A nurse-led home care provider offering services nationwide is celebrating a record £4m turnover in its tenth anniversary year.
Former district nurse, Cheryl White (pictured), founded Apollo Care in 2011 before franchising her business model two years later. The Wirral resident now has 14 Apollo Care franchisees across the UK, with active plans to take on another eight over the next 12 months.
During the pandemic, the business experienced a 48% rise in turnover, and next year it plans to lay the groundwork for international expansion.
In the meantime, White, who entered the care profession aged 14, says that home care providers should be better supported to meet the country’s post-pandemic needs without experiencing burnout themselves.
“In the next two to five years, I believe the physical and mental health knock-on effect of the pandemic will be huge. Home care service providers are already at risk of burnout from the constant firefighting and stress of managing a lot of care staff. They need help to consider viable alternatives to grow their businesses.
“Two years into running my own home care business, I was admitted to hospital with palpitations. There was only one of me, and my team wasn’t big enough to meet rising demand. A lengthy waiting list was building up at work and my eldest son Daniel was only two-and-a-half at the time. I was pushed into a state of overwhelm. For me, franchising was the answer.”
There are currently around 50,000 franchise businesses collectively contributing over £17bn to the UK economy, according to research by The British Franchise Association and NatWest.
White says she is now on a personal mission to help other providers determine whether or not their business is franchise-ready.
“In 2015, I set up the Mercury Franchise School. Since then, I have helped health and social care business owners who have been trading profitably for at least 12 months to set up franchises in more than 30 different areas.
“I used to think working more hours and taking on new staff was the only way to expand, but it came at a significant personal health cost. Post-pandemic, it’s vitally important that business owners look after themselves and grow in a healthy, sustainable way.”