Sometimes, a great business nous and financial mindset isn’t the be-all and endall of operating a successful company. And when franchise owners come across Kare Plus, it doesn’t take long to notice they’re by no means all about the money.
Known as The Caring Company, Kare Plus has a reputation for providing excellent care and support for everyone within its fast-growing network – from customers to office staff and everyone in between. So when ex-nurse and educator, Dr Louise May joined the network back in 2013, her care focussed work history shone through and is now having a real impact in the Wirral and beyond.
“I left my previous job as a University Dean when I became overworked and underappreciated. It reached the point I stopped caring about what I was doing – as long as the targets were being hit, that was all that mattered. As a nurse by trade, caring is what I do, so I knew this wasn’t right,” Dr Louise May explained.
“This is when I decided I wanted to become my own boss and work within the local community. As I had never run my own business before though, I felt like a franchise model would be conducive to my aspirations. You get to be your own boss and manage your own business, but you also have a safety net.
“I decided to go into the healthcare sector and, in particular, Kare Plus because I wanted to enter an industry I had knowledge of and could talk about with a certain authority – and I could do that with nursing.”
Kare Plus wasn’t the only healthcare franchise Dr May researched and visited, but it’s flexibility, Midlands based head office and British model all drew her to join the UK’s leading healthcare franchise: “The others all seemed a lot more straight jacketed. When I met Tom, it was very relaxed and there were far more ‘yes, you can do that’ comments than every other franchisor I had met. The fact it wasn’t based in London or down-south I liked a lot too and it hadn’t americanised its business model.
“The other big difference that lit my candle was its nursing services. I’m a nurse and have done a lot of work on nurse CPD, so I had the understanding and skill set to succeed in that trade.” And succeed in that trade she has. Kare Plus Wirral is now so saturated with nurses, Dr May is able to select only the most caring of nurses to represent her business. When you understand the lengths she goes to in order to look after her staff though, it is understandable why so many nurses in the Wirral area are so eager to work for her.
“I have struck up a deal with a local florist and I often send my staff a bouquet of flowers and some chocolates if I find out they’re having a tough time or even, on the flip side, a reason to celebrate. I want my staff to feel valued. I want them to come back to me and say ‘the standards are diabolical there’, and then I can help improve the circumstances for them and help them provide better care. I want people who fundamentally care and, in return, I can care for them”, Dr May said.
“As a result, I have nurses that work all different places because they like the location, like the home, like the way it is run and, best of all, like the safety on offer. This is reflected in how they work too though. I recently had a staff member make a courtesy call to let me know they were running late, but when I rang the home to let them know, they told me: ‘Don’t worry, Louise your staff are the best; it doesn’t matter’.”
The caring mentality of Louise has seen her business reach up to 1400 hours of staff placement a week; success that has seen her take on her neighbouring territory, Liverpool as well: “As a Scouser, I know Liverpool really well; I know the market and I know the nursing homes.
“With the Wirral holding 40% of the market, I felt ultimately if I can do it there I know I can do it in Liverpool. With the new office in Birkenhead, I am centrally located to serve both areas from there as well. I always dreamt of two local territories as, for me, that is a lucrative business helping my local community.”
Looking forward, Louise plans to have turned over her first million in the coming months and establish Liverpool as another successful Kare Plus territory.
If you want to replicate Louise’s success and become your own boss in your local community, maybe Kare Plus could be for you? To find out more, contact Kare Plus’ franchise sales on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01902 827 696.