Last Updated: 24-August-2017
Franchisee returns to his caring roots with territory resale
Mike Keig’s background is sales management, working in engineering and manufacturing for over 20 years. So, when he decided to look for a new challenge, home care wasn’t a sector he was considering.
But after meeting a current franchisee looking to realise their investment and sell their territory, Mike realised that the Home Instead Senior Care model, alongside the support and training offered, was everything he was looking for.
Mike, 46, said: “I’ve worked my way up through the career ranks, and my wife and I have had experience of a start-up, but I’ve never had the chance to take a business to its next level.
“It was important for me that what we bought was not only established and successful, but that it offered real potential for growth.”
Although investing in the care sector wasn’t part of the plan, it’s brought Mike full circle in his life. “My mum ran a care home in Tavistock, Devon”, he said. “I lived there until I went to college, so I grew up surrounded by older people. It gave me a good grounding and it does feel nice to now be working with those older generations.”
Mike admits that he was also looking for something more than just a successful business, “I wanted to do something that felt worthwhile and to use my experience to help an organisation that was about more than just profit. I’d been looking at getting involved with a charity or third sector organisation but couldn’t find a way to make it work.
“18 months of networking to find the right opportunity led to me being introduced to the founding franchisee. We spoke about the territory resale available with Home Instead and it’s a cliché but it ticked all of the boxes. Weston-Super-Mare was a territory where the numbers stacked up, there’s great potential for growth in the network, and it provided the opportunity to do something more worthwhile in life.”
Mike’s career started in High Wycombe, when he joined materials testing company, Instron, as Technical Support. Over 20 years, he worked his way up through sales and general management, before becoming European Sales Manager.
After time at Macfarlene Packaging and then launching a cost management services company with his wife, Mike decided he wanted his next move to be the purchase of an already successful company.
He said: “I’d actually already found a business opportunity. It was a much bigger business and I was buying it with partners, but it fell through late in the process.
“What that meant though was that when the opportunity with Home Instead came along, I already knew about the steps I had to go through. Buying a franchise meant I saved a lot of costs and the guides and procedures made it very easy – it was about as plain sailing as you can get.”
After finding out about the opportunity in Autumn 2016, terms had been agreed by Christmas and Mike completed his purchase of the Weston-Super-Mare office on 1 April this year. With 80 clients and 40 CAREGivers, Mike’s first priority has been getting to know his team and his clients, whilst learning about the systems, procedures and responsibilities involved in providing exemplary homecare as part of a multi-award winning homecare franchise network.
As well as support in terms of care quality and standards, Mike has also found the training available from National Office across all areas invaluable in his franchise journey to date.
Mike said: “Being new into the care industry and the Home Instead network, I’ve been undertaking as much training as I can. Not only has it been of an incredibly high standard, it’s been delivered in a way that I could implement the learnings to my business immediately. From the procedures we followed during the process, to the visits we’ve received to our franchise, the support has been phenomenal.”
He added: “Being part of a brand that has received the recognition that Home Instead has, means I know that I’m part of an ethical and caring company that’s getting things right, and that’s really important to me.”
Mike’s clear on what his business ambitions are and he’s looking to double turnover over the next five years, taking it from £500,000 to £1million.
He has already seen that demand is outstripping resource and has spent the last few weeks out in his community meeting people with the aim of recruiting more CAREGivers to deliver Home Instead’s quality care and companionship.
Commenting on the business opportunity the senior homecare market presents, Mike said: “There aren’t many businesses you can go to where there are more clients than you can deal with. I want to spend the summer getting traction and then expect to see solid business growth by the autumn.
“I’ve bought a wonderful business. There’s a huge market for people who just need love and care in their own homes. I’ve only been in the business two months and I can already see how rewarding it is to be able to offer that.”
Home Instead Senior Care franchisees all recognised the fact that investing in a franchise in the senior care market represented a wise investment. The combination of an ageing population plus growing recognition that home based care is often the best and most cost-effective way to look after our seniors, means the demand for homecare services for older people is growing at an unprecedented rate.
Last Updated: 29-September-2017
Merry Maids of Wigan is ready to grow!
Name: Patricia Malley
Location: Margaret House, Adlington, Chorley, PR7 4HD
Franchise: Merry Maids of Wigan
Date launched the franchise: 13.7.2015
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying your franchise?
I worked in the NHS for 35yrs. Most of this time was spent working within secure services.
Why did you decide to go down the franchise route?
I wanted to run my own business but liked the idea of a support network offered through the franchise.
Why did you choose the industry you are in? And ultimately the franchise you bought?
Something completely different to my previous career. There was a demand for good quality cleaning in this area and Merry Maids offered the virgin territory to build the business on.
Why have you decided to sell your business?
Early retirement. Willing to manage and support the new owner if the need arises.
What’s the key selling points of your business?
- Solid customer base and still growing.
- Provides jobs for local people.
- Established team of loyal and committed staff.
- Turnover has doubled in the 2nd year of business.
- Excellent standard of cleaning.
- Good customer relationships
- Ability to expand into the neighbouring territory (South Lancashire)
What support should the new franchisee expect to receive?
Support from existing staff, myself and the Merry Maids franchise support network.
What are the other benefits of buying a resale?
Established business and growing customer base year by year.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
Managing staff. Ensuring customer cleans are serviced. Monitor standards of cleans. Acting on feedback from staff. Liaise with customers. Promote and bring work into the business.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
It’s been really hard work over the last 2 years but I’m a firm believer that if you put the work in then the business will grow. After only a short time in business I am heading in the right direction and growing year by year.
What type of person would make an ideal new owner of your business?
A person who can see the potential within the business over a long term period. Someone who can invest in order to grow the business and employ local staff.
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
Look at the franchise as a long term investment. It is hard work running a business but the rewards will come later.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Someone who can seek out opportunity to progress and develop the business. Believes in the brand and promotes the service offered. Is able to develop good staff relationships and make the workplace a great place to work. Develops good customer relationships.