At-home care provider, Visiting Angels celebrated a momentous milestone this week as its first franchised office reached a £1million turnover, almost two years to the day since signing its first client. The brand’s Sheffield-based franchise is now providing close to 1000 hours of care per week to local residents and employs a team of 70 careworkers and office staff.
“When we started, we projected a million-pound turnover in year three… and here we are,” said Managing Director, Dan Archer. “From signing our first client at the end of January 2018 to breaking the million-pound mark this week. It just goes to show that despite economic uncertainty, it is possible to grow a substantial, profitable business in the care sector if you have the staff. It also goes to show that our carer-centric approach – putting staff at the heart of the business – is the right thing to do. All of our evidence points to the fact that by having available staff when others in the area are struggling, we have been able to fulfil contracts and grow when others have not – it’s a victory for being carer-centric.”
Upon launch in the UK, Visiting Angels was the nation’s first carer-centric franchise opportunity. The approach includes offering care workers a minimum £10ph wage with guaranteed annual increases, a generous mileage allowance, regular car servicing and valeting, a mobile phone and much more. Regular team meetings and social events help to ensure everyone feels valued. The core belief being that ‘a happy carer, is a good carer’. Established in the US in 1998, Visiting Angels is now one of America’s largest care franchises, with over 600 franchisees operating in five countries. As well as its commitment to being carer-centric, the UK concept focuses on providing care to private pay clients, rather than relying on local council contacts.
“It was an incredibly proud moment to be able to share this milestone with our network of franchisees – some of whom are just getting started,” said Dan.
“This is amazing, not just for the Sheffield office, but for the whole brand,” said Hammad Cheema, franchisee for West London. Hammad launched his franchise in the new year, having been attracted by the brand’s commitment to its care workers. “My wife and I already have a children’s care franchise and know only too well that good candidates are hard to come by so, [when looking for a new opportunity,] it was important to find something with a focus on attracting and retaining the best people. Visiting Angels was the perfect fit. This million-pound landmark certainly gives me a target to aim for – and believe me, I’ll be looking to beat it!”
“It’s fantastic news and a huge achievement in little over two years,” said Hammad’s fellow franchisee, Gareth Redmayne, who launched his South Hertfordshire business in September 2019. “I met with a few of my caregivers this week and they all say they love working for Visiting Angels; the carer centric approach truly works – I’ve not had a single resignation in six months which, in the care sector, is almost unheard of!”
It’s been a whirlwind of celebrations for the Sheffield franchise. Within a year of launching, Dan and his team were awarded ‘Best International Franchise’ at Visiting Angels’ annual conference in Philadelphia, cited as the fastest growing office in the brand’s history. Here in the UK, alongside its impressive financial performance, Visiting Angels Sheffield has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Great British Care Awards for the last two years; in recognition for both its’ exceptional approach to its care workers and its management team.