Advice from the Experts: Ken Waterhouse, Managing Director of Home Care Preferred

May 19, 2017 10:59 am Published by

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Ken Waterhouse, MD of Home Care Preferred, provides insight into what the company does best.

Can you fill us in on the background of the franchise?

When Home Care Preferred was started back in 2012, the plan was always to take the franchising route as we know it is one of the most effective ways to expand a business. However, we wanted to ensure that we have tried and tested our unique model of ‘One Stop Shop for Care’. In the last 5 years, we have done just that and in the process earned commercial success as well as public accolade, therefore in 2015 we decided to start planning for our franchise offering and we launched Home Care Preferred Franchise in January 2016.

Why did you decide to open a healthcare company?

The idea of starting Home Care Preferred was prompted by a very personal experience. In 2010, my step father became terminally ill and even though I had 30 years’ experience in the care sector I was faced with a disjointed care service which was making the whole situation increasingly stressful. It was difficult to find useful information and even a simple process of getting the correct equipment was tedious and complex. The whole experience made me aware that there was a definite gap in the market for a home care service that will truly satisfy clients requirements and that’s why I started Home Care Preferred.

The private healthcare sector has grown increasingly competitive in recent years, particularly in the west. What changes have you noticed since the company started?

At Home Care Preferred, we believe that competition is a healthy element which helps us strive for better quality and better standards in care, especially in the private market. The demand for quality care is rising every day and we believe that the care market is big enough for other private sector health care agencies to contribute towards.

What makes Home Care Preferred stand out from other opportunities?

There is more than one factor that makes Home Care Preferred stand out from other franchise opportunities. We know that the model we have is not only commercially successful but this is where care is headed in the future – a one stop shop, an integrated service where clients’ needs are met and we want to give our franchise owners the opportunity to be a part of this rewarding and exciting journey.

We provide the support and training that our franchise owners require each step of the way.

We are a new franchise and one of the advantages is that we have prime territories available, however, we have received several enquiries and there has been a high level of interest from potential franchise owners.

It is an exciting time to be part of the sector. The care market for older people alone is estimated to be £22.2 billion and that is just one of the groups we provide our services for.

What’s your best advice for prospective Home Care Preferred franchise owners? Is there any experience required?

Becoming a Home Care Preferred franchise owner isn’t for everyone – running a care business can be challenging. That’s why we’re so selective – we want to work with the right people and ensure that the right people are representing our brand while experiencing the huge rewards that working in the industry can bring. Our main focus is on personal characteristics, rather than experience within the care industry.

Knowledge of the care industry and processes that turn a good business into a great one are all things we can teach. Commitment, dedication, and empathy aren’t, which is why it’s so important to find the right people.

What kind of support can a franchise owner expect?

We provide complete training and support for our franchise owners and that involves everything from selecting the right premises, providing expert guidance regarding marketing and advertising to the day to day operational knowledge and that is not all, we will be there all the way even when they have established their business.

Describe a typical day in the life of a Home Care Preferred franchise owner.

A typical day in the life of a Home Care Preferred franchise owner will be providing support and guidance to the overall team. They will be involved in making decisions regarding operational support, establishing Home Care Preferred as a trusted brand within the community, planning and executing new advertising and marketing strategies to grow their own business, communicating with the clients and team members and ensuring that a quality service is provided to each client who needs our support.

What’s next for the Home Care Preferred franchise?

We have received a high level of interest in our franchise model since we launched in January this year and it is very exciting and encouraging to see that people are enthusiastic about our One Stop Shop model. Our aim is to grow our franchise network in the future and our vision is that every suitable major town in the UK will benefit from a Home Care Preferred branch.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

It is an exciting time to be a part of Home Care Preferred, we operate within one of the most sustainable sectors in the country which is constantly growing due to demographic pressures.

As more and more people are encouraged by Government to be cared for in their own homes instead of moving into residential care, or seeking support from the NHS, the size of the market is expected to increase.

In addition to the massive demand for home care we also appeal to the retail market where the need to buy and hire independent living equipment is growing every day. According to statistics revealed by the government, there are around 11 million disabled people living in the UK. We at Home Care Preferred are well equipped to serve this need and we know that living independently in the comfort of one’s home is so important to millions of these people.

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