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.