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.