- Start Up Cost:
- Franchise Type:
- Sector Type:
- Investment Type:
- Office Based
- Domiciliary Care
- B2B, B2C
Kare Plus is a rapidly expanding network with over 25 years’ experience providing complete care solutions to people within their own homes and staff support to leading public and private hospitals, establishments and care homes nationwide. Originally founded in 1989 to supply scrub nurses to hospitals, in 2010 Kare Plus changed ownership and consequently has undergone some dramatic, yet innovative changes. These include growth of services offered, alongside the creation of a bespoke central management system to assist with and monitor our rigorous compliance, scheduling, recruitment and selection procedures.
Operating since 1989, Kare Plus is a national franchise network with over 70 locations across the UK, of which six are company-owned branches. We currently have approximately 70 locations available across the UK and are looking at international franchising over the next 12 months.
The initial training is a five-day classroom-based residential course at our head office in Telford, where our support team will personally train you. We cover compliance, sales training, PR & marketing, recruitment, accounts and much more.
Upon completion of the course, we offer reliable resources for franchisees for the term of the franchise agreement and for as long as a franchisee remains a business partner. Franchisees are never on their own; they have direct access to our support team and systems within the business that will collectively provide all the required back-up.
Our franchisees will typically be office-based. A typical ‘day in the life’ will include business development (both telephone based and face-to-face meetings), on-site visits, staff recruitment, attending network events, staff appraisals, training and much more.
We actively encourage all our franchisees to be very hands-on as this is your business and you are the face of it.
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.
“The quality and standards that the brand, vision and the mission hold for the organisation have really helped increase business for us, but also been a fundamental part in our brand awareness and strong brand reputation”, explains Lisa.
“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 number in other agencies, where as 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 & Marketing back when they invested in a Kare Plus franchise in 2015: “When I reached 40, I wanted a change in life. 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 / crèche’s, but from a moral perspective, the healthcare industry sat more comfortably, plus it is a growing market place.
“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 which 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 the other healthcare franchises were just home care, but Kare Plus actually offered other routes to go down - and the establishment side is quite 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.”
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. 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 really inspiring stories from customers we are working with”, says Lisa proudly.
“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 the Kare Plus’s 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 is thanks to such fantastic marketing and social media getting the Kare Plus name out there that it happened now.”
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. There is such a big opportunity here and we are only just chipping away at the surface really. There is 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 in to 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 Hertfordshire breaks even in record breaking 3 months
When their family business was sold on in early 2015, cousins Vimal and Nitesh Amin were itching to get back to the drawing board and reassess where their drive for success could take them.
With much of their extended family and friends already operating various healthcare franchises, they saw potential in the growing sector and spared no time in researching their options and realising their dream.
After a handful of meetings with domiciliary healthcare franchises, the pair discovered Kare Plus and how beneficial the franchise’s unique multi-service offering could be – and by November 2015, Kare Plus Hertfordshire was on the road to success.
Now, less than three months later, they’ve become the fastest Kare Plus franchisees to ever start making profit.
We recently caught up with them to find out more about how the dream scenario came to fruition.
Q: What made you enter the care sector?
N: “I had just left university, and during my time there I had spent a lot of time working part-time in pharmacies and care homes, so I knew bits and bobs about the care industry.
“Our family and friends work in the sector too, so after speaking to them, contacting some of the care home managers where I used to work and researching the potential the sector holds, we both knew with a bit of drive we could make a very successful healthcare business.”
Q: Why did you invest in a franchise?
V: “After conducting our own research, it was very apparent we couldn’t enter the healthcare industry on our own. There’s a lot of paperwork, lots of legalities, you’re dealing with people’s health and caring for those who are coming towards the end of their lives – so it’s important to get everything correct. Because of this it soon became clear that a franchise with a proven business model and good support was vital in this industry.”
Q: What appealed to you about Kare Plus?
V: “It wasn’t the first franchise we looked at. Initially, we wanted to go into domiciliary care and met with many domiciliary care franchises. Once we came across Kare Plus and its unique multiple service offering, we thought why limit ourselves?
“We arranged a meeting with them and the passion of directors, Steve and Tom seemed very natural. They both started out as franchisees, so their understanding of our needs and wants was excellent.
“The brand appeal was very high also. Compared to others, the brand image is strong and people seemed to respond positively to it.”
Q: How is running your franchise rewarding?
V: “Well, we have just managed to break-even in less than three months. Obviously this is great, but we’re not happy yet. We’re ambitious, there’s the two of us working on the business, so we want to get a wage for ourselves next.
“It is one of those situations where you really do get out what you put in. It’s not like a normal job where you’re waiting for the clock to reach 5pm. If you finish before, great. If not, you finish once the work is done – that’s how we’ve had such a successful first few months.
“The reaction we’ve had to the Kare Plus brand has been really positive – which is nice to hear and reassuring. We’ve had people phone us up saying: “We’ve heard of Kare Plus, can I join your agency?” That’s when you know you really are doing a good job of it all.”
Q: What kind of person do you think would suit a Kare Plus franchise?
V: “I think people from all walks of life could suit a Kare Plus franchise. If you have the drive to run your own business, follow the model and pick the right location, nothing can stop you if you have the right frame of mind.”
Q: What do you think of Kare Plus training and support?
V: “We attended a very in-depth training week back in October that taught us all about industry compliance, recruitment, marketing, finances and much more. Following this, we were put in touch with support admin, Jas who helped who set-up our office and get Kare Plus Hertfordshire off the ground.
“Our business development manager, Dan has been very good too. We are in regular contact and he has been so helpful and fundamental in us breaking even so fast.
“To be honest, all the support has been so good; we’re fairly self-sufficient in terms of operational challenges now. But it is all still available if we ever do need it to fall back on.”
Q: What challenges have you faced on your business journey?
V: “Of course, the initial stages of this journey were very challenging. Making the decision of which business model suited us, which franchise showed most promise and managing all our finances was quite a challenging time.
“Now we are with Kare Plus though, our biggest obstacle is finding the right volume of staff. We are lucky that we have many clients who are after staff, but sourcing the right volume of carers and nurses to fill their needs is challenging – a problem the whole UK healthcare industry is experiencing.”
Q: Describe a typical day at Kare Plus Hertfordshire
V: “Myself and Nitesh run the business ourselves; everything from writing rotas, managing payroll to recruiting new staff. We get an influx of interviews, either here in the office or out at local coffee shops if needs be – but that keeps us busy and fills a lot of our time.
“On top of this we are managing clients, liaising with staff, answering emails, recruiting staff, arranging interviews, maintaining compliance standards and much more.
“It is all still early days for us though, and we hope to bring on-board a recruitment consultant and more office members – which will mean our daily roles in the business will change and develop.”
Q: What are your plans for the future of your business?
V: “We want to have multiple territories. Many of the local ones are getting snapped up fast, but things can change and we are motivated to succeed. We have always had a figure of £100,000 net profit, but once we have achieved this goal we will continually set new objectives.
“Currently, we are both working in very hands-on roles. Eventually we want this to change so that we can work on the business rather than in it. The good thing is though, we are learning all the roles of the business first hand – so when we do move into new positions, we will understand what our staff will be doing and how we can help them.”
Prior to joining Kare Plus I had been looking at franchising for some time. Of all of the offerings I came across, Kare Plus immediately stood out to me as something special. Not only was it a strong match to the skills and experience I have built up over the past 20+ years within recruitment, I could see the opportunity it would give me to make a difference in my local community. In addition, the dual model presents an opportunity to build both depth and breadth to my business, focusing on workforce solutions as well as homecare services.
The knowledge demonstrated by Isabelle and her team was second to none, and since then everyone that I’ve met at Kare Plus approaches their work with the same passion, integrity, high level of expertise and determination to offer the best possible service. I am excited to be joining an industry where I can make a meaningful and real difference, with the support of Kare Plus, the caring company
A caring person and The Caring Company means great success for Kare Plus Wirral & Liverpool
Sometimes, a great business nous and financial mind-set isn’t the be-all and end-all of operating a successful company. When franchise owners come across Kare Plus, it doesn’t take long to notice they’re by no means all about the money.
Known as The Caring Company, Kare Plus has a reputation for providing excellent care and support for everyone within its fast-growing network – from customers to office staff and everyone in between. So when ex-nurse and educator, Dr Louise May joined the team back in 2013, her care focussed work history shone through and is now having a real impact in the Wirral and beyond.
“I left my previous job as a Head of Department when I became overworked and underappreciated. It reached the point where I stopped caring about what I was doing – as long as the targets were being hit, that was all that mattered. As a nurse by profession caring is what I do, so I knew this wasn’t right.” Dr Louise May explained.
“This is when I decided I wanted to become my own boss, and work within the local community. As I had never run my own business before though, I felt like a franchise model would be conducive to my aspirations. You get to be your own boss and manage your own business, but you also have a safety net.
“I decided to go into the healthcare sector and, in particular, Kare Plus because I wanted to enter an industry I had knowledge of and could talk about with a certain authority – and I could do that with nursing.”
Kare Plus wasn’t the only healthcare franchise Dr May researched and visited, but it’s flexibility, Midlands based head office and British model all drew her to join the UK’s leading healthcare franchise: “The others all seemed a lot more straight jacketed. When I met Tom, it was very relaxed and there were far more ‘yes, you can do that’ comments than every other franchisor I had met. The fact it wasn’t based in London or down-south I liked a lot too and it hadn’t americanised its business model.
“The other big difference that lit my candle was its nursing services. I’m a nurse and have done a lot of work on nurse CPD, so I had the understanding and skill set to succeed in that trade.”
And succeed in that trade she has. Kare Plus Wirral is now so saturated with nurses, Dr May is able to select only the most caring of nurses to represent her business. When you understand the lengths she goes to in order to look after her staff though, it is understandable why so many nurses in the Wirral area are so eager to work for her.
“I have struck up a deal with a local florist and I often send my staff a bouquet of flowers and some chocolates if I find out they’re having a tough time or even, on the flip side, a reason to celebrate. I want my staff to feel valued. I want them to come back to me and say ‘the standards are diabolical there’, and then I can help improve the circumstances for them and help them provide better care. I want people who fundamentally care and, in return, I can care for them”, Dr May said.
“As a result, I have nurses that work all different places because they like the location, like the home, like the way it is run and, best of all, like the safety on offer.
“This is reflected in how they work too though. I recently had a staff member make a courtesy call to let me know they were running late, but when I rang the home to let them know, they told me: ‘Don’t worry, Louise your staff are the best; it doesn’t matter’.”
The caring mentality of Louise has seen her business reach up to 1400 hours of staff placement a week; success that has seen her take on her neighbouring territory, Liverpool as well: “As a Scouser, I know Liverpool really well; I know the market and I know the nursing homes.
“With the Wirral holding 40% of the market, I felt ultimately if I can do it there I know I can do it in Liverpool. With the new office in Birkenhead, I am centrally located to serve both areas from there as well. I always dreamt of two local territories as, for me, that is a lucrative business helping my local community.”
Looking forward, Louise plans to have turned over her first million in the coming months and establish Liverpool as another successful Kare Plus territory.