Paula Lucas is super-passionate about her clients, and her enthusiasm has catapulted her business into a top-performing slot among Home Caring franchisees.
Paula has only been her own boss for 14 months and yet her commitment to delivering first class at-home care for clients with disabilities is second to none.
“I worked for many years as a nurse, and then moved into freelance fundraising for charity organisations. Having brought up three children while my husband was in a high-stress management job. I decided it was my time.”
Paula discovered Home Caring when she was considering setting up her own business from scratch.
“I really liked the model; the support aspect of the joint venture, and all the systems they have in place,” says Paula. “I also liked that the team are very people-oriented.”
A Home Caring disability-focused business
It made perfect sense for Paula to become her own boss with a committed franchise like Home Caring.
Paula bought a brand-new territory, Brisbane City. One year on and installed in a brand-new office space, Paula has extended her reach across other towns in southeast Queensland.
“I have clients scattered around the area, from Logan to Toowoomba to Brisbane,” she says.
Paula has established a substantial business in a very competitive market through building relationships with support coordinators, allied health professionals and other service providers within the NDIS space..
“Once you find your spot, build relationships and provide high quality services, you become a preferred provider. I only work with NDIS participants. My focus has always been on quality, which I now realise is a precursor to quantity. Most of my new business is through word of mouth.
“I have built good relationships with a couple of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) providers and have been lucky enough to break into the specialised area of high needs support.”
A passion for clients’ independent living
Before Home Caring, Paula had worked in both disability and mental health during her nursing years.
“It’s a passion. I’m an advocate by nature, it’s always been my personality.”
The Home Caring Brisbane City team provide Supported Independent Living (SIL) services, and it is vitally important to Paula that her clients have full choice and control over their lives.
Paula believes that to do this job well requires emotional investment, paired with professional boundaries.
Paula’s carers provide 24/7 Supported Independent Living (SIL) mostly in SDA properties in teams carefully built and suited to the needs and challenges of each NDIS participant. Paula highly values her teams and frequently acknowledges her gratitude in small ways such as gift cards and stocked-up staff pantries at their workplaces as tokens of her appreciation.
Supporting staff caring for clients with disabilities
“This is a tough job. Some participants have high needs and mental health concerns, so you have to look after your staff and provide what they need.”
“I’m a bit of a workaholic,” she laughs. “I work up to 12 hours a day, but I love it, it’s not a job for me.”
While Paula is not on the frontline delivering the care, she ensures she is in constant contact with her staff and her clients.
“Our clients are just people living their lives; we’re there to help them. I like that Home Caring doesn’t micromanage; they appreciate what I bring to the business. They allow me to do things my way, they support me in what I want to do.
“I want to keep growing but I don’t want to lose my quality. There is high demand for expertise in high care, with complexities which require rigorous processes and paperwork.
Empowering lives with Home Caring disability services
“High care is the area we’ve landed, and it’s where my own personal passion lies. Often our participants are those who have been rejected by society, it’s where I see opportunity to make the most difference, to empower and to change lives. To me, this is where the beauty lies.”
Paula is much more interested in talking about her clients than her financial gains as a franchisee.
“I’m not frugal with my clients, I’m generous by nature,” she says. It’s that passion that has driven her rapid business growth and success as a Home Caring franchisee.
“This business is all about honesty, backing yourself and your quality. If you reward people and focus on quality, then the quantity will come.”