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So far Dan Archer has created 10 blog entries.

What the pandemic has done for in-home care

2021-03-29T11:43:32+01:00

What the pandemic has done for in-home care

A year on – and what have we learnt? Whilst the battle is still ongoing, the care industry continues to march up to the battle lines and help pave the way for the future. NHS workers have been clapped for, experts have been thanked for creating world-beating vaccines and care staff up and down the country have been praised for their commitment to the cause. Perhaps the best part of all, though, is that whilst the virus forced us to be apart, the industry has never been closer. We’re all involved with the same fight, a fight that will determine our future. As the future approaches at an accelerating speed, however, it’s clear that there’s still a way to go before we return to normal. To recognise how far things have come along, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the last 12 months for the in-home care sector.

So, how does it look when held against 2019? Of course, we’ve seen the introduction of face masks, washing our hands more regularly and social distancing, but, for us, it’s much more than that. Whereas on the surface, it might appear to have needed an altered approach, for Visiting Angels it’s probably emphasised many of our key values and promises that we offer to families and their loved ones. Here are just a few elements of the franchise model that have helped with keeping care moving forward.

Education is still key with our prospective clients and the people who first approach us about care for their loved one. Our franchisees spend time explaining that they have the right to choose their carer and people are surprised by that. They expect carers to be stretched at the moment and certainly we’re in high demand, but our Choose Your Caregiver initiative remains a key part of what we deliver. So whether our clients have daily essential visits or are using us simply for companionship, they are delighted to choose their carer based on a personality and interest match.

The education theme naturally then runs through into the client’s understanding of COVID-safe processes and the measures Visiting Angels take versus the standard measures they might see on the television. The Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, Care Quality Commission and the Association of Directors of Public Health expect care staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 to complete 10 days of self-isolation before returning to work. Our carers at must also return a negative test before they can return to work. It seemed like the only logical and responsible process to undertake to ensure the safety of our staff and clients.

Our ethos at Visiting Angels is ‘carer-centric’. Whilst the general public have been commending carers across the UK, our focus is still on putting procedures in place to ensure their safety. After all, they are the ones on the frontline, delivering our service and proudly representing the Visiting Angels name. We’ve provided access to ample PPE, a decision that I took on as franchisor rather than relying on the government’s supply chain. We’ve also given them relevant training for the situation and adjusted schedules to allow for more time to prepare between client visits. We created the safest environment to give them the best opportunity to carry on doing what they do best.

For that very reason, we have ensured all franchisees and caregivers receive their vaccinations as soon as possible. If they haven’t had their vaccines just yet, both are being tested twice a week to minimise the risk and prepare for any illness. The situation is extremely demanding and we need caregivers on the ground, but we also have a duty to ensure necessary precautions are being taken to help them do their job properly. In fact, in early February when a survey by the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) revealed the national average for in-home carer vaccination was at 32%, we had vaccinated 98% of our care staff.

As care stays front of mind for many people, that same feeling is echoed by savvy entrepreneurs as they recognise the potential in a care business. Whilst in 2020 we doubled the size of our franchisee network, this year is promising to be a successful one too. We’ve welcomed three new offices in 2021, all ready to embark on making an impact in their local community. Our March training class will also include our new Franchise Manager, Bella Hallam, who will deliver ongoing support to our franchisees in the south of the UK.

Whilst a lot has changed in the past 12 months, the resilience of the sector has really shone through. There is true strength within the in-home care world, and it’s reassuring to know I’m exactly where I should be – with a team of franchisees and carers who feel the same sense of belonging.

Dan Archer is the UK Managing Director of Visiting Angels. Established in 1998 in the US, the brand has over 600 franchisees operating in five countries. Visiting Angels’ mission is to become the UK care sector’s employer of choice by 2022, and, to achieve this, the brand has positioned itself in the UK as being ‘carer-centric’. Launched in Sheffield in 2017, the first UK franchise was recognised as Best International Franchise at the brand’s annual conference in recognition of both its exceptional approach to its care workers and its management team, reaching a million-pound turnover in year two.

What the pandemic has done for in-home care2021-03-29T11:43:32+01:00

2020: The year carers were recognised as frontline workers

2021-03-26T09:46:45+00:00

2020: The Year Carers Were Recognised as Frontline Workers

When the pandemic plunged the entire global population into lockdown, those within healthcare marched up to the front line to be part of the movement to see the world through the other side. Now, as a new year is underway, the industry is poised and ready to face the next phase of the pandemic. Dan Archer, managing director of in-home care provider Visiting Angels, is more than ready – welcoming 2021 with an eager class of franchisees preparing to launch and offer much-needed support in their communities.

It’s safe to say that the care industry has been placed under the microscope, facing intense strain for the whole of 2020. Ever since the word ‘pandemic’ was muttered almost a year ago, it sent shockwaves through the entire workforce, urging organisations across the world to prepare for an intense period of extended service delivery. In fact, we had no option but to step up to the plate and what makes me most proud is how determined our carers were to be the names and faces associated with the new wave of frontline staff.

In May, the first franchisee training class of the year took place, with four franchisees ready to start their dream business. The addition of these immediately doubled the Visiting Angels network in the UK and demonstrated how the rest of the year was going to unfold – it was clear that our franchisees and their teams wanted to take action, offering a solution to many isolated people needing support in their communities. Ranging from Yorkshire to Surrey and Cambridgeshire to Staffordshire, we have personally experienced the incredible demand for quality care services since then, supporting loved ones in the comfort of their own homes after being forced to shield from family and friends. In just over six months, our success is evident, not only in the growth of every Visiting Angels’ business but in the fantastic responses we get from our clients and their families.

As 2020 rolled by, we continued to receive expressions of interest for the Visiting Angels franchise from people who recognised the need for quality care provision in their areas. In November, we trained two more franchisees and, fairly soon after that, awarded franchise territories to several more. This cohort will be completing their initial franchisee training this month. Maybe it’s the ‘new year, new me’ mentality, or simply spotting the opportunity within a lucrative industry? Whatever their reasons, I’d say, although I fear I’m biased, it’s one of the best decisions they’ll ever make.

With the increase of attention on care professionals, we were presented several opportunities to join a far bigger discussion on issues and challenges that the entire industry was facing. In December, a report on the government’s acquisition of PPE for the health and social care sector highlighted an overspend of more than £10bn due in part to the slow reaction to source adequate equipment at a reasonable rate. I picked up the phone to the BBC reporter and proceeded to tell her my side of the story, how I sourced PPE myself for the benefit of the entire UK Visiting Angels network. This resulted in an interview with the BBC, which featured on both BBC Breakfast and the BBC Evening News programmes, alongside broadcasting to 15m people on BBC Radio 2. Getting our voice heard is important to not just me and my network but for the industry as a whole, as we all charge towards the common goal of better-quality care.

What 2021 has in store for care franchises

Now on to the real concern as we near a solution to the pandemic which has gripped us for so long. As the clock struck midnight on December 31st, it brought with it the moment we’ve been waiting on for over four years – an exit from the EU. In particular, many other care providers will face staffing issues caused by their dependence on workers from the EU. The shortage of care staff worsened after 2016’s Brexit vote and has continued to do so as European care workers stopped coming to the UK. They were left feeling both unwelcome due to public rhetoric and uncertain about the right to work and remain in the UK with no solid guidance from the government.

At Visiting Angels, it’s business as usual. We don’t source our care workers from outside the UK and, in fact, many of our carers support clients within the communities they have lived in themselves for years. Visiting Angels launched in the UK after the Brexit vote and thanks to our carer-centric approach, I knew this was one hurdle we wouldn’t need to be jumping. Our franchisees know that the way we employ, support and care for our staff make them the employer of choice.

So, what will 2021 hold for us in the care industry and Visiting Angels specifically? We have a chance to reflect on the challenges of managing an unprecedented rise in market need and learn how this can be harnessed for growth in less stressed markets. I, for one, have been reminded that our care provision is so much more than a service – it’s a lifeline and our carers should continue to be applauded.

Dan Archer is the UK Managing Director of Visiting Angels. Established in 1998 in the US, the brand has over 600 franchisees operating in five countries. Visiting Angels’ mission is to become the UK care sector’s employer of choice by 2022 and, to achieve this, the brand has positioned itself in the UK as being ‘carer-centric’. Launched in Sheffield in 2017, the first UK franchise was recognised as Best International Franchise at the brand’s annual conference in recognition for both its exceptional approach to its care workers and its management team, reaching a million-pound turnover in year two.

2020: The year carers were recognised as frontline workers2021-03-26T09:46:45+00:00

Visiting Angels franchisee smashes care hours milestone

2022-01-31T12:37:52+00:00

Visiting Angels franchisee smashes care hours milestone

Within six months of launching her in-home care franchise in North Surrey, Lynn James has smashed through her first target of the number of care hours delivered. In July, she set herself a goal of 500 hours for the first year – she’s completed it in half the time. Despite launching her business during a pandemic and the worst economic crisis the world has seen in over a decade, she’s shown true perseverance to get the results.

“I suspect a lot of people thought I was mad to launch a care business in the middle of a pandemic,” said Lynn. “The reality of it is that it just highlighted the important role that caregivers play in communities across the UK. To reach this milestone makes me extremely proud, but it’s even better knowing that I did it even quicker than I imagined. It goes to show that our carer-centric approach works.”

The passion for care was evident right from Lynn’s youth. After spending many years in nursing, she secured a job with the Alzheimer’s Society, responsible for directly supporting families affected by dementia and developing support services to make an impact. It was in this role that Lynn came into her own and, after 15 years, she was ready for a change, becoming an Activities Coordinator at another care franchise, Home Care Instead.

“I’d experienced all aspects of care in my career, spotting opportunities as I progressed. My experience at Home Instead was a common one, similar to most care providers – battling with issues such as underpaid and underappreciated caregivers, rushed client visits and a stretched workforce. That’s when I came across Visiting Angels, which offered an entirely different and refreshing approach.

“I learned all about the world of franchising when I was at Home Instead. I saw how well it worked, recognised the support on offer and understood the benefits of investing in a much larger brand. Everything was pointing towards Visiting Angels for me to spread my wings. Not only would joining a franchise give me the best foundations to build upon, but I would also have an existing network to look to for guidance, advice and support throughout the life of my business. The difference with Visiting Angels was that they put carers at the heart of everything they do, resulting in fewer challenges with staff turnover than the industry norm and satisfied clients welcoming familiar faces delivering their care needs.”

Six months later, Lynn has indeed spread her wings. With her team of 15 carers, Visiting Angels North Surrey is providing their unique care service to clients across the territory. Another goal she put in place for the first year was to offer 25 recruitment opportunities to local residents – with her loyal team of carers and two members of office staff, there is no doubt that this target will be smashed too.

“The future of the business is looking extremely positive. It sounds corny, but I’m constantly looking forward to meeting the next client and providing them and their loved ones the support I know will make such a difference to their lives. That’s what really puts a smile on my face.”

Dan Archer, Managing Director for Visiting Angels, is proud of Lynn’s success in the face of such a challenging landscape. With his office in Sheffield celebrating their own successes during 2020, delivering over 1,750 care hours a week, he’s confident that Lynn will be nipping at his heels very soon.

“I’m extremely proud of how far Lynn has come,” said Dan. “She’s proven to be a very focused and determined care professional. She’s a champion of our carer-centric approach, taking every single opportunity in her stride and really embodying the Visiting Angels culture. I’m excited about what’s in store for her in 2021!”

For more information on Visiting Angels and building a business with significant impact, explore our website!

Visiting Angels franchisee smashes care hours milestone2022-01-31T12:37:52+00:00

3 reasons to consider a private duty care franchise

2021-04-08T11:24:04+01:00

3 reasons to consider a private duty care franchise?

The adult social care sector continues to grow exponentially due to the changing demographics of the UK. We are an aging population and our over 65’s are increasingly wealthy. Increased life expectancy, better living conditions and pharmaceutical advancements mean people are living far longer than they used to. Whilst increased life expectancy is to be celebrated, old age brings with it a plethora of complications to health and wellbeing. Retirement ages continue to creep up, meaning sons and daughters – still working – can’t offer the same level of support to aging parents that they once did. Families now tend to live further apart, and the needs of aging loved ones become increasingly complicated. Calling on the services of a care company is no longer a last resort, it’s a necessity.

The funding of care through the local authority is a problem area and many families are recognizing the problems that come from this sort of care. They are voting with their feet and deciding that if they want better care for their mum or dad that they are going to have a pay a little towards the cost of their care. Private duty care is the only real opportunity for growth in the sector.

Reason 1:
Private client only care providers, such as Visiting Angels are not dependent on the funding from local authorities which has been squeezed by austerity. By focusing on private client work Visiting Angels Franchisees can charge more for their service.

Reason 2:
Visiting Angels is able to afford to make caregivers the most important people in the business. The higher prices charged for their service provide the resources to look after carers. Better caregiver pay, conditions and rewards for loyalty build stability and deliver better consistency and continuity of care. This model also encourages new carers into the industry, carers who are not prepared to work in a traditional care business.

Reason 3:
The market for private duty care is far less competitive. Visiting Angels is already one of the world’s largest care franchises with over 600 franchisees in 5 countries. In the UK the majority of care providers have built their business around local authority funded care with a model that pays carers poorly. Very few care providers focus on the private pay market place and even fewer have the marketing knowledge to attract private paying clients. Visiting Angels has 20 years experience in the private duty care market.

If you want to run a business where you can make a profit and also make a difference. If you want to change the way care businesses are run by building a business which makes carers the most important people in the company. If you have £25-30k in liquid capital to invest in a business with the potential for a million pound plus turnover by the end of year three. Request more information and tell us what makes you different as a franchisee.

3 reasons to consider a private duty care franchise2021-04-08T11:24:04+01:00

Choosing a care franchise fit for tomorrow

2021-04-08T11:02:38+01:00

Choosing a care franchise fit for tomorrow

The pandemic forced the whole care industry to be placed under the microscope, with businesses facing even more scrutiny. True to form, care businesses across the UK have assumed their responsibilities and showcased how resilient they can be when coming face-to-face with hardship. When it comes to prospects looking for the right franchise opportunity to invest in, however, the variety of care franchises makes their decision a little bit more difficult.

Dan Archer, Managing Director of in-home care franchise, Visiting Angels, is proud to see his team on the frontline tackling the issues of the pandemic. Despite the uncertainty, their UK network has expanded, demonstrating the appeal of launching a franchise in the care sector right now and fulfilling the demand for care. Nonetheless, Dan is aware of the multiple franchise opportunities on offer to prospective franchisees and highlights here how you should look past the surface of marketing messages to find your right fit.

“There are many different care franchises available at the moment, all doing great things to support clients and franchisees. When prospective franchisees are searching for the right fit for them, there might not initially be any obvious differentiation between them. It’s important to delve a little deeper to find out whether they live up to your expectations – really investigate whether the franchise is not fit just for today, but tomorrow too.”

Here are Dan’s main points to consider when searching for the perfect care franchise opportunity for you:

  • Does it meet current challenges in the market? Before the pandemic came along, Brexit was the topic of conversation – does the franchisor consider what impact the looming switch over has on their business? Care franchises are usually quite resilient (in some cases both recession and pandemic-proof) due to the demand in their services, so take a look at how they’ve been maximising the opportunities based on current affairs to help make your decision. For instance, recruiting caregivers is the most challenging part of any care business. How is the franchisor providing a solution to the problem, giving franchisees the resources, training and procedures to overcome a reduction in carers available from the EU?
  • Are they well-informed? Most businesses will be informed about what matters the most within the care sector, but do they have expertise in other areas of business to ensure they stay ahead of the curve? A care brand must position themselves as knowledgeable in all the essentials – consider how you can utilise that to work in your favour by leveraging this knowledge to your own advantage.
    At Visiting Angels, we used our international buying power to source PPE from worldwide suppliers. We pre-empted the surge of purchases in face masks, hand sanitiser and the like to bring supplies in earlier and ensure our service could continue without interruption when the inevitable happened with COVID-19.
  • Do they have quick strategic responses? Use the COVID-19 pandemic as a prime example to see how quickly the network reacts to challenges and provides solutions for the benefit of both franchisees and clients. Not only will this further demonstrate the resilience of the model, making it worthy of your investment, but it’ll give you a great indication of what you’ll experience as a franchisee when anything untoward arises in the local or global economy. 95% of care providers operate in a similar way. The Visiting Angels franchise model was built to withstand the challenges put upon our caregivers. We employ a large proportion of our caregivers who wish to work on a part-time basis but have an availability to extend their hours when needed, giving us a buffer for any eventuality where some are not able to fulfil their duties. If a care franchise is employing full-time carers only and 25% of their staff go off sick, that’s 25% of your workforce down without any other trained staff available to cover immediately. Little strategies like this will make the difference between reacting with ease to a shortfall in manpower and struggling to adapt.

Dan added: “My advice to people looking to invest in a care franchise would be to become even more scrupulous with your due diligence. There are plenty of established care companies in the market with proven models from 15-20 years ago. Whilst that’s all great on paper, the world is changing at a rapid rate and the franchisor should be reflecting that in their adaptations of the model. Ask yourself: are they fit for purpose today, tomorrow and the future?”

To find out more about the Visiting Angels franchise opportunity, browse our website.

Choosing a care franchise fit for tomorrow2021-04-08T11:02:38+01:00

Why now is a good time to launch a care franchise

2021-04-08T11:17:23+01:00

Why now is a good time to launch a care franchise

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the UK, the focus on the efforts of those in the care sector has never been more in the spotlight. In the franchise industry, franchisors in the care sector have their fingers on the pulse, ready to react accordingly for the benefit of their franchisees and customers. If the last six months have taught us anything, it’s that choosing a franchise in the care sector is always a good investment. Here are my top 5 reasons why…

1. Demand
Even without the pandemic, the demand for care is rapidly increasing. A survey from ONS1 revealed that by 2050, one-in-four people in the UK will be aged 65 years and over. With Baby Boomers approaching their 60s and 70, we’ll see within the next few years, a spike in the ageing population and an increased burden on the healthcare industry. Add the pandemic into the mix and you have a heightened need for quality care in the home. As the elderly population is considered at higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, family members are realising that additional help is needed to care for their loved ones. And in the current landscape, the NHS are looking to support people out of hospitals and into their homes as soon as it is safe to do so.

Many businesses have claimed to be recession-proof. The reality of the past six months shows how true those claims really are. Those in the care industry who can demonstrate quality practises have made a significant impact on their local communities and with new franchisees launching in areas of need being welcomed.

2. Recruitment Opportunity
With many people losing jobs and looking for a way to take control of their career, joining a sector with a strong demand for its services will be very appealing. Launching a care franchise in your community will not only meet the demand for care services but also bring employment to your local area.

Latest figures show that between May and July 2020, redundancies had increased by 58,0002 on the same time the previous year and were up 48,000 on the quarter. Whilst you can offer job security to those willing to follow your quality standards of service, you have the opportunity to build a strong team from a larger-than-usual talent pool.

3. Scalability
Due to the demand in both the service and employment offerings, there’s an opportunity to grow your business at a quicker rate than normal. This can often be a challenging time for new business owners as you cope with a growth curve but you have the additional support of your franchisor to ensure delivery stays consistent as your business scales up.

Some franchise brands will offer the chance to open multiple territories, whilst hiring managers to run each site. Care franchises are no different – although in our case you’ll need a Registered Care Manager to oversee operations and the green light from the Care Quality Commission before you can begin to care for clients. With your right-hand person and a team in place working towards the same goals as you, the growth of your business isn’t a matter of if, but when.

4. Strength in Numbers
Franchising provides the benefit of not going it alone, which is especially comforting in times of crisis. Franchisees can take advantage of the brand’s buying power, the expertise of the franchisor and its recognition on both a national and local scale. Perhaps the best perk though is the existing network of franchisees. Whether it’s an established care franchise with 200 franchisees or an emerging care brand with a smaller network, you’ll have like-minded people ready to offer guidance, advice and support.

Franchising is an immensely supportive sector in its own right. Not only will you be able to tap in to expertise from within your own franchise network but in other franchise brand networks too. Whilst they may not be able to help you with questions surrounding care provision, there’s advice available on finance, sales and marketing, HR and much more.

5. Highly Rewarding
Delivering quality care at any time is highly rewarding. But being able to make a discernible impact during this pandemic has been giving all our team an immense sense of satisfaction at Visiting Angels. When you put your time and resources into setting up a service to deliver valuable and much-needed services to your community, you are making a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society. Of course, you will want to run a profitable business and earning a good living is part of that. But the most fulfilled franchisees I know are those that love what they do. Rewards come in all shapes and sizes, not just pounds and pence.

Two Visiting Angels franchisees agree and share their inspiration behind launching their business during the pandemic:

  • Lynn James and her husband, Chris, launched Visiting Angels North Surrey in July 2020: “I suspect some people thought that Chris and I were mad to launch a care business in the middle of all this. In reality, what this situation has highlighted is the important role that caregivers play in our society. We decided that we are not mad, simply even more driven to provide a care service for people who need it. Overcoming challenges is part and parcel of life in the care world – we’re here and as committed as ever.”
  • Visiting Angels East Staffordshire launched at the beginning of September. Franchisee Andrew Lofts explained: “In this current situation, it’s imperative for us to focus on the health and safety of our caregivers and clients, whilst ensuring that the vital work gets done. Whilst I was searching for my next business venture, I considered the care industry due to the growing demand and the number of people who are crying out for a quality service. Despite the challenges we’ve faced, the rewards have already been outstanding!”

1Overview of the UK population: August 2019.
2Labour market overview, UK: September 2020.

Dan Archer is the UK MD of Visiting Angels. Visiting Angels is one of America’s largest home care franchises. Established in 1998 in the US, the brand has since grown to have over 600 franchisees operating in five countries. Visiting Angels’ mission is to become the UK care sector’s employer of choice by 2022. To achieve this, the brand has positioned itself in the UK as being ‘carer-centric’ – something with Dan says is a first for not only a care franchise, but a care company full stop.

Why now is a good time to launch a care franchise2021-04-08T11:17:23+01:00

Your community needs you! More than ever.

2021-03-26T10:49:45+00:00

Your community needs you! More than ever.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the focus on the efforts of those in the care sector has never been clearer. We speak to Dan Archer about how Visiting Angels and its network of UK franchisees have faced the challenges of 2020.

Established in the US in 1998, Visiting Angels is a global care giant with community-based values. Today, the franchise is one of the largest care franchises in the world and proudly supports 600+ franchisees across five countries.

The business was launched in the UK in 2017 and has experienced phenomenal growth in the UK. Dan explains, “Before launching the franchise I wanted to launch and run a pilot business in the UK. I felt it was important that I was able to support our franchisees from a position of first-hand knowledge. My business in Sheffield is now turning over more than £1.4 million per year and supports 100 families, employing over 70 staff.” The solid foundations of the pilot business have also lead the expansion of a network of franchisees. Dan says, “We have 9 offices across the UK and we had a ‘socially distanced’ training course in May 2020 with 8 new franchisees attending. I am delighted that our model is one of the franchise success stories of the past 12 months.”

Dan feels that the global health crisis has presented opportunities for those in the care sector. He explains, “our business was built on valuing carers better than other care companies. What has happened with the Covid-19 outbreak is that society has also started to realise that carers need to be valued better. The clap for carers initiative is a sign that the rest of the population is catching up with something that we have always believed.”

Visiting Angels call this approach being carer centric. The focus is clear from the mission statement of the UK business to “Become the UK Care Sector’s Employer of Choice by 2022.” Dan explains, “I want our caregivers to want to work in care and to choose to work for a Visiting Angels office.” Many care workers are underpaid and poorly rewarded, but the approach taken by Visiting Angels is different. Dan says, “we want to ensure that our caregivers are amongst the best paid in the care sector. We pay more, we incentivise training and development, we reward loyalty and we offer excellent benefits.” By focusing on their caregiver’s Visiting Angels have found that they are able to ensure that they have a ready supply of caregivers. Dan adds, “we have also found that the culture of caregiver support that we have built in our offices has also protected us from high staff turnover meaning that the clients who we support get the same caregiver each week – happy caregivers are best placed to ensure that clients are delighted.”

Dan feels that society is also changing its view on the type of care provided. He says, “research conducted by Hanbury Strategy, with support from the charity Independent Age during April/May 2020 showed that around a third (31 per cent) of people polled said they were now less likely to want to put their relative in a care home. Residential care has been at the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak. In our pilot business in Sheffield we are receiving calls from relatives who are deciding that they would rather keep their loved ones at home to avoid the risks within care homes. A backlash against residential care was already driving demand for care in the home. If Covid-19 is increasing the feeling that people are safer at home the demand for the Visiting Angels service is set to keep rising. “

With many other businesses struggling to survive the home care sector is proving to be both resilient and essential. Dan continues, “at the start of the lockdown we received a notification from the government that 50% of everyone passing through the hospital system for Covid-19 treatment would need social care support in the community as part of their rehabilitation. In our Sheffield office April was a record month with over £100k of turnover in the month. Since the start of the crisis our business is 20% up on the number of hours of care being delivered. We are supporting our community, doing more, contributing to society and making a difference at the most crucial time in our recent history. I am very proud of everything that our caregivers and our franchisees are doing and we are keen to speak to anyone who is interested in joining our business and making a difference in their community.”

Since launching the UK business in 2017 the Sheffield office has grown to a monthly turnover of over £100k with a regular influx of new clients each month. In addition the franchise opportunity was launched in October 2018 and 8 new franchisees are in the process of launching their businesses this month alone. They are joining a worldwide network of over 600 franchisees and Dan says that the Visiting Angels family provides a huge benefit, “the initial franchisee training is in Philadelphia and I noticed straight away that there was a culture of sharing in the business. The management team are hugely knowledgeable but many of the best practice initiatives in the business have been proven over many years and from the experience of hundreds of franchisees. When we do the second week of training in Sheffield we are providing the knowledge which is specific to running a home care business in the UK.”

The franchise fee is £24995 and franchisees interested in this opportunity will need £25-30k in liquid capital in order to secure bank funding for the total investment including working capital of up to £100k. A substantial, premises based, management franchise the potential exists for a six-figure turnover in year one and a projected million pound plus turnover by the end of year 3.

For more information browse our website or call Dan Archer on 07584 178458.

Your community needs you! More than ever.2021-03-26T10:49:45+00:00

Replicating Success

2021-04-08T11:01:22+01:00

Replicating Success

Franchising is about repeating success by following a proven model. Franchisees with leading home care provider Visiting Angels, will be following in the footsteps of over 600 franchisees in 5 countries around the world.

UK Managing Director Dan Archer explains how his team have added success in the UK to success in the rest of the world. Archer says, “ When I first started talking to Visiting Angels US about bringing the brand to the UK the business was already a very well established home care franchise. I knew that US care brands were really successful at approaching the private pay home care market because that is the industry in the US. I also knew that Visiting Angels had a really good reputation as a care provider who looks after their caregivers. I could see that the growth area in the UK was the private pay home care sector and I also knew, from my work in health and social care, that the biggest challenge that any home care franchise would have is finding and retaining really great carers. I felt that Visiting Angels would be a really good fit for the UK market.”

Dan had been talking to Visiting Angels since spring 2016 about the launch of a new franchise opportunity in the UK. By August 2017 those conversations had resulted in the formation of the first business which started trading in October 2017. Dan explains, “whilst there was a wealth of knowledge in the US business on running a successful home care business, lots of work was needed on the regulatory framework for the UK before we could launch. America is ahead of the UK in the development of private pay home care franchises but the regulation of home care in the UK is far more stringent than the registration process in some US states. The Care Quality Commission which is the care sector regulator does not exist or have an equivalent in America. We needed to build a structure of policies, procedures and compliance for the UK business before we were able to Launch.”

The development work through late 2017 led to Visiting Angels securing registration with the Care Quality Commission in January 2018. The pilot business has had a very successful first year. Dan explains, “I produced a business plan and financial projection for our launch and piloting of the business. I am delighted to say that at every stage of the first year we have been ahead of the projections that we planned. We have more clients than we expected, the business has created more revenue than we planned, and we are also ahead of our profitability target. I have a fantastic team of care industry professionals working with me and our focus on being a carer-centric has meant that we have recruited some amazing caregivers. More importantly the effort that we have put into retaining staff means that our staff turnover rates are half the industry average.”

The start that Visiting Angels has made in the UK was recognized by the US business at the company’s annual conference in Philadelphia in June 2018. Dan and his team were recognized as the best international franchisee because of the way that the launch had gone in the UK.

Dan feels that the important lessons that he has learned in the piloting of the business will be vital in supporting the franchisees who join the network. He says, “I have always believed that it is important that the people supporting franchisees understand what it is like from the franchisee’s perspective. When I started in franchising in the 1990’s I spent time working in the company owned branch of Signs Express. I learnt about the business from the ground up. With Visiting Angels I did the same thing. From day one I have stood in the same place as every subsequent franchisee will stand. My team and I were responsible for, registering with CQC, building the business, recruiting the caregivers, onboarding the clients. I have personally done every job in the business from caregiver to scheduler, recruiter, trainer and care manager.”

Dan has over 20 years in franchising experience and has worked with some of the UK’s biggest franchise groups as well as sitting on the board of directors of the British Franchise Association for 6 years. He feels that the lessons learned from a career supporting franchisees will serve Visiting Angels well. He says, “I know franchising and I really enjoy providing business support to franchisees, with the success that I have had in my office of Visiting Angels I am really looking forward to helping other people to replicate our model. There are huge opportunities in the home care sector for businesses with the right approach and which are run in the right way. Our formula is a winning one and each franchisee who joins our network will contribute to our mission ‘To become the UK Care Sector’s Employer of Choice by 2022’ We can’t do this without the passion and commitment of franchisees who want to change the way care companies are run.”

Visiting Angels is seeking founding franchisees to expand the business nationally. Foundation franchisees will have direct access to both the US support team and Dan and his team in the UK. Dan says, “Home Care is not 9-5 and I know that the franchisees choosing Visiting Angels will need to be able to speak to people whenever the question arises.” Training will be provided in Yorkshire at Visiting Angels UK HQ and in Philadelphia at the US Home Office. The first 10 Founding franchisees will benefit from a reduced franchise fee of £9995 and will need £50-60k in working capital. The founding franchisees will have the greatest choice in respect of territories available and also be in a position to influence the direction of the business as a whole. Visiting Angels is seeking dynamic, driven, caring people who recognize that by being commercially successful they can deliver a positive change for carers, clients and families alike.

For more information call Dan Archer on 0114 433 3000 or 07584 178458.

Replicating Success2021-04-08T11:01:22+01:00

Brexit means Business?

2021-04-08T11:07:31+01:00

Brexit means Business?

Whether you voted to remain in or leave the EU, the country was not anticipating the problems that would be faced in resolving Brexit.

Successful home care franchise Visiting Angels has launched its UK operation in the last three years. They have built a successful pilot business in South Yorkshire and also recruited the first 4 franchisees to join the growing national network. UK Managing Director Dan Archer is very much of the opinion that Brexit can mean Business for the right opportunity with the right approach.

Many would assume with thousands of European citizens working in the care sector that uncertainty over Brexit would be a problem for Dan’s business. He explains that this could not be further from the truth. Dan says, “Many home care providers staff from the European Union. Our business is very different to the majority of home care providers. It is common for home care businesses to complete contracts for local authority care packages where the charge rates are low and as a result the pay rates have to be low. At the minimum wage end of the market caring roles can often be filled by European staff. Our business is a private client home care provider, we charge more and we can afford to pay more. As a result we do not struggle to find care staff because working for Visiting Angels is an attractive alternative to working for many of our competitors. We also find as many as 50% of our caregivers are new to care and wouldn’t consider working for a typical home care provider.”

Dan understands the European staffing business model well having previously run a care provider which recruited in Poland and the old Eastern Block countries. He feels however that the uncertainty over Brexit is putting European workers off from coming to the UK. “Since Brexit there has been a decline in the numbers of people willing to come to the UK to care, some of this is because they do not know whether they will be able to stay and some of it because they feel less welcome than they did. We find though that this makes staffing harder for our competitors which is actually good news for us. In my franchise (which is the pilot) in South Yorkshire we are winning business from other care companies because we have a solution to the staffing problem.”

For Visiting Angels if you are able to say yes to a new care client when your competitors cannot then Brexit can present an opportunity. For this franchise taking an approach which puts the carers at the heart of the business means Brexit hasn’t been a barrier to growth. Dan concludes, “The shortage of people working in other care businesses and the lack of capacity in residential care means that there is unprecedented demand for the Visiting Angels service. We have an aging population and that will be the case no matter what flavor of Brexit we get.

For more information on joining a very different care franchise call 01144333000.

Brexit means Business?2021-04-08T11:07:31+01:00

Why Visiting Angels is a very different care franchise

2021-04-08T11:03:13+01:00

Why Visiting Angels is a very different care franchise

There are a number of home care providers who offer franchise opportunities but the team at Visiting Angels believe that there are several ways in which their approach is different. Established in the US in 1998, Visiting Angels is a global care giant with community-based values. Today, the home care franchise is one of the largest care franchises in America and proudly supports 600+ franchisees across five countries.
The business was launched in the UK in 2017 when experienced franchise and care industry professional Dan Archer spotted a gap in the market for home care. Dan explains, “The US business has a fantastic reputation for being a top employer and I could see that most home care businesses in the UK didn’t value their carers. At the same time everyone in care says that finding carers is the biggest problem that they face. I wanted to make sure that we focused on the caregivers first.”

Visiting Angels call this approach being carer centric. The focus is clear from the mission statement of the UK business to “Become the UK Care Sector’s Employer of Choice by 2022.” Dan explains, “I want our caregivers to want to work in care and to choose to work for a Visiting Angels office.” Many care workers are underpaid and poorly rewarded, but the approach taken by Visiting Angels is different. Dan says, “We want to ensure that our caregivers are amongst the best paid in the care sector. We pay more, we incentivise training and development, we reward loyalty and we offer excellent benefits.” By focusing on their caregiver’s Visiting Angels have found that they are able to ensure that they have a ready supply of caregivers. Dan adds, “It requires the business model to be structured differently, the mission and focus to be clear and the financial model to be different to traditional care franchises – happy caregivers are best placed to ensure that clients are delighted.”

The funding of home care through the local authority is a problem area and many families are recognizing the problems that come from this sort of care. They are voting with their feet and deciding that if they want better care for their mum or dad that they are going to have a pay a little towards the cost of their care. By focusing on private client work Visiting Angels Franchisees can charge more for their service and are able to afford to fund the carer-centric initiatives. Dan says, “I run the original Visiting Angels office in Sheffield and we charge considerably more than the local authority funded care providers but we have had amazing growth because our approach to the recruitment and retention of caregivers means that we can always say yes to a new client. I am really proud that the staff turnover in the Sheffield office is less than 13% compared to the industry average of over 40%. We find lovely caring people and we are very good at hanging on to them. For our clients it means that the same caregiver can come every time.”

There is also another clear benefit of focusing on the private client market. The market for private duty care is far less competitive. Very few care providers focus on the private pay market place and even fewer have the marketing knowledge to attract private paying clients. Visiting Angels has 20 years experience in the private duty care market. Dan explains, “we have found that there are only 1 or 2 serious competitors in each franchise area. The majority of home care providers don’t understand how to build a client base in the private pay market. Our expertise helps our franchisees to put together detailed marketing plans which allow for their growth. Importantly the business model allows for a budget to support the marketing of the business to private clients, something that the low rates paid for socially funded work does not allow.”

Since launching the UK business in 2017 the Sheffield office has grown to a monthly turnover of £50k with a regular influx of new clients each month. In addition the franchise opportunity was launched in October 2018 and 4 new franchisees are in the process of launching their businesses. They are joining a worldwide network of over 600 franchisees and Dan says that the Visiting Angels family provides a huge benefit, “the initial franchisee training is in Philadelphia and I noticed straight away that there was a culture of sharing in the business. The management team are hugely knowledgeable but many of the best practice initiatives in the business have been proven over many years and from the experience of hundreds of franchisees. When we do the second week of training in Sheffield we are providing the knowledge which is specific to running a home care business in the UK.”

Visiting Angels is seeking 10 franchisees during 2019. The franchise fee is £24995 and franchisees interested in this opportunity will need £25-30k in liquid capital in order to secure bank funding for the total investment including working capital of up to £100k. A substantial, premises based, management franchise the potential exists for a six-figure turnover in year one and a projected million pound plus turnover by the end of year 3.

For more information browse our site or call Dan Archer on 07584 178458.

Why Visiting Angels is a very different care franchise2021-04-08T11:03:13+01:00