The home care franchising sector has huge potential for entrepreneurs considering entering it. The industry boasts an impressive growth rate that shows no sign of slowing, and is home to some of the country’s top franchises. Here, we take a look at the state of the market in general and examine five of our top franchising picks.
Home help care services
Over the last decade, the home help care sector has undergone a radical transformation. The realisation that the UK population is experiencing enormous demographic shifts, coupled with changes in the way care is delivered, has resulted in the emergence of many new franchises aimed at providing high-quality home care services.
In large part, this is due to an unprecedented surge in demand. The home care market is currently worth an estimated £5.2 billion, and this figure will only increase with time. Life expectancy is increasing, resulting in an ageing population and a higher number of elderly citizens. Consequently, age-related illnesses, such as dementia are also on the up. Combined, these factors are putting a massive strain on public health services, so much so that many people are turning to private sector solutions.
The Office for National Statistics predicts that there will be a 36 percent increase in the number of people aged 85 and above between 2015 and 2025. This means a jump in the country’s over-85 population from 1.5 million to 2 million. During the same period, the over-65 demographic will grow to exceed the size of the under-15 age group for the first time in living memory.
This poses a unique set of problems and challenges. For instance, although 80 percent of the UK population lives in an urban environment, 75 percent of over-65s reside in rural areas. This is likely to have an enormous impact on how services are distributed and delivered, particularly when you consider the fact that the public health sector is facing severe funding cuts.
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Top five home help franchises
One of the major ways in which the private sector is likely to respond to this growing demand is by using the franchise system to facilitate rapid expansion. Home care franchises will be able to meet the increased demand quickly and efficiently, while maintaining high standards of care and being able to offer specialist services. This is already evident in the number of successful home help franchises operating in the UK.
Below, we take a look at five great home care franchises.
1. Radfield Home Care
Radfield Home Care has over 35 years of experience operating in the healthcare sector and is considered one of the country’s leading home help specialists. Although the business is relatively new to franchising, the franchisors have a long history in the care home sector and understand what high-quality care looks like. The franchise is well known for its excellent franchisee support system and offers a comprehensive training programme.
To become a franchisee, you'll need to raise an investment of around £75,000. This can be broken down into a franchise fee of £30,000 and £45,000 of working capital to keep the business running as it works towards profitability. The franchise has developed strong relationships with banks like HSBC, from which up to 50 percent of this investment can be borrowed.
2. Bluebird Care
Bluebird Care advertises itself as the UK's fastest growing franchise and the largest single provider of home care services in the UK. In 2017, it won the British Franchise Association's Franchisor of the Year award and is now considered one of the most attractive investment opportunities in the entire franchising world. It delivers 20,000 home care visits to more than 9,500 customers every day and has an incredible amount of experience.
An investment of approximately £115,000 is required to become a Bluebird Care franchisee. A major lender can finance around 70 percent of this. This entitles you to a comprehensive franchise package that includes training, IT support, recruitment guidance, uniforms, marketing material and all the necessary accreditations.
3. Home Instead
Troubled by the lack of services available to the elderly and those suffering from age-related illnesses, the Home Instead founders decided to launch their own business. They ended up starting one of the world’s largest home care franchises and the winner of numerous awards. With more than 1,200 franchise units spread over 14 countries, they operate a truly global franchise network.
The business’ considerable experience is condensed into one of the industry’s most respected franchise packages. For an investment of approximately £90,000, franchisees will be granted the rights to an exclusive territory and provided with all the assistance you need to launch your own franchise unit. Ongoing support is readily available and delivered by franchising and home care specialists.
4. Heritage Healthcare
Heritage Healthcare offers a wide variety of services, ranging from 30-minute visits to live-in care. Its commitment to excellent home help was recognised when it won the Emerging Franchisor of the Year award in 2017. The franchise has so far focused on developing a small number of high-quality franchise units, rather than compromising the quality of their network by expanding rapidly.
A total investment of around £96,000 is required to become a franchisee, and this entitles you to a protected territory, ensures you're enrolled on a 10-day intensive training course and grants you access to the franchise’s business and support systems.
5. Seniors Helping Seniors
Seniors Helping Seniors takes a slightly different approach to home care than the franchises mentioned above. It matches elderly customers who require care with caregivers who are also senior citizens. This typically results in a closer working relationship and offers the client more effective companionship. Carers carry out everyday tasks, such as cleaning, cooking and shopping, with the emphasis on helping customers live more independent lives.
To become a franchisee, you’ll need to invest at least £66,000. However, this figure can vary depending on location and the size of the initial operation. Marketing, business and training support are all provided by the experienced franchisor.
Why start a home care business?
We’ve already touched upon the financial benefits of become a home care franchisee, but there are plenty of other reasons why you might want to launch a business in this sector. Let’s take a look at the main ones.
- The number one advantage is that caring for others is hugely rewarding. You’re likely to have high job satisfaction if you become a carer or even just the manager of a care company. You can’t put a price on seeing others leading a happy and healthy life thanks to your services, so it’s a huge plus point for many entrepreneurs.
- You’ll have the opportunity to continually learn and expand your mind. If most of your customers are elderly, they’ll have plenty of stories about old times. There is no limit to the things you can learn when in the company of older people, from accounts of significant historical events to examples of changing societal attitudes. You’ll have the opportunity to listen to their unique insight and may even gain a new perspective on things after time spent with your customers.
- There will be plenty of time for socialising. While some sectors don’t provide many opportunities to mix with other people, home care definitely does. If you’re an outgoing person, this can be a major advantage. But, even if you’re happy in your own company, chatting to customers will give you a break from your duties and may even help you gain feedback on the business.
- As you’re likely to spend a lot of your time making sure customers maintain a healthy lifestyle, with regular exercise and nutritious diets, you may end up leading by example. As you reinforce the importance of physical and mental health, you’re likely to pick up good habits along the way. As a business owner, this can only be a good thing, as it’ll help reduce your stress levels and help you stick to a daily routine.
Of course, there are drawbacks to any business venture, and you shouldn’t go into one without a full understanding of your potential obligations once you’ve signed up. Here are the main disadvantages of running a home care business:
- When you become a home care business owner, you take on a huge amount of responsibility. You’ll be expected to be knowledgeable, trustworthy and reliable. If anything goes wrong, you’re accountable. Remember, you’re caring for real people with real problems, so emotions run high when it comes to caring for them. You may be approached by family members who are angry with the way the business has dealt with a certain issue, or who feel strongly about how their relative should be cared for. You’ll have to respond to these types of confrontations with competence and professionalism.
- You can’t just set up a home care business and start attracting customers. Because you’ll be caring for others in a position of authority, you’ll need to have certain certificates and licences before you get up and running. This can be complicated and time-consuming, delaying the launch of your business. You’ll also need to invest a significant amount into insurance to protect you if things do go wrong.
Overall, becoming a home care business owner can be a hugely rewarding move, both financially and personally, if you’re the right person for the job. Check out our home care franchise opportunities here.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©