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Starting a Home Care Franchise: Key Research and Tips

Starting a Home Care Franchise- Key Research and Tips

Professional, high-quality home care is in steep demand across the UK. Personal care, respite care, and support for the rights of disabled people have already formed a core part of the debates around the forthcoming general election.

Guardian Angel Carers, a nationwide home care network with a reputation for exceptional standards and family-feel care, provides guidance to assist prospective home care franchise owners when assessing the viability of their home care business plans.

Despite the proven need for credible, regulated and personalized home care, it also remains essential for new franchise owners to conduct due diligence and region-specific research to ensure their business will be sustainable and is well placed to meet localized demand.

The Importance of Research Before Setting Up a Home Care Service 

Setting up a new home care business is often vocational, with many of our amazing management teams and care coordinators drawn to the sector by personal experiences. Many have also recognised that a lack of provision or options for local families may have previously meant those with older, frail or unwell relatives were left with little choice but to resort to residential care. 

Home care is a unique space where we operate based on values and ethics. Yet we appreciate that to be successful and agile, a home care organization must target its services to local needs and maintain the quality standards and levels of care our valued service users expect. 

There are several factors we’d suggest any potential franchise owner consider:

  • The average age and care requirements of the local population.
  • The types of home-based care that people most need.
  • The scope and capacity of the proposed service to meet that demand.

Data is a powerful research tool that offers insights into where demand is likely to be highest and how we can structure home care provisions to best support local families.

For example, new franchise applicants might note that the median population age in the southwest, Scotland and Wales exceeds that in London by a significant margin, with a 35.9 average age in the capital compared to 43.9, 43 and 42.9, respectively.

Utilising this information means we can estimate the proportion of the people in any local region who are older and thus define how valuable home care services are likely to be based on the number of people who would benefit from compassionate care at home to preserve and protect their independence.

How a Private Home Care Franchise Applicant Can Review Care Shortages

The next area to consider is whether there are sufficient care services in your region, town, or city to meet demand. In most cases, there are shortages linked to national trends, where a lack of social care or the ability of local social care organizations to keep pace means countless families or individuals at risk of isolation fall through the gaps.

Referring to the State of Care report is a good starting point. The 2022/23 report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) notes that:

  • Capacity in adult social services is insufficient, leading to delays. Patients who are medically well cannot be discharged from the hospital because there are no residential or community services to manage their ongoing welfare, or they do not have evidence of a care provision at home to enable them to be safely discharged.
  • People already reliant on residential care homes are unable to access the service they require, with 25% of care homes reporting that service users were ‘never’ able to use NHS dental care.

Home care services can also refer to research completed by The King’s Fund, which looks at more localised data which helps to highlight regions with the most substantial shortages and where introducing a new private home care franchise is likely to be incredibly welcome. 

The latest reports show that the overall staffing shortage of 9.9% across the social care sector is considerably higher in specific regions, with a 12.1% gap in London and a higher-than-average 10.3% shortage of qualified social care staff in the southeast and 10.1% in the east of England. 

Focusing new home care services in these areas can help to resolve issues created by shortages in adult social care and provide much-needed options for families and individuals who otherwise are left waiting for extended periods.

Franchise owners can also assess the nature and scope of local care services – whether these solely consist of residential care and nursing homes, whether there are any overnight or live-in provisions available in private homes, and the extent of specialist care support to help with family respite, palliative care and home-from-hospital assistance as a few examples.

Assessing the Viability of a New Local Home Care Service

Alongside the above research, which can help identify gaps in services, care availability and the demand from local families and individuals in any region, you can also review the business aspects of launching a home care franchise in your chosen city, town or area. 

The major benefits of picking a franchise over setting up a standalone care service include access to a proven business model, mentoring from experts in the home care sector, access to marketing and recruitment frameworks, and using a trusted and highly respected brand name known for delivering values-based care to an outstanding standard across the UK.

Business considerations may include the size of the local market. The smaller populations in rural areas and villages may mean it makes sense to apply for a wider territory to ensure there is sufficient reach to give the franchise capacity to grow and expand. 

Franchise applications can also study practicalities, such as the size of the local workforce, transport links that would enable qualified carers to meet the demand for visiting home care, and whether there are existing territories in the Guardian Angel Carers network that could mean a requested territory is unavailable or requires adaptation. 

Working through these elements will ensure you enter the franchise process with a clear understanding of the business opportunity on offer, and can consult with our experienced franchise advisers to discuss the next steps.

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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