s head office helped you overcome your worries about becoming a business owner?

Investing in a franchise is a huge financial commitment and it’s natural for anyone to find it daunting. But I am confident it will be successful: co-founder John Leggott has guided me through some tough decisions, given me the time and space needed to make key decisions, and has been able to reassure me on a number of questions I had. It’s been a fantastic experience.

Have you also received support about the practical business elements of starting a franchise, such as business plans and cash flow forecasts?

Absolutely. Like I say, this has been a huge learning curve for me, especially as I like to be methodical and really understand what I am doing. But thanks to the support received and the time and effort I have put into understanding the figures, I now understand the business model much more. It’s a scary place to be when you don’t have that experience to start with, but you soon feel much more comfortable once you can see the projections in black and white in front of you.

Above all else, now I am just really excited to get started and start providing my community with the quality home care they deserve.

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