Why Kare Plus’ branding sealed the deal for the company’s Swansea franchisee
Kare Plus Swansea was the first Kare Plus franchise in Wales, joining the network in September 2015. Husband and wife team, Lisa and Richard Buchanan, trusted the Kare Plus brand, ethos, mission and access to NHS framework in the region to support their new venture - even in uncharted waters.
Now, almost 18 months on, the business has an established recruitment service, has recently achieved its home care registration and is receiving rave reviews from local care homes, customers and staff.
Quality and standards
Lisa explains: “The quality and standards that the brand, vision and mission hold for the organisation have helped increase business for us, but also been a fundamental part in our brand awareness and strong brand reputation.
“In line with the model, I place our carers at the core of the business. I really do value our staff, which is part of the Kare Plus ethos, part of the slogan and part of the Kare Plus brand.
“The difference this makes to our staff is phenomenal. I often have staff coming to us saying they’re just seen as numbers in other agencies, whereas they feel part of something with Kare Plus. Even if they don’t come through the whole recruitment process with us, they even say they feel more respected at the interview stage.
“The feedback I get from our clients, not only care home managers, but also home care customers in their own home, is also subject to this. I regularly get feedback saying how good our care is, but also how friendly, approachable and helpful the office staff are too.”
Although both Lisa and Richard are joint franchise owners, Lisa is the day-to-day manager of the business, stepping away from her near 20- year career in scientific sales and marketing when they invested in a Kare Plus franchise in 2015.
“When I reached 40, I wanted a change in life,” Lisa says. “The children are still young, so juggling family and a career was a must. I’d been in the same industry for years and I didn’t want to look back and think ‘what if’.
“We looked at various industries, including the food industry and child care/crèches, but from a moral perspective the healthcare industry sat more comfortably, plus it’s a growing marketplace.
“Once we had decided this was the industry to enter, we knew straight away we couldn’t do it alone. Due to rules and regulations and with no prior recruitment or healthcare experience, we felt much more comfortable investing in an established franchise model - an idea that first came to Richard when he saw a franchising magazine in an airport departure lounge when we were going on holiday.
“What first attracted us to Kare Plus was the variety of income streams that it would offer. Most of the other healthcare franchises were just home care, but Kare Plus actually offered other routes to go down - and the establishment side is unique.
“Kare Plus had also just been accepted on the framework for NHS staffing supply in Wales. The reputation they were building in the industry was very impressive and reassuring.”
Giving something back
Entering the healthcare industry with moral reasoning supporting their decision, one of Lisa’s favourite things about owning a Kare Plus franchise is giving something back to the local community - from looking after people in their own home to providing jobs to those in the local area
“Allowing customers to remain in their own home for as long as possible puts a smile on the faces of so many people,” Lisa says. “Since we achieved our CSSIW registration to provide home care services last October, it has allowed us to drive our business in areas that have the most potential in the Swansea area.
“As a result, I have witnessed some inspiring stories from customers we are working with.
“Even on the recruitment side, meeting so many people is really enjoyable. It can be difficult finding the correct calibre of staff that meet both the customer’s and our needs, but this is something else Kare Plus’ brand awareness has helped us with.
“We have had a number of staff come to us after they relocated to Wales and found Kare Plus Swansea online, after they had previously worked with a Kare Plus franchise elsewhere in the country.
“I wouldn’t have got that on my own, and it’s thanks to such fantastic marketing and social media getting the Kare Plus name out there that it happened now.”
Looking long term
With such a good experience running her own Kare Plus business, Lisa is even happy to admit she has every intention of still being with the organisation in 10 years’ time, entering a second term with the franchise.
“Looking ahead, I am looking to maximise what is here in Swansea,” Lisa says. “There is such a big opportunity here and we are only just chipping away at the surface. There’s a lot more potential in the region and I want to maximise on this.
“I see no reason why we wouldn’t extend out term with Kare Plus, taking us into 10 years of franchising. By which time I hope to be less involved with the day-to-day operations, but overseeing the performance and objectives as a whole.”
Kare Plus has franchising opportunities just like Lisa’s across England and Wales available now.
With an award winning marketing team constantly evolving the brand and its awareness, a support team specialising in compliance, IT, recruitment, contracts and research and development, as well as new services set to be developed in 2017, there’s no better time to join Kare Plus and the healthcare industry.