“There is a trust element that comes from people with a nursing background,” says Home Caring Franchise Manager Bill Lockett.
And that’s why so many of the Home Caring franchisees bring health experience to their business ownership role. Out of 55 franchisees, nearly 40 have a registered nurse or frontline health background.
Nursing experience isn’t a prerequisite for franchisees. However for Home Caring it reflects the emphasis the brand places on caring and compassion.
Bill points to a Roy Morgan survey last year which confirmed nursing is the most trusted profession in Australia.
“And that trust spreads to customers, and their friends and family. That gives us a great deal of sway.”
Home Caring franchisees know providing better levels of care leads to success
Home Caring work straddles both the aged care and the disability sectors. Franchisees focus on bringing in new clients, and carers, they are not delivering frontline support. But that care and compassion for customers starts at the top.
As Bill says, “Clients could be receiving up to $50,000 in government support for home care. Our job is to manage that. We help them plan the hours of service, to get the best value. We put the customer first. When a nurse goes along to a new client, they speak with empathy.”
It’s an appealing option for anyone keen to provide better care than time and red tape might allow in hospitals and other healthcare providers.
One Home Caring nursing professional is Neelam Rai [pictured above] from Craigieburn, North Melbourne, who set up her business in February 2021.
She has proved to be a high flyer, leapfrogging other newbie franchisees to become a top five franchisee in a short time.
“She zoomed almost to the top – measured on hours of service per week her carers provide,” explains Bill. “In 18 months Neelam has achieved what was expected in three years. She has a personality that lets her talk to people.”
Care, compassion and trust leads to job satisfaction
Neelam only recently qualified as a registered nurse after three years’ training. She did so specifically to work in this sector.
A former fashion designer with her own export business, Neelam switched careers for two reasons – for the business potential, and job satisfaction.
“I’ve always been a people person and I had an opportunity to research aged care and see how much satisfaction you get from supporting the community,” she says.
Neelam understands first hand how medical knowledge can help boost a Home Caring business; she is able to assess clients and understands how best to support them.
Client recommendations play a big role in growing the business.
“You build a bond, rapport, trust, you are there for them,” she says. “For me and my team, we make the extra effort.”
Neelam’s clients come from a diverse background including European, Asian, Australian and Middle Eastern.
Culturally diverse Australian communities
And Neelam is typical of the multicultural spread of the franchise. Just 17 franchisees are Australian-born – the remaining 38 from Vietnam, India, China, Philippines, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Brazil, Ghana, Malaysia, El Salvador and the UK.
“We have such a variety of franchisees,” says Bill. “English isn’t a first language for many, it reflects our society.”
The importance of community and networking cannot be overestimated, he says.
“One of our Vietnamese franchisees spoke to 120 Vietnamese speakers at an RSL club and talked to them about how they can get a home care package through the system. It’s sown the seed. They remember, when they get the funding, who helped them put it together.”
Franchisees are looking after clients with different nationalities, many of them multi-lingual. It’s important to employ carers who share the language and culture and understand the health concerns of the clients, says Bill. Yet franchisees are able to extend their reach beyond their immediate ethnic communities into the broader Australian community.
It is important for new franchisees to leverage the contacts they have locally, as a starting point for building up the business.
Home Caring business is joint venture model
The Home Caring partnership model is ideal for nurses and other caring individuals who don’t have much money to invest.
“We put up 50 per cent to help them establish the business,” explains Bill.
And while many of the franchisees lack a business background they build the business through soft marketing and word of mouth.
“We build businesses through the reputation of the brand and the personality of the applicant,” he says.
Bill has interviewed and recruited all the franchisees and knows the values that count for success. It’s the passion they have for making a difference to other people.