Like many Caremark franchisees, Duncan Smith was new to the social care sector when he started his franchise. Duncan was previously a wine importer and sold wines from all around the world to different retailers.
Redundancy led him to put things into perspective and made him realise that his skills and experience would fit in another business sector. Duncan wanted to return to his Yorkshire roots and was keen to start a business in West Yorkshire. The memory of his late grandfather, a well-known and respected Doctor in Huddersfield, prompted him to look into starting his own business in the home care sector.
"Having researched future growth areas in the economy I discovered an opportunity with Caremark. There were already established Caremark businesses in neighbouring areas to mine which gave me the confidence to make the required investment.
Being in charge of my own destiny and building an excellent team around me has been the most rewarding in terms of job satisfaction.
The support I have had from Caremark right from the start has been excellent. The initial training was thorough and very intensive, but it really needs to be, to prepare you to get your business off the ground and to help you understand the legislation which sits within the care industry. The help and advice from my Regional Development Manager has also been invaluable."
Recognition of Duncan's efforts came quickly. Just over a month after he had started operating he was informed by Huddersfield Town that he had won their monthly 'Shooting Star' award. The prize recognises local businesses in the area. A few months later, he was nominated for Caremark’s Newcomer of the Year Award at the franchisor’s annual conference. For Duncan, the awards were proof that he "had been doing the right things at the start".
Since then, he has not stopped building strong relationships within his local community. He also promotes social care as a sector that offers different career opportunities.
Despite the challenges currently facing social care, Duncan is glad he made the leap from paid job to being his own boss and providing a worthwhile service to his local community.
Two years later and the proud owner of an expanding business Duncan advises:
"Don’t worry so much about where your first customer is going to come from. If you firmly believe that what you are doing is right and put in the required amount of effort then the rest will follow. You have to trust the franchise model and in your own abilities….after all, that’s why you bought into it!"
Before buying his Caremark franchise, Colin Evans had a long and successful career in sales and sales management.
A day in the life of Martin Steyn from Caremark in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling.
Friends and former colleagues Andrew Peace and Mark McKenning launched their first Caremark franchise in Barnsley in 2011.
Abhay Shah hadn't always planned to have a career in care but he looked into the prospect of starting his own business when daily number crunching became monotonous.
Husband and wife team Richard and Emily Magrath are the owners of Caremark in North Down, Ards & Belfast.
Caremark's Charles Folkes delivers over 3000 hours of care per week to vulnerable individuals in the Redcar and Cleveland area.
After doing some research, there was really no doubt in our minds, that the only choice we would be happy with would be Caremark, given the emphasis on care and not profit.– Richard Magrath, Caremark North Down, Ards & Belfast
I researched various sectors before reaching the decision that domiciliary care offered the sustainability and a straightforward business model which allowed for positive cashflow and personal reward.– Charles Folkes, Caremark Redcar & Cleveland
Since I joined, Caremark has done everything they promised they would do. The support has always been there and Kevin Lewis has even come out and given me a morale boost when I've needed it.Amarjit Gill, Caremark Redditch & Bromsgrove
CEO and founder of Caremark Kevin Lewis has over 25 years of experience in the UK home care sector
A strong ratio of 15:1 between franchisees and Regional Support Managers