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UK CEO takes centre stage at International Franchise Association event

2024-04-05T15:53:01+01:00

Dan Archer named as the Key Speaker at the International Franchise Association Event

 

The International Franchise Association (IFA) announces that Dan Archer, UK CEO of in-home care franchise Visiting Angels, will be one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming International Market Entry seminar. Taking place at ExCel London on 11 April, this seminal event precedes the International Franchise Show (IFS) and aims to shed light on the multifaceted world of franchising opportunities between the US and the UK.

Man in blazer, smiling and holding a marker

Dan Archer, UK CEO – Visiting Angels

With an interesting track record of transforming the British social care sector, Dan represents the pinnacle of franchise success, having adapted and expanded the Visiting Angels’ carer-centric model to nearly 70 locations in the UK in just six years. His innovative approach and in-depth industry knowledge make him the perfect speaker to discuss the collaborative spirit and potential of franchising.

“Franchising is one of the greatest pathways to business ownership and brand expansion. One of the things people are surprised to see when they first enter the world of franchising is the collaboration between competing brands and the opportunities that are available around the world – and this is no different when it comes to the social care sector. This event will act as a hub for franchisors and prospective franchisees in a new market to share their expertise, form new partnerships and solidify existing friendships,”

said Matthew Haller, President and CEO of IFA.

At the heart of the seminar, Dan will share his unique insights and the Visiting Angels’ success story, encapsulating the transition of core values from the US to the UK market. His session is set to inspire and offer practical strategies for those looking to challenge industry norms and achieve franchise excellence.

“I’m honoured to contribute to this pivotal forum. Having been in franchising for three decades in various sectors, I’ve seen first-hand the power it has to transform lives. The conversations we will have at this event are going to open doors for many to join the rewarding world of franchising,” – Dan Archer

The event will include franchising, legal and financial experts to highlight the opportunities and challenges across both international markets. Established franchisors who have navigated both markets will share their stories from the hospitality, social care and children’s services sectors.

IFA invites current franchisors and businesses interested in exploring franchising opportunities to connect with the IFA team and gain further insight into this dynamic field. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Katelyn Russell at krussell@franchise.org

Following the seminar, IFA will continue its leadership role as the headline sponsor of the IFS at ExCel London from 12-13 April, showcasing more than 250 franchises and hosting educational sessions from top global brands. Last year’s event set a new record, attracting over 11,000 visitors from 46 countries.

Registration is free and available here.

Press Release by RevPR

UK CEO takes centre stage at International Franchise Association event2024-04-05T15:53:01+01:00

Visiting Angels- A Thousand Tiny Thank Yous- Conference & Awards

2024-02-01T14:18:26+00:00

Visiting Angels- A Thousand Tiny Thank Yous- Conference & Awards

On November 25th, 2022, Visiting Angels hosted its Annual Conference and Awards ceremony at The Edwardian, Manchester. The event brought together franchisees, registered managers, and staff members from across the country to learn, network, and celebrate the achievements of the past year.

The conference started with a welcome address by MD, Dan Archer, who highlighted the company’s growth and success in the last year. He recognized the hard work and dedication of the franchisees and their teams in providing high-quality, compassionate care to seniors in their communities and for being a shining example of Carer Centricity.

The keynote speakers included decorated professionals Steve Backley OBE and Roger Black MBE other speakers included professionals from Business, Digital Media, Training and motivational fields. They shared their expertise and insights on various topics. The attendees also participated in workshops and roundtable discussions that addressed specific challenges and opportunities in their roles as registered managers or business owners.

After a long day of conference, we put our glad rags on for the Evening gala which kicked off with a round of bubbly Prosecco followed by a Thanksgiving-themed food. The attendees socialized, and shared their experiences and insights from the conference. The event created a sense of community and camaraderie among the franchisees and their teams, and a renewed commitment to be Carer Centric.

The highlight of the evening was the awards ceremony, which recognized the outstanding achievements of Franchisees, Caregivers, and Registered Managers. The awards were presented by Visiting Angels’ MD- Dan Archer.

Here are some of the winners and their comments:

Franchisee of the Year: Visiting Angels North Surrey ( Lynn & Chris James)

“We were absolutely delighted to be presented with the Franchisee of the Year Award at the national conference this year. It was especially heart-warming that our start up team attended the conference with us and for them to witness the amazing growth of the network since last years conference. We are looking forward to an even bigger conference next year.”

Brand Champion of the Year : Visiting Angels South Hertfordshire ( Gareth Redmayne )

“When I signed up to Visiting Angels in 2019, it was a huge leap of faith as there were no other franchisees operating in the UK. However I knew how successful Visiting Angels was over in the US and I was confident that this success could be replicated in the UK. I have been completely right!

Since starting my Visiting Angels branch in South Hertfordshire, I have worked hard to set up a business that truly looks after both clients and caregivers. I have been resolute in keeping to key brand promises like being carer-centric as well as ensuring that our care calls are a minimum of one hour. I was delighted when the Care Quality Commission rated us as “Good” in November 2021 due to the high quality care we provide.

I have also tried to be available to my fellow franchisees who have given me so much support. As the network has grown, some really capable franchisees have joined Visiting Angels from a huge range of backgrounds. Visiting Angels is growing strongly into a market leader in care and I do believe that this is down to both the talent of the team at national office as well as the excellent franchisees joining VA.

I was thrilled that Visiting Angels South Herts was recognised at our Annual Awards Dinner in November 2022 with the Brand Champion award. It was great to receive such a positive endorsement from the Visiting Angels top team that we are delivering care in line with Visiting Angels high standards. It was equalling thrilling to be congratulated by our franchisee peers who see Visiting Angels South Herts as setting the standard in the network. ”

Newcomer of the Year: Visiting Angels North Shropshire ( Nicky Sealey & Mark Goodall)

“It is an absolute delight to be working alongside the rest of the family at Visiting Angels and fantastic to receive newcomer of the year! It’s been hard work but our team are making such a difference in the community with quality care. We are bonding with the community and bringing our company values of Nimble, Family, Freedom and Relationships to the heart of what we do. We are very proud of our team and the differences they are making; we shout about them at every opportunity as we are so proud of them. It was a pleasure to be rewarded and to feel so valued as one of the newer franchisees.”

Registered Manager of the Year : Shannon Middleton Wearne (Visiting Angels East Dorset)

“The Annual conference and Awards Ceremony ‘A Thousand Tiny Thankyous 2022’ is one that I will never forget throughout my whole career. The conference was exceptional, the workshops were full of knowledge, guidance and support for the topics I had picked and I came out of the day feeling truly inspired. The Awards Ceremony was even better than I had anticipated.. to be recognised, nominated and to then win two awards, to be selected as ‘Visiting Angels Registered Manager of the Year 2022’. This was a huge milestone in my career, to which resulted in me feeling fully supported, appreciated and encouraged to continue to be my true and authentic self as I continue my professional career with Visiting Angels UK in the Adult Health and Social Care Sector.”

Caregiver of the Year: Jane Woodhead (Visiting Angels East Staffordshire)

” The award was totally unexpected however I felt totally overwhelmed and was delighted to be so appreciated for the first time in my 34 year career.”

In conclusion, Visiting Angels’ Annual Conference and Awards 2022 was a resounding success, showcasing the company’s commitment to carer centricity. The event brought together franchisees and their teams from all over the country to learn, grow, and celebrate their achievements. Congratulations to all the winners, and best wishes for another great year of serving seniors with dignity and respect.

Stay Tuned for updates about this years conference and awards , scheduled for December 2nd, 2023 in Birmingham.

Visiting Angels- A Thousand Tiny Thank Yous- Conference & Awards2024-02-01T14:18:26+00:00

Visiting Angels West London Makes it to What Franchises’ Franchisee of the Year 2022 list

2023-01-19T14:35:09+00:00

When it comes to challenging times to launch a franchise in the care sector, it doesn’t get much worse than right at the beginning of a global pandemic.

Hammad Cheema received the licence for his Visiting Angels franchise in West London just three days before the first lockdown in 2020, which not only overturned his launch strategy but created unprecedented challenges for even the most experienced business owners in the sector.

“We were unable to market the business through the usual channels,” explains Hammad, who formerly worked in the banking sector. “Instead, we had to find other opportunities and accept there would be slower business growth during the first six months of lockdown. Rather than following the traditional marketing channels, we allowed our name to spread in the community and amended our marketing strategy to encompass more digital. We focused on doing the right thing for the circumstances, such as delivering groceries to vulnerable people, taking cakes and pastries to hospital wards for NHS staff, and leaving our business cards. We let people know we existed, and we supported and helped the wider community where we could.”

Hammad has demonstrated that franchisees can achieve massive success in the most difficult circumstances by being both resilient and proactive. By re-approaching his marketing strategy and bringing an in-house digital marketing specialist into the team, Hammad made sure he was always in the right place at the right time and has reaped the benefits of adopting a rigorous, thorough and devoted approach.

Exceptional standards

Smart social strategies might help spread the message, but Hammad’s success is primarily down to one vital factor – he defines what it takes to maintain exceptional standards in care for the elderly and vulnerable. Hammad won Visiting Angels’ coveted International Franchisee of the Year award in 2021, and since has risen to higher levels in ensuring the delivery of his services is not only acceptable but industry-leading. This is reflected in his most recent financial performance, which saw him run a 133 per cent profit margin while turning over £1.3m.

With 77 care providers and 65 clients, Hammad has been a key figure in the London community for spearheading a new approach to high-quality, attentive care. With one of the larger teams in the Visiting Angels network, Hammad is a key driver for supporting the franchise in its pursuit of becoming the UK’s go-to employer of choice in the care sector.

“Going above and beyond lies at the core of our ethos,” says Hammad. “The sector has received bad press for providing poor care to the elderly and vulnerable, so we put our caregivers front and centre as the face of the company. We make sure we look after them, so they in turn give the best care to our clients. It starts with recruitment and selecting the right individuals – filtering out those who are truly passionate about care. And then we ensure they’re happy and motivated in their work by understanding what they need and want. Focusing on our staff in this way means they go above and beyond, leading to better care and happy clients.”

Hammad’s approach to recruitment and investing in people has resulted in a devoted and expert team, which is reflected in the quality of care that is delivered in his communities as well as their devotion to Visiting Angels as their employer.

“It has been a wonderful experience being an Angel at Visiting Angels West London,” says Alinne Gerbase, homecare assistant at Hammad’s West London branch. “It’s fundamental to promote a high quality of care supporting individuals’ needs, wishes and beliefs; and it is much better to fulfil this goal when you feel supported by the company you work for. Thanks, Visiting Angels for allowing me to value our service users.”

Empathetic approach

Hammad understands fully how difficult it is for families to look after someone who’s vulnerable. He has deep empathy for his community and understands his duty to support these people. His empathy spills into his team and the wider franchise community, and he regularly encourages his caregivers to do that little bit extra for clients at every opportunity, even if it occasionally means losing out on money.

Franchisees reach out to Hammad for advice on business and he’s always happy to take on the extra responsibility – his contribution and expertise can now be seen throughout the Visiting Angels UK network. He takes regular opportunities to share his own experiences which have been incredibly positive in helping other franchisees, especially those who are new to the network.

“Before they join, head office refers enquiries to me so I can give them a completely transparent picture,” says Hammad. “I’m careful to share the challenges as well as the benefits,” he points out.

“After they’ve signed, I continue to share what I know – from business strategies to setting up an office and team. Sharing helps me to grow too and we reach out freely to each other. It’s not one-way traffic – we all share knowledge and advice with each other across the network.”

Community matters

Hammad has instilled a real sense of community and family into the running of his franchise – vital qualities for franchisees to possess in the domiciliary care sector. He has constantly strived to go above and beyond to make as many connections as possible, partnering with Age UK and other local charities in order to run dementia seminars for the community.

“We do lots of community engagement work and connect with non-profit organisations, like Age UK, to provide winter galas and tombolas for everyone in the community, not just our clients,” he explains. This allows any elderly person who needs assistance and advice access to his franchise, an empathetic approach to business, which has been consistent from day one.

Hammad truly believes in Visiting Angels’ mission of wanting to change the face of care in the UK. In an industry rife with complaints and criticism, Hammad has given great attention to why this is, and he looked at what more can be done for the faces of the industry – caregivers.

Professional strengths

An ability to step back from daily operations and look at the bigger picture is so important.

Proudest achievement

When we started the business at the beginning of the first COVID lockdown, there were significant challenges. I’m proud that we grew the business against adversity to achieve the biggest franchise growth at Visiting Angels.

Article Credit : What Franchise

Visiting Angels West London Makes it to What Franchises’ Franchisee of the Year 2022 list2023-01-19T14:35:09+00:00

QnA with Nicky Sealey – Visiting Angels North Shropshire

2023-08-15T10:01:44+01:00

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!

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QnA with Nicky Sealey – Visiting Angels North Shropshire2023-08-15T10:01:44+01:00

Visiting Angels Nominated for Leadership and Culture award and as the Emerging Franchisor award at BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards

2022-11-15T17:11:16+00:00

BFA finalist image

Visiting Angels has been shortlisted in the Franchisor Leadership and Culture category as well as the Emerging Franchisor category of the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards

Visiting Angels is one of America’s largest home care franchises. Founded 1998, the brand has over 700 franchisees operating in 5 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 which MD, Dan Archers, says is a first for not only a care franchise, but a care company .

Known as the ‘Oscars’ of the franchising industry and set to take place on 24 November in Birmingham, the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards evening is the flagship event in the franchising calendar and finalists are definitely ones to watch.

​​This year saw a record number of entries submitted across all categories, leading to an overall increase versus 2021. Despite what continues to be challenging times for most independent businesses, the franchising sector has shown strength and resilience. As a result, many bfa members have reported strong financial performance and continue to build strong, healthy networks.

Visiting Angels will be battling it out against three other franchise brands to take home the coveted Leadership and Culture accolade and against two more franchisors for the Emerging Franchisor title.

The Leadership and Culture category represents passion and commitment to caring for the development, wellbeing and success of the brand’s employed people and their franchisee network.

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchising Association, congratulated category finalists:

“This category has been particularly sought after in the past few years. As with any with any business the real test on leadership and culture comes during the toughest times and I think its fair to say we have had a fair few of those in recent years. Huge congratulations to Visiting Angels and fellow finalists in a category that are really shining examples of what should be done to achieve change together and remain united in its goals and objectives.”

Gillian Morris, Head of Franchising, HSBC, said:

The annual awards are a celebration of the achievements of the franchise sector, as well as the high standards of the finalists, their innovation and resilience demonstrated over the past year. We look forward to celebrating success with Visiting Angels and their team.

Becoming a finalist in the Emerging Franchisor category is recognition of the strong foundations and leadership needed in the build and growth phase of any brand and business journey. Finalists have shown a real passion for their brand and their people.

To be announced as a finalist for this award is a huge achievement and a real testament to the brand’s hard work and determination. Each year, these awards let us show franchisors that we’ve noticed their efforts, we’ve recognised their positive intention and fantastic impact on their network and the industry and we are thankful for their commitment. A big congratulations to the whole Visiting Angels team. – Pip Wilkins

For the full list of nominees at this year’s bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, visit HERE.

Want to know more about the Visiting Angels Franchise? CONTACT US.

Visiting Angels Nominated for Leadership and Culture award and as the Emerging Franchisor award at BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards2022-11-15T17:11:16+00:00

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