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- Franchise Type:
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- Office Based
- Domiciliary Care
Radfield Home Care specialises in providing care at-home services for the UK’s rapidly ageing population. By focusing on the private marketplace, using the latest technologies and developing an empowered workforce, Radfield has won numerous awards for delivering exceptional care within local communities.
The organisation’s directors, Alex Green and Dr Hannah MacKechnie grew up within the residential home owned and operated by their parents and, as a result, have a unique, lifelong insight into operating a business providing care for older people.
Awarded bfa HSBC Emerging Franchisor of the Year 2019, Radfield Home Care’s franchise opportunity and support systems have been assessed and approved by some of the leading franchise experts in the UK – including CEO of the British Franchise Association, Pip Wilkins and HSBC’s UK Head of Franchising, Andrew Brattesani.
With over 35 years’ experience providing care to older people, the family-run Radfield brand launched its home care franchise in late 2016 and today has a national network of franchise partners.
At the start of your franchise journey you will benefit from Radfield’s 20-day training programme; one of the most comprehensive training models in the franchising sector. It covers all aspects of business management, care, recruitment, marketing and compliance, as well as Radfield’s specific systems, technologies and strategies – such as its 360° care management system, and leading recruitment-and-retention strategy.
Upon completion, you shall progress into Radfield’s Ongoing Development Training providing regular training days, webinars and modules.
You do not need previous healthcare experience to operate a Radfield Home Care franchise; in fact, Radfield’s franchise partners come from a variety of backgrounds from finance to marketing, and sales to IT.
Your primary responsibility will be the growth of the business through networking and marketing activities within your territory; although the marketing support team will work with you very closely to achieve this. It is also important you fulfil the required leadership role within your business, setting the high standard your office and care teams will achieve.
Radfield Home Care is delighted to welcome their first franchisee to their team! Dawn Phillips has become the proud owner of Radfield Home Care, Bromsgrove and Redditch franchise and is looking forward to bringing the high quality care services to the area that Radfield Home Care has built its reputation on.
Demonstrating a clear vision that aligned perfectly with Radfield Home Care's values Dawn commented: “The Radfield Home Care Franchise stood out for me firstly because of their core values which are part of everything that they do and secondly because of their backgrounds in health and business and years of experience in the care sector which gives me great confidence that I will make my business a huge success"
Dawn herself has many years of experience working in the care sector and sees becoming a franchisee as the next step in her career progression. "The care sector is a very rewarding industry in which to work as you become a highly valued and important part of your local community. Becoming a franchisee allows me to continue doing the work I love but with more autonomy and ability to shape the direction of my business. I felt it was time to branch out on my own and be directly rewarded for the effort I put in by running my own business."
Founders and directors Dr Hannah MacKechnie, a qualified GP, and her brother Alex Green who has a background in finance and business management, bring a unique mix of both medical and business knowhow to the franchise marketplace.
Radfield Home Care started building its own branch network 8 years ago and in 2016 took the decision to allow other people to benefit from their many years of experience in the home care sector by launching Radfield Home Care Franchising Ltd.
Dr Hannah MacKechnie explains: "With the launch of the Radfield Home Care franchise opportunity we are enabling people who want to start their own business to do so but with the support of a highly experienced team behind them. For our franchisees, knowing that we have over 8 years of experience in the delivery of high quality domiciliary care, and over 30 years of experience in the care sector is a huge reassurance as any issues they may encounter - we have been there and done it before them."
Hannah continues: "We are thrilled to welcome Dawn as our first franchisee and we are very much looking forward to helping her to develop her business over the coming years. Whilst Dawn has many years of care experience this is by no means a requirement for our franchisees as part of the Radfield Home Care Franchise package is complete training and support. This provides all the knowledge needed across a wide variety of topics such as business management, HR, CQC and the legal framework, developing routes to business, marketing and so much more.
Franchisee, Kiain McKean is Director of Radfield Home Care Herefordshire & South Shropshire. He has dedicated his working life to the UK care sector for no less than 26 years, starting his career in care at the age of just 16, where he had a part-time job as a home carer, whilst studying at college full-time completing a social care course.
Due to Kiain’s Grandmother receiving poor quality care in her own home he wanted to have his own business to showcase a high quality care service he knew was possible, enabling people to be treated in the way in which he had hoped for his Grandmother.
It is his belief and passion that we should treat and look after those we care for, in the same way that we wish to be looked after ourselves.
We recently spoke to him to find out more about why he decided to invest in a Radfield Home Care franchise:
What is your background?
“I have worked in the care sector for the past 26 years. I started my career in care at the age of 16 when I had a part time job as a domiciliary carer that I fitted around my college course in health and social care. Over the years I have worked in many different care settings and have supported a variety of different client groups and have completed qualifications in care management.”
What has inspired you to start a home care business?
“For many years I have thought about having my own care agency. After my grandmother's passing, this became more important to me and was something that I wanted to do in her honour and to ensure that other families did not have to experience the issues we did as a family - my grandmother received poor quality care in her own home. I wanted to have my own business to deliver a high quality care service to those living in their own homes and to treat my clients in the way in which we have hoped for our grandmother. It is my belief and my passion that we should treat and look after those we care for in the same way that we wish to be looked after ourselves.”
What were the key decisions you had to make?
“I had come to the conclusion that I had reached the point in my life where I didn't feel I could work for someone else and didn't feel that I wanted to be managed any more. I have always given 110% to my work and I feel that it is now time for me and my family to benefit from this.”
Why the franchising route?
“I did a lot of research into new businesses and their success rates, most new businesses fail within the first 12 months, however those setting up a business that is part of a franchise have a much greater success rate. With this in mind I then started to explore and look into franchise opportunities.”
Why did you choose Radfield Home Care?
“After meeting Trudie and Hannah at the Franchise Exhibition at the NEC and talking to them both about Radfield and hearing about the company's core values - I started to become rather excited at the prospect. Radfield Home Care's core values mean a lot to me and are something that I am very passionate about - We are family, We are proud to care and We are on your side. To me these values are so important in making people feel valued, not only to our staff and the clients we support but also for me as a franchisee. I felt straight away that Radfield Home Care was the right franchise for me.”
What has your franchise journey been like so far?
“I have been delighted with the support that I have received from the franchise team and the training has been excellent and thoroughly enjoyable. I have been busy marketing my care services in Ledbury, Herefordshire and surrounding areas and recruiting my care team.”
What does the future hold for your business?
“I will be working closely with the franchise team to support me as I develop and grow my business and review my business plan regularly to decide when the time is right to expand my care services into different parts of my territory. I am driven to build a home care business that is an integral part of my local community that people can truly depend on.”
Franchisees and cousins, Jennie Bardrick & Lisa Cable opened Radfield Home Care Havering & Brentwood in June 2017 and have already won the prestigious Judge's Award at the Thames Gateway Business Awards 2017.
They recently spoke to us regarding their new venture, and fantastic early success. “We have both experienced fantastic careers in the corporate world. However, we were looking to set up something of our own, that would make the best use of our experience, yet bring something special to the community.
We both love meeting people and helping others, and for the last few years we have been seeking out the right opportunity to start something new, which was aligned with our values.”
“We attended the BFA Franchise Exhibition and met Alex, Hannah and the Radfield franchise team. The clear focus on the quality of care being provided by Radfield was key to attracting us to the opportunity, along with the obvious passion we felt from the team. Throughout our franchise journey our initial views have been constantly reinforced. Radfield has a clear view of what it wants to achieve which is supported by strong leadership.”
Why a franchise model?
“A franchise model removes the unknown. With the added value of working with an experienced franchisor there’s a greater likelihood of business success. The Radfield Home Care franchise package gives us an incredible start with a powerful brand, fantastic website and first class training.”
Why Radfield Home Care?
“We felt our values were closely aligned with Radfield’s. We have a passion for helping others and want to inspire independence and positivity to this generation. In particular, the Radfield core value ‘We Are a Family’ resonated with us because we are cousins and have always been part of a large family. Our ambition is to ensure that our clients and carers all feel part of this happy family.
It’s been an exciting journey so far, soon after we completed the Radfield leadership training programme covering marketing, recruitment, systems and the brand, we secured our office in Hornchurch and recruited our first member of staff.
In July, we gained our CQC registration and by early August we were seeing a fast growth in new clients, supported by an expanding care team.”
The right marketing strategy is key to franchise growth
“Where we have needed the support the most is with developing our marketing strategy. Although we have business backgrounds, it is always tricky to know the right approach to use at a local level to target the audience in the right way. Radfield has delivered unique marketing campaigns, training and support, plus we have worked with the franchise team to develop press releases, marketing and event plans, and social media campaigns.”
“We have some big ambitions. First and foremost, we want to continue to grow our client base, and build a care team delivering the highest quality home care.
Over time, we would like to set up a second office in the Brentwood area, spreading our service to a wider local community. Then over the next couple of years we would look to expand further across Essex to be able to help more people.
The future is looking very exciting indeed!”
Ex-Occupational Therapist Filling the Gap in his Local Community's Home Care Services
With a lifelong career in the healthcare sector, Occupational Therapist, Matthew Nutting was becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of high quality, care at home services for older residents throughout his local community in rural North Yorkshire. This was until he realised he had identified a huge, profitable and rewarding gap in the local marketplace and he seemed to be the only one prepared to do anything about it.
“My wife is a Registered Nurse and I am a Registered Occupational Therapist. Both of us had seen how home care can been done well, but also how it can be done badly. Our professional understanding and local knowledge helped us see there was a huge gap in the market for people wanting to pay for a premium service in Harrogate and its rural surroundings, so I decided to take the jump and began researching setting up my own business”, Matthew explained.
“I tried to speak with multiple home care franchises, yet Radfield Home Care was the only company that took an interest in me. Other companies simply weren’t available to speak to or said they will call me back, but never did; they only seemed to be bothered in how big my bank account was! When I spoke to Radfield though, we had a great discussion about the home care sector, as well as my experience and skills. As a result, we immediately had an interest in one another, and throughout the whole process it was clear that providing a quality service was at the top of Radfield’s agenda. They supported me with developing different plans and were always there at the end of the phone; honest, up front and caring.”
During Matthew’s due diligence, he identified recruitment could be a challenge in his territory, with Harrogate suffering from an early, pre-Brexit exodus of his potential workforce. However, even despite this, Matthew has had little trouble with his recruitment and is overrun with so many enquiries, he proclaims: “Recruitment has been nowhere near as hard as we anticipated. We thought it would be the hardest thing for us, but it has actually been quite easy. We’ve had to slow down the recruitment activity as they have been coming through far too fast. To date, we have not had to spend a penny on recruitment or client attraction - it has all come from my connections in the industry, word of mouth and organic Facebook promotion. Almost the entire team we have in the office and out in the field I have worked with before, is a previous connection or has been recommended from an ex-colleague of mine.”
Although his connections have played a huge role in his early success, Matthew is happy to use his years of hands-on experience, lead by example and support his care team when they need assistance too: “I started out as a carer when I was 18 or 19 and the staff know and appreciate that. When I visit a client alongside one of the care team, they are often amazed to see me pull on gloves and get involved - but as a result they know I will do what they do, and would never expect them to do something I wouldn’t. I will be on the floor working with them and I know what they are going through. I often get told by staff that they have never seen a company director do personal care before. Coming from within the industry, this is natural to me though and it is these little things that really make a difference. By supporting and working alongside the care team, they feel valued and that helps with word-of-mouth, referrals and retention.”
Matthew’s reputation, connections and knowledge has also secured him many of his clients to date, as they are hearing great things about Matthew and his team from other local healthcare professionals: “Clients like that we meet with them face-to-face when they first get in touch, they like my background in Occupational Therapy and District Nursing, they like that they have been recommended by MacMillan, district nurses, the palliative team, discharge services or the Alzheimer’s Society. My experience also means I can advise clients how to navigate through complex healthcare systems. They find this such a great help, but it also reassures them about the service we provide. As a result of this, we have had clients wait weeks for our services instead of going to other providers in the area. We are finding client attraction through word of mouth is one of our main avenues as clients trust the people and organisations that are recommending us. I still can’t believe the amount of work that is coming though. I have had five calls just today from new clients!”
Although Matthew has been able to use his healthcare background to great effect, he is already making sure he is utilising the franchise support team to help lay the foundation to sustain this growth, particularly in areas of the business he is not so experienced in: “The support provided by Radfield is fantastic. Our Franchise Support Manager, Vikki is invaluable. There are not enough superlatives to describe her, she is always at the end of the phone and coming to visit us in our office to support, guide and cheer us on. The whole team is the same though, they all have so much experience and help you overcome any hiccups you may face. Before joining, we never doubted the support they said they would offer, but it has without a doubt surpassed our expectations! For some things I have not needed much guidance because of my background, but I’ve needed the support team much more when it comes to running and developing a business. Despite being a healthcare franchise, Radfield is excellent at providing supporting in all areas - governance and compliance, as well as business and marketing etcetera.”
Having always worked within the NHS, Matthew had never experienced being his own boss and it was also one of his biggest concerns when considering setting up his own home care business. However, he now thinks it is one of the most rewarding things he has ever done: “The worry for me was I would be on my own, but the support I have received from the National Office is fantastic, and it comes from honest, upfront and easy going people that are easy to talk to and there to help you out. No egos or hierarchy, it is about helping you succeed.
“Another challenge is balancing the demand with making sure we provide a good quality service. Obviously, you don’t want to turn down work but you don’t want to take it on and do it badly. Having courage to say no when you can’t do it is a challenge I had to come to terms with as I didn’t expect it to happen. There are a lot of proud moments to choose from too. Receiving our CQC registration, then taking on our first client and our first member of staff was a really exciting week as we got to see all of our hard work come to fruition. Getting nominated for an award and receiving fantastic feedback from happy clients and staff members makes me proud every single day.”
With early targets well and truly being annihilated and breakeven on the horizon months ahead of schedule, Matthew has his sights on expansion throughout Yorkshire over the next few years to develop a stronghold in the region: “Five years down the line it would be fantastic to have three territories with a management team in each and an area manager overseeing it. This would free me up to look at working with local trusts and social services to see how we can support them better and improve the home care provision throughout the region. It would also be great to work with Radfield to expand national services. That is all in the future though, and right now I can just say that other than getting married and having kids, Radfield is the best thing I have ever done!”
From Finance to Home Care Inspired by his Parents' Poor Care Experience
After 15 years working within the finance department at petrochemicals bluechip, Shell, Dave Bellis found himself facing redundancy in 2016. With a lifetime of working for other people in various finance roles, he decided his redundancy presented him with the perfect opportunity to start his own accountancy-based business. However, after a busy day meeting with multiple finance franchises at the National Franchise Exhibition in 2017, Dave wandered past Radfield Home Care and, with personal experience of the industry, stopped for a chat.
“I had a lot of notice about my impending redundancy at Shell, so I began looking at what I wanted to do. I went to the franchise exhibition in February 2017 looking at financial franchises, but I spent my last ten minutes chatting with Radfield’s Digital Marketing Manager, Phil.
“My parents have been in care for a number of years, so I have been heavily involved with sourcing home care providers and had a reasonable understanding of how the industry operated. As a family, we have always liked to give back too; my father was a doctor, my mother was a nurse and my brother is a dentist - so healthcare has always run through my family. I think after meeting Radfield at the show, their family values came through and something just really seemed to fit. As a result, I ended up making my mind up on the motorway back home...Radfield Home Care was the franchise for me.”
Over the following months, Dave researched the local healthcare marketplace in his home region of North Liverpool and began his journey with Radfield Home Care, officially launching his new Radfield Home Care Liverpool North business in January 2018.
His dynamic mix of professional finance and business experience, twinned with personal experience of the care sector has enabled him to relate with the characteristics of a well-led, high-quality, home care service, whilst successfully managing the day-to-day running of the business.
“Being an accountant helps me keep an eye on the figures and keep organised. Whilst I am sure more of a professional healthcare background wouldn’t do any harm, sometimes it is good to have a different viewpoint on things and do things differently in a way which you may not have thought of if you came from the sector.
“It is an interesting one though, as ultimately you choose to launch your own business to make a healthy living, but in this sector it is a two-way ship of success. If you are a business person, you will have a great understanding of business finances and management, but you have to go into this knowing it is more than just a business. The most important thing in this sector is providing great care to all our clients.”
Thankfully, this is where Radfield Home Care’s franchise team can step in to help support its franchise partners no matter their background - and it is something that Dave has found invaluable throughout his journey to date.
“The support structure has most certainly helped me. I was one of Radfield’s first franchise partners, so I have watched the support network grow. From day one though, I had the support and hand-holding to help me grow through my first months of trading, and I have my dedicated Franchise Support Manager who is continuing to support me to grow and overcome challenges that any new business will face - from a healthcare, HR and business management perspective.
“I have been very, very happy with the support I have received; there is always someone at the end of the telephone and they are not afraid to get their hands dirty and support me with running the business. I owe everything to Radfield for this opportunity. I could not have started this on my own...well, I could have done, but I would have failed.”
Like any sector, healthcare has its challenges, and recruitment is one of them. However, having a high focus on providing the highest quality service to his clients, it has not been a shortfall of applications that has been the challenge for Dave, but rather carefully handpicking the right staff that reflect Radfield’s ethos. Although this has meant the shortlist of potential staff has reduced, Dave is now starting to see the benefits of his focus on recruiting a high calibre care team - from home care assistants in the field, to his Registered Care Manager in the office.
“Recruitment in itself had not been our main challenge, but getting the right staff has been tricky at times. However, we now have a team of staff with a good pipeline of new team members coming through. Having a good retention and reward system has helped us retain our best staff too, which makes it easier to plan and reduces training costs.
“The same applies to Registered Care Manager. My Franchise Support Manager helped me headhunt her, but taking the decision to invest in recruiting a Registered Care Manager of Carolyne’s calibre has been one of the best moments so far. Knowing I have somebody with a proven track record, I am comfortable in the knowledge she will do a great job and is taking the business forward is a huge relief. Her knowledge in the space challenges me and makes me think about things in a different way. She has helped push my business to the next level. If I had to give someone new to the sector one piece of advice, it would be to recruit the best care manager you possibly can as a number one priority. Don’t save on that at all, pay top dollar and get the best.”
Now Dave has developed a strong and growing care team, he is in a sustainable position to support his existing client base, but also have one eye on the future. He has plans to expand to every corner of his existing territory, but will not lose sight of the clients at the centre of his business, and wants to be known as the highest quality home care service in the North Liverpool region.
“Over the next 12 months, we will be working with our Franchise Support Manager to augment our growth strategy. By implementing this strategy, going above and beyond for our clients and working as a team with good communication, I would like to grow the business to be the best home care service in our area. If we achieve that, the business will be really successful.
“I think that is one of the joys of working for yourself. Every day there is an open sheet of paper in the morning and everything to go at to take your business and destiny where you want it to be. I love it, no two days are the same. Don’t get me wrong, you have to work hard, but because you enjoy it, it doesn't feel like work. The main thing to me that makes this enjoyable is I make a difference to the clients we care for and the staff we provide a career and future for. It helps me sleep well at night knowing I am giving something back.”