Franchising - The Right Choice After Redundancy

One hopeful franchisee found little to choose between a number of care franchises until she found Prestige Nursing.

Following a highly successful career in medical device sales, both in the UK and previously in her native South Africa, Carol Stafford was looking to change direction after being made redundant in 2008.  Carol decided she wanted to take on a new challenge and has always been attracted to the idea of franchising. Carol takes up the story ‘I have a lot of experience in sales and was looking to move into an industry that allowed me to exploit these talents whilst offering the potential for significant earnings.’ Having already decided that franchising was a perfect way of helping her realise these ambitions, she was taken aback by the number of opportunities on offer. ‘I was looking for a management franchise, and eventually settled on the care sector as it offered excellent long term prospects given the UK’s demographic profile and the growing need for care at home. I hadn’t realised though quite how many companies offered franchises in the domiciliary and healthcare sectors and the choice was quite bewildering.’

Carol came very close to signing up with a domiciliary care franchise, but just before she did she heard about Prestige Nursing and decided to see what they could offer. “Their honesty, drive and professionalism made a real impact on me, as did their experience of running both company-owned and franchised branches.” After the initial meeting with the franchise team at Prestige, Carol met and talked with many of the existing franchisees. 'Their feedback on the support I would receive was overwhelmingly positive as was their experience of the Prestige business model’

Unlike many domiciliary care franchises, Prestige Nursing offers the complimentary area of healthcare recruitment as an additional income stream for all franchisees. Jonathan Bruce, Managing Director, explains why this is so important “Domiciliary care is undoubtedly an area that offers significant opportunities and with our experience in this area we feel very confident that we can offer franchisees a full range of distinctive services to take advantage of them. However, it does take time to develop this type of business which is why offering healthcare recruitment can not only allow franchisees to generate income more quickly, but also gives them an even wider range of services to offer their clients and spreads the risk accordingly.”

“To be honest this was one of the main reasons why I chose Prestige’ states Carol “ along with the fact that they offer a comprehensive back office support function as part of the ongoing management fee. This will save me an immense amount of time and allow me the freedom to grow my business quickly and effectively. I’ll be joining an established network of company-owned and franchised branches across the UK which has a real reputation for excellence, and this fills me confidence as well”

With her new business about to launch, how does she feel about the opportunity now? “Well I’ve just finished training and I can’t wait to get started” says Carol “Prestige has been with me every step of the way so far and I’ve already had enquiries coming in to the business and we haven’t even launched yet! The research we conducted prior to setting up has allowed us to target our efforts to where we know they’ll have most effect.”

As Carol discovered you do not need previous experience of the healthcare industry to make a successful franchise business with Prestige Nursing. Pam Feltham, Franchise Manager at Prestige explains, ‘Our leading franchised branch is owned by someone who originally trained to be a railway designer. Like many of our new franchisees he realised that a franchise with Prestige Nursing was an excellent investment vehicle and one that would allow him to blend his own flair for business with the experience, support and systems of a seasoned franchisor.”

So will the Prestige Nursing franchise be for everyone? Pam thinks not, “In terms of the initial investment of £30,000 and the working capital requirement of up to £45,000 we sit towards the top end of current healthcare franchises. However, you get what you pay for and we push our franchisees hard to ensure they are every bit as successful as they have told us they want to be.”