Having left electronic manufacturing for the care sector, Graham Livingston is Caremark’s Plymouth franchise owner
Being in charge of their own business, Graham and his wife Alison bought their Caremark franchise back in 2012, with a CQC ‘outstanding’ rating being the testament to their hard work. Here is what a day in the life of Graham looks like.
The first task of the day is to drop my daughter at school. Then it’s a 35-minute, 30-mile drive to the office in Plymouth. This gives me time to focus my thoughts ready for the day.
By the time I arrive, the office staff is in, and a senior member of the management team has been in the office since 6.30 am, dealing with the on-call phone and reallocating visits should a member of staff call in sick. The phone is already ringing non-stop but nothing my amazing team can’t handle.
Although I have my own office, my door is usually open, so I know about most things that are happening throughout the day. We are a small, close team, so there isn’t really a need for a designated meeting to start the day. It’s more of an open forum for discussion that deals with the daily events as they occur.
Next, I check emails and the post, updating the accounts with any client payments that have appeared overnight. I also check the on-call logs to ensure all issues have been resolved or allocated to someone.
Depending on the day of the week, I will be ordering from our various vendors: PPE, uniforms, office supplies and merchandise. This allows me to periodically review our outgoings and keep our overheads to a minimum. I also make sure that any bills due are paid on time and that my accounts software is up to date.
If there’s time, I will also get in touch with other local care providers about the challenges we all face and deal with any aspects of our Local Authority contract.
Lunch is taken at my desk whilst I settle into other important tasks. I choose to do most of my accounts myself as well as all payroll functions. If it’s coming up to month-end payday, then mid-week is usually when I tackle this. It can take some time each month, so it’s important that I get it right, and, thankfully, I have a few errors! In another week, it could be the two-weekly customer invoicing run. However, on Mondays, I try to make time to attend lunch with the Plymouth Rotary Club. It’s a great opportunity to have a break from the office and support their fundraising.
Two of my team finish for the day, leaving three of us in the office. If the phones are busy, I will pitch in and help or catch up with emails. Afternoons are usually a bit quieter - always a good time for my daily coffee and biscuits!
It’s the end of another busy day and time to lock up and leave. My 35-minute drive home is when I like to clear my head and leave work behind.
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets:
115 UK offi ces
up to £115,000
Minimum required capital: