Martin Steyn left the world of investment management and banking, along with the daily London commute when he bought his Caremark franchise in Tunbridge Wells, in May 2016. Prior to this, Martin already had some experience of organising home care for his relatives, so he was keenly aware of the need for reliable, professional and compassionate care, something that he was excited to be able to start offering in his own local community.
I arrive at the office and my first task is to fire up the espresso machine and make myself a double! Now wide awake I can concentrate on voicemail and any emails that might have come through overnight. The first part of the day is a good opportunity to deal with any issues and to work through some admin tasks before my staff start arriving and the working day begins.
The office team begins to arrive and soon after the phones start ringing. During the early part of the morning, my staff deal with enquires for Care packages, arrange initial assessments for new clients as well as monitoring the staff rota. This time of year inevitably brings staff sickness and we cannot have them visiting vulnerable people with streaming colds. So making sure we have the right number of care workers to carry out our care calls is critically important.
Next up is my daily catch-up meeting with my Care Manager Simon. Over the next hour, Simon fills me in on any significant developments or events which have dropped on to his desk. We also use this time to flag up any items for discussion at our weekly office staff meetings which are held on a Friday. The weekly meeting is a good opportunity for us to discuss as a team rota planning and any referrals. Plus everyone is given the chance to raise any issues or concerns.
It’s mid-morning and time for me to visit one or two clients. It is always good to meet some of the people we are supporting and for them to put a face to the name behind the business. I also use this time to get out and about marketing in the local community which might involve meeting with the management of Assisted Living complexes or a hospital discharge team.
As the office is only ten minutes away from where I live, I like to pop home for lunch and grab the chance to get some fresh air, clear my head and walk the dogs. I used to commute to London so having the flexibility of working locally has made all the difference.
Back in the office, the next part of my day is spent on business development planning. This involves looking carefully at my strategy for both increasing our Care and Support worker recruitment levels as well as working on ideas for sourcing new clients. Marketing our service to both audiences requires careful planning and a structured approach. If you fail to plan, then you will plan to fail! It is important that my business stands out above the noise of the competition and this goes for both attracting new clients as well as care staff.
I use this last half hour to catch-up with office staff and to deal with any issues before close of play. This can be a busy period, making sure all rosters and care visits are confirmed and that any staff who have phoned-in sick last minute are covered.
All office staff have left, the phone has stopped ringing and I find myself alone. A useful time to reflect on another busy day and to make sure the espresso machine is fully stocked for tomorrow!
Back home and I get to grips with the next influx of emails. I then spend an hour or so tying up any loose ends, consulting the work diary and planning for the next day.
Finally, I sit down to eat. The phone is definitely not allowed at the table!
Sharan Dhaliwal launched her Caremark franchise after a career in the NHS, spanning 25 years.
Before buying his Caremark franchise, Colin Evans had a long and successful career in sales and sales management.
Sharan Dhaliwal spent 25 years working for the NHS before becoming a franchisee for Caremark.
Duncan Smith was new to the social care sector when he started his Caremark franchise in Kirklees.
Friends and former colleagues Andrew Peace and Mark McKenning launched their first Caremark franchise in Barnsley in 2011.
Introducing Sue Hills from Caremark Mid-Sussex which she has been running since 2009.
Abhay Shah hadn't always planned to have a career in care but he looked into the prospect of starting his own business when daily number crunching became monotonous.
Husband and wife team Richard and Emily Magrath are the owners of Caremark in North Down, Ards & Belfast.
Caremark's Charles Folkes delivers over 3000 hours of care per week to vulnerable individuals in the Redcar and Cleveland area.
Since I joined, Caremark has done everything they promised they would do. The support has always been there and Kevin Lewis has even come out and given me a morale boost when I've needed it.Amarjit Gill, Caremark Redditch & Bromsgrove
After doing some research, there was really no doubt in our minds, that the only choice we would be happy with would be Caremark, given the emphasis on care and not profit.– Richard Magrath, Caremark North Down, Ards & Belfast
I researched various sectors before reaching the decision that domiciliary care offered the sustainability and a straightforward business model which allowed for positive cashflow and personal reward.– Charles Folkes, Caremark Redcar & Cleveland
CEO and founder of Caremark Kevin Lewis has over 25 years of experience in the UK home care sector
A strong ratio of 15:1 between franchisees and Regional Support Managers