In the latest episode of Home Care Hot Seat, HCI sits down with Claire Simmons, co-founder of In Home Care, a fast-growing care provider headquartered in Hampshire.
Simmons established the company in 2011, together with her long-time business partner Paul Reynolds. They initially opened three branches and, in the last 18 months, they have sold seven franchises covering areas of West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Essex.
The pair had no experience in the care sector, but they had both witnessed the struggle of older family members going without the support they needed to improve their quality of life.
At the same time, whilst running a successful debt helpline, supporting businesses in financial trouble, they came across two care companies who were looking to go insolvent. Both companies, according to Simmons, had a complete lack of empathy both for their carers and their clients, and this shocked the business partners into action.
In this interview, Simmons shares what the partners have learned about ‘what not to do’ in business and applied it to In Home Care, providing endless support to their franchisees from initial planning of the territory, to sourcing and finding the right premises, through to preparing and applying for CQC registration, recruiting and interviewing registered managers and full onsite training and weekly Zoom catch up phone calls.
She also talks about In Home Care’s wellbeing initiative, BEAUtiful Minds, enabling staff members to discuss any issues they have in a confidential, informal setting.
Finally, she discusses the challenges of opening franchises in a pandemic and In Home Care’s plans for future growth, including selling six franchises in the UK this year and expanding internationally.