What did you do before you were a franchisee with Visiting Angels?
I was a registered manager for another Care provider in Essex.
Why franchising and why Visiting Angels?
I worked for a franchise provider and thought that there was still more work to be done and that things could still be done better. I found VA after Googling, spoke with Dan via email and WhatsApp and met him online. We then discussed it as a couple and planned to meet with Dan at National Office. We had a couple of meetings and scooted around at other franchises and then decided that the ethos to be carer centric matched our vision of what we wanted to achieve.
What prompted this decision?
Dan was very approachable and friendly – we liked the values of nimble, freedom, family, and relationships and this fitted with what we wanted to achieve.
How did you find out about the opportunity?
Online, by googling and searching. We looked at other franchises too but the mission to be employer of choice stood out and the values were exactly what we were looking for.
Why were you drawn to a care and health-related industry?
It’s what I have worked in for the last 15 years, the social care sector needs change and I feel that we really can make a difference with our carer centric approach.
What job satisfaction does it provide?
No day is the same! It’s fast paced, there are tears of sadness and joy, a satisfaction I have not known in any other sector. I have been a London based PA and I wouldn’t change this for the world!
How was the beginning? And the training and support, both initially and ongoing?
Training was completed at National Office; it was thorough and there was a lot to learn even though I already had so much knowledge. We have amazing support from Tray, the Area Manager. She visits us regularly and calls us to see how we are and whether we need anything. She’s amazing, everyone needs a Tray!
Managing Directors of Visiting Angels North Shropshire- Nicky Sealey & Mark Goodall Recently won the Newcomer of the year award at the Visiting Angels Annual Conference
How is business so far?
We are in our 7 months of trading, just hitting 300 hours with 18 carers and 100% retention so we are getting good at being carer centric! We have another 4 on training this week and 2 that are sitting in the wings waiting for DBS.
What are your plans for the future of the business?
To grow, to keep doing what we are doing and to keep being carer centric. We will be the employer of choice locally and if the other franchises are on board too, we will be the employer of choice for the UK without a doubt!
Describe a typical day –
From when I first hit the office, sometimes I am an early bird and in by 7.30am sometimes I cheekily grab a coffee on the way and arrive a bit later, I meet with the office team and we have a huddle and talk about plans for the day, any concerns. I have an input with carers and clients – I love visiting the clients and just having a cup of tea and taking them a treat. It’s just lovely to see everyone and hear the stories and gather the evidence of what the angels are achieving. My day finishes around 5 to 6, I sometimes work at home, that’s what’s great about having a secure office team, I do not always need to be there, they have got this, and I am very proud of the whole team!
How has your life changed since you launched your Visiting Angels franchise?
It just got busier – we moved to a rural part of Shropshire from Essex and are surrounded by beautiful views and a fantastic community – VA gave us the chance to do that, to move on to work for ourselves and create a better environment for everyone!
Would you recommend franchising to others? Any advice/tips for those considering a change of career?
Think about what you’re doing, think hard, plan for a busy time, it’s not all tea and cake, be prepared to fully invest and support your team, you will eat, live, breathe and sleep VA – but there’s nothing better or more rewarding!
Stop by Visiting Angels North Shropshire’s social media and have a look at their Carer Centric feed!