Support Solutions gave me the confidence to set up my own care agency, Carole Westgate says
Why did you choose the care sector and support solutions in particular?
I chose care as I’ve been involved in the sector for the past 15 years.
I chose Support Solutions as I knew how I wanted to change the way I delivered care and the company’s method was the same as I wanted to do things.
I also chose Support Solutions as they were a name that wasn’t known locally, which meant I wouldn’t be judged by how other branches operated.
What was it like launching your business during the pandemic?
It was a challenge. Everything was carried out over Zoom or via phone calls, with no face-to-face meetings occurring with local authorities or the Care Quality Commission.
Nevertheless, I started trading successfully, ensuring I stuck to the rules and regulations laid out by the NHS and local authorities on the use of PPE.
The franchisor made me aware of how to register for the COVID grants and free PPE portal to make sure we had what was required. I was even advised about how I could apply for DBS checks, which were free during the pandemic.
How did the franchisor help you establish your franchise?
The franchisor was fantastic.
Assistance was given in which types of companies to contact to gain business from and who to advise that we were starting up. I was also advised which forms of advertising is the most successful. The majority of advertising is done on my behalf by the franchisor, which is very useful. It means the same format is used for each franchise, so it looks the same.
In addition, I was given a comprehensive handbook that details exactly how I can operate within industry guidelines and meet the franchisor’s expectations.
Best part of being a support solutions franchisee?
It’s given me the confidence to set up my own care agency within my local area.
Without their knowledge and guidance, I would have sunk under the vast amount of paperwork and legislation I had no idea existed in order to trade as a reputable care company and to remain compliant and acquire an outstanding CQC rating.
Support Solutions arranges regular meetings and ongoing support. If I have a query, there’s always someone who will assist me and offer valuable information.
What are your plans for the business during the next 12 months?
I want to increase the number of hours we can offer in the community. I also plan to continue expanding, so that we become more well known locally.
I had no intention of making end of life care my speciality when I started the business, but this is what we’ve done.
We can do a lot to help a person within their last weeks of life and the families are constantly saying how grateful they are and that they couldn’t do without our compassionate nature.
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets:
Location of units:
Worthing, Greenwich, Middlesbrough
Minimum required capital:
Cameron McClure cameronmcclure@support solutions.care