Franchisee success story
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Franchisee Success Story

WHERE THE HEART IS

After nearly 12 years as a registered nurse, Home Caring franchisee Claire Zhang is now forging her own path.

By Nick Hall

Franchise Promise

While the Sydney local only joined the ranks in March, Claire has become one of the brand’s most successful franchisees, but it wasn’t necessarily a quick rise to riches.

Starting out first at an aged care ward in Adelaide after graduating university, the budding businesswoman made the bold move to relocate to Sydney in 2009, Here, Claire took up work as a casual registered nurse before finding her niche in the imaging nursing sector.

But for all her success in the nursing world, a growing desire to build her own business was brewing

“I was always interested in business and wanted to be a business owner. However, I never thought my nursing career would help with owning a business,” she says After eight years in imaging nursing however, curiosity finally reared its opportunistic head.

“The first time I found out about Home Caring was from their online franchisee business advertisement,” she says. “I was exploring business opportunities online, but I wasn’t familiar with any company names that provided home care services. Luckily I didn’t have to spend too much time searching.

THE APPEAL

Claire reveals that the advertisement opened up a new world of possibilities for her. Where the option of entrepre neurship had once seemed like a distant pipe dream, the ever-growing ancillary healthcare sector provided the means to
make it a reality.

Currently in Australia, the demand for aged care and home care providers
far outweighs the number of registered offerings. In fact, in a recent study. government body the Australian Institute. of Health and Welfare (AIHW) revealed
that the amount of people accessing.

It was somewhat daunting at the beginning because I didn’t know when my first client would come

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home care services had risen 84 per cent
from 2007 to 2017 Claire admits that if she wasn’t already sold on the sector due to its growth poten tial, the Home Caring model may have been the push that tipped her over the
edge.

“I was comparing Home Caring’s advertisement with other companies that offered similar business opportunities and I found that Home Caring had a far more reasonable and detailed plan, in
terms of offering a 50/50 joint venture.”

Under the business model. Home Caring franchisees only need to provide half of the total investment, with the franchisor providing an equal share. From there, franchisees earn an ongoing 50 per cent of profits.

While the Home Caring model was a perfect fit for Claire, she isn’t the only
entrepreneur to be reeled in by the innova- tive franchise structure
“I believe the business model is the big appeal to people Home Caring consultant Bill Lockett says.

“I believe the business model is the big appeal to people Home Caring consultant Bill Lockett says.

In a number of cases, we were looking at health professionals and registered nurses working within the health system who perhaps wouldn’t have been able. to save the capital needed to purchase a franchise.

In addition to the significantly reduced entry level, Home caring also provides an
attractive salary package of $80,000 per annum right off the bat, which Lockket Says is critical for health professionalslikes claire.

“Because a lot of franchisees starting a business will worry about how they are going to pay their bills, we also organised for partners to receive a salary from their new entity. It meant that they could focus on getting out there and looking for new clients without worrying about paying the rent or childcare or so on.”

Despite her eagerness to jump onboard, Claire admits she was still apprehensive about her business acumen. Come day one, however, the inspired entrepreneur would surprise even herself.

BUILDING A BUSINESS

“After I started running Home Caring Campbelltown I realised my past experi ence had actually helped me a lot, not only my clinical knowledge and skill but also in leadership and management.”

The new franchisee’s past work as
a nurse unit manager had given her the tools to be an effective communicator and knowledgeable business owner. However, despite her surprising aptitude for the role. Claire reveals that when it came to the legal and accounting side, consultation was key

“Bill advised me to seek business and accounting advice before signing up to the agreement. It was helpful as I didn’t have experience running a business prior to the Home Caring franchise.

The New South Wales franchisee then underwent a comprehensive training program, where she had access to industrial legislation and standards, was allocated to case managers by Home Caring and met with clients to observe the intake process.

It was an immersive program that thrust her into the deep end, but Claire admits she never once felt like she had made a mistake.

“It was somewhat daunting at the begin ning because I didn’t know when my first client would come,” she says.

“After working hard in local area market ing for the first couple of months, I was then able to build up warm relationships with industrial connections by providing quality services to all of my clients.”

RELATIONSHIPS

Building up those relationships has proven to be the difference for most Home Caring franchisees, with a number being able to leverage culture to generate business.

While it hasn’t been a big focus to cater to a predominantly Chinese community, Claire says her ability to break down a significant language barrier has come in handy.

“My franchise territory is in Campbelltown LGAs, which is not a developed Chinese community compared to some other suburbs of Sydney. But I was contacted by an NDIS local area coordinator who was looking for a Chinese-speaking support coordinator to help a local participant who was unable to communicate.

“Speaking Chinese has not yet drawn me many clients from the same cultural group, but those that I am servicing are definitely thankful to be able to connect with an industry professional from the same cultural background.”

It’s all part of the service for Claire, who has even been able to cross cultural barri ers through her supreme level of service.

The Campbelltown franchisee has helped an Assyrian client to engage with a carer who speaks their native tongue, which she says is an invaluable asset.

While Claire’s past experience has made the transition from registered nurse to business owner all the more seamless, she knows it won’t always be an easy ride. Passion, pride and preparation hold the key, she reveals.

“Running a business like Home Caring is a long-term investment; my advice would be firstly finding out whether home care is what you love doing.

“Meet with case managers and existing franchise owners to get an in-depth understanding of the day-to-day business operation.

“My journey so far has been an enjoy able one, I’m looking forward to exploring more opportunities.”

 

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