Julie Oommen, managing director of Caremark Wakefield, shares her journey from an employed organisational role into running her own franchise in-home care business
“My introduction to Caremark was totally serendipitous,” says Julie Oommen. Prior to her discovery, she was content and engrossed in her job as a specialist practitioner in the NHS which was a role she had attained in spite of a series of challenges.
Although the idea of starting a business was always at the back of her mind, Julie was apprehensive about the sheer time and effort starting up a business would necessitate.
“I was aimlessly scrolling through Facebook one day when I stumbled upon an advertisement for Caremark. Acting instinctively, I made an enquiry about getting involved in the start-up business through the link that was provided,” she explains.
Almost immediately, upon receiving the enquiry, former recruitment consultant Mak Abdelnur responded and they proceeded to have a chat about Julie’s profound interest in the advertisement. “He was incredibly accommodating throughout the conversation and made such astute, convincing points that they allowed me to even entertain the prospect of starting my own business in my mind,” continues Julie.
“We arranged a meeting with the head office and found that everyone there was very welcoming and supportive; following this meeting I had got the general essence of the domiciliary care business. I also had the opportunity to meet the CEO of Caremark Limited Kevin Lewis. Although he is ultimately a franchise owner and my buying the franchise would have been in his best interests, Kevin never pressured me to buy the franchise; rather, made me aware of the challenges I would face in the business, of some I had not even been aware the existence of! I walked away feeling incredibly confident with my decision and then decided to take the leap of faith.”
The head office supported Julie at each step of the business journey, and she finally signed the contract to officially become an owner. Succeeding this, Julie participated in a fortnight of intense franchisee training that helped her fully understand the role and responsibility of a business owner.
“Coming from an incredibly structured organisation that is the NHS, in which I was just a cog in a larger machine, to being my own boss and having to engage in various new tasks such as administrative work (which I would not have had to engage in as much depth in my previous job as a nurse) and completing the CQC registration was initially overwhelming for me but the support from our regional manager Paul Matthews and all the other franchises in my region made my journey more comfortable.
“I would strongly recommend joining Caremark Limited to anyone who intends to have their own domiciliary care business due to the immense level of support you will receive from the head office team,” says Julie.
You will notice from Julie’s story that her background was formerly in the NHS, so it’s worth mentioning that you do not need any experience in the health care sector like Julie, it’s an office-based white collar franchise where you sit at the top of a structured in-home care business, working to a proven business model.
Business acumen and the drive to succeed is key, as Caremark will take you through the entire process and support you all the way.