Care for Carers as Well as Clients Builds a £1m Business.

Walfinch franchise
Walfinch Walfinch provides personalised, high quality home care. You don’t need care experience as you don’t do the care work yourself.

9/10 people say that if they need care, they’d prefer to receive it in their own home. An alternative to care homes, Walfinch franchisees address the need to remain independent at home.

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What does it take to create a £1m-plus turnover home care business? Genuine care for clients and carers, plus global thinking. In the case of Walfinch Kingston and Weybridge, that means as far as South Africa.

Tracy Lezar and Kathleen Plough co-own Walfinch Kingston and Weybridge, Surrey. It's a wealthy area, and over 40 clients pay privately for their high-quality, bespoke care.

How have they managed to grow their Walfinch franchise into a £1m-plus business after just three and half years?

Tracy says: “We love our business and work hands-on in it every day. One of us goes out to meet each new client, and they know that they can all us any time. I used to be in recruitment and Kathleen was in retail banking so our communication and customer service skills make home care our perfect business.”

Caring for carers

However, the carer shortage risked holding them back. 

“We solved this partly by recruiting carers in South Africa, where high unemployment drives demand for overseas work,” says Tracy. “Kathleen and I are both South African, and still have extensive networks there, so people get to hear that we can offer new careers here.” 

“We also put advertisements on Facebook and people message us asking about coming to the UK to work in our team,” says Kathleen. 

The two business partners interview applicants online and conduct background checks and references, before arranging visas for successful candidates. 

Emotional and practical support

“Our carers arrive in a new country, often having left their family behind, to take up work that is usually new to them, because there is no formal home care industry in South Africa. We provide emotional and practical support, and they know that they can call us any time if they have problems,” Tracy says.

Tracy and Kathleen have invested in three cars that new carers can use before they buy their own.

“It's wonderful to see them discover the rewards of caring, and our clients love them,” says Kathleen.

One recently recruiter carer, who came to the UK from South Africa, says: “Kathleen and Tracy saved my marriage, my house and my car by giving me a job here and I thoroughly enjoy working with them.”

Growth through live-in care

Recruiting carers from overseas has helped Walfinch Kingston and Weybridge expand its domiciliary care, but also its live-in care service. “The market for live-in care has grown fast, and live-in suits carers coming from abroad. Now about 25 of our 43 carers live-in, and we expect that number to increase,” says Kathleen.

Live-in care has not only helped grow the income of  Walfinch Kingston and Weybridge but has benefited the local community. 

“I goes to show that in home care you can build a thriving business while earning the rewards of making a tangible improvement to your community,” says Tracy.

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