fast-track success Home Caring

Rockhampton franchisee fast-tracks success with Home Caring

Sarah Stowe

Former HR manager Lee-anne is a hugely passionate, energetic powerhouse who has found her purpose as a Home Caring franchisee. And in just two years she’s scaled the business beyond her expectations.

“I worked for various organisations and had some experience in the disability sector, but I never really felt fully satisfied working for other people,” Lee-anne explains. “And I would find myself thinking, ‘I would do things differently if I ran a business’.”

During the pandemic, Lee-anne was part of the team that facilitated Covid vaccinations into aged care in Queensland and she loved working in the field.

“I realised a perfect solution would be to combine my ambition with my chosen field and open a business in aged care and disability.”

Lee-anne researched business opportunities and saw that buying a franchise had clear advantages. She compared a few franchise brands and recognised the benefits and strong track record of Home Caring’s joint venture model.

Home Caring franchisee fast-tracks success

Lee-anne loves a challenge. So she was excited to start up a brand-new business in her Rockhampton neighbourhood to compete with the established non-franchise home and community care firms such as OZCare, Bolton Clarke, Catholic Care and various large NDIS organisations.

She hit the ground running, first acquiring aged care clients and then moving into the NDIS arena.

“It takes a while to build up. Rockhampton is in comparison a small regional town and it is
very, very competitive in both disability and aged care.”

Her team of 40 dedicated support workers currently services three Supported Independent Living houses in the NDIS market and provides community access to their participants as well as aged care clients.

This, along with geographic expansion, is testament to her achievements.

The nearest Home Caring franchises are in Mackay – 336 km north – and Bundaberg, more than 200 km south. This gives Lee-anne plenty of opportunity to build a solid reputation and scale her business to suit her vast territory in Central Queensland – which she has already done.

“I have an office in Biloela (144km away), we are opening another in Gladstone, and relocating our Rockhampton office too! It’s so busy right now.

“I can’t believe it; I didn’t expect to achieve this growth in two years. Just in the last week, we picked up an extra 100 hours – that’s a big thing for us.”

Reputation is important

Home Caring Rockhampton is also broadening its services, adding group activity programs for NDIS participants.

“I’m in an area that is very competitive with massive challenges and overcoming them is my driving force. That’s what powers me every single day.

“Reputation counts for a lot,” she says. “We won two awards last year through Carers Queensland: Exceptional Business Services and Exceptional Employment Practices 2023.

“It is so important to listen and reward staff by acknowledging their hard work and dedication. My staff are loyal, they are amazing. I’m very proud of them all. I could not have managed without their support,” she says. 

“In our internal feedback reviews my staff scored me 8 out of 10. I’m very flexible but business-oriented and focused. I’m straightforward and tackle issues head-on.”

Lee-anne is strategic and methodical, which underlies her success, she says.

“I am always thinking 10 steps ahead. I refer back to the business plan and model, and every month measure my progress against my target.”

Over the next two years, Lee-anne intends to maintain her fast track to success and has multiple goals for her Home Caring franchise. The first is to increase the size of the business and secure homes in her area for her participants.

Team effort

“I would love to be bigger and better, and I want to continue to deliver the same level of service we provide now. It becomes harder as we get bigger, and we are going to get complaints; we can’t keep everyone happy all of the time. We try to get close to it though.”

As Lee-anne boosts the business, she will continue to add to her team, including a home care package manager, support coordinator and operations manager.

The business has just passed an NDIS audit and Lee-anne is working towards her own registration for the NDIS so she is not reliant on Home Caring’s licence.

She praises Home Caring for being available when support is needed, its open-minded leadership and willingness to refine work processes.

“The franchisor has taken on board my recommendations for new rosters and HR systems, which says a lot about an organisation.”

Walk the talk to achieve success

Lee-anne is very much on the frontline of the business and will still work a shift, pick up clients, and even do sleepovers at an SIL house if necessary.

“It is important to walk the talk. This is my business and I am proud of the service we deliver.”

Right now Lee-anne sees a strong future ahead and is keen to keep building her business.

“Owning my own business was a big risk, but it’s made easier with the support of Home Caring and the backing of my family. They know I work hard. We migrated to Australia in 2008 with nothing, and now we have two houses, my husband has a great job and I have a flourishing business!

“I am proud of what I’ve created and value the recognition within the community. I know I can do more. It is passion and drive that makes the business.”