Vicky Brown, Guardian Angel Carers' newly appointed head of franchise recruitment, answers FAQs about making a start as a franchisee
“I can’t wait to bring Guardian Angel Carers franchises to the UK,” says Vicky Brown, Guardian Angel Carers head of franchise recruitment. It’s an opportunity she’s embracing to encourage talented and purposeful people to run their own businesses and get this in-demand home care service to more people.
A people person
Vicky is well established in franchising and has helped many find their feet as they take steps into home care business ownership. “I’m a people person that loves the business of care because you can invest for value but keep values at heart,” she says.
Highly motivated and strongly values-driven herself, she continues: “From a very young age I always wanted to fix things and help people.”
Vicky started her career in recruitment as a client service manager. She thrived on building relationships and placing people in roles they enjoyed. Self-motivated to progress, she decided to return to education and study for her first-class Business degree at St John Moores University in Liverpool.
During her final year, her much-loved grandad had a fall down the stairs. It was the start of a tough time for the family, and the diagnosis of his dementia. “It was the first time our family had ever experienced anyone we loved needing care. We didn’t know what to do or who to turn to for advice. Like many, we thought his only option was a care home or hospital,” she explains.
So, when she applied for a role as a national recruitment manager for a home care provider the discovery that care could be experienced at home came as a revelation. “The interview was the first time I’d heard about the concept. It was so close to my heart at the time - with everything that we’d gone through with grandad, I instantly fell in love with the model,” she says.
Right place, right person
She’s not looked back. Vicky has worked predominately in the home care industry since she left university and it’s where she’s at home. When the chance came to be at the outset, and integral to the growth of the Guardian Angel Carers franchise family, she just knew she was the right person for the job.
A call with founder Christina Handaysde Dick convinced her that the values she so strongly believed in were clearly at the heart of the business. “A lot of organisations only talk about values and ethos, but here everyone lives and breathes them,” she says.
Making a profession in home care
To be a successful home care franchisee with Guardian Angel Carers, Vicky believes franchisees should both share these strong values and have an inherent desire to succeed. Across the years she’s observed many successful franchisees are driven to make a difference in care through personal experience. “But, it’s important to understand that to deliver quality care; you have to operate for a profit. You can’t do one without the other,” she adds.
Vicky is confident that with its proven 10-year track record, the success and national rollout of the Guardian Angel Carer franchise family can fly. That she can offer an ‘every step of the way’ service with a high ratio of personal and expert business support makes her proud to be on the journey. “No franchisee will be alone with us,” she says.
And home care services are needed more than ever. She says that the ageing population want to take ownership of their care arrangements. “Right now, there’s a lack of help for people on that journey and what their choices are. Our franchisees will be part of that conversation, joining up the dots and helping to positively signpost the way,” she says.
A home bird at heart
Vicky lives in Cheshire with her husband Mike, her dog Milo - the closest thing to a living teddy bear - and her mother, who has a back injury. “We’re a close family, and having mum live with us means she can have the home care, comforts, and company for which I am such a strong advocate,” says Vicky.
She sadly lost her father this year. It was a shock that she, her stepmother and two half-sisters have found extremely hard. Being involved in the care industry, Vicky is all too aware of the impact this devastating year has brought - one she is more spurred to give back to by bringing good people into the industry.