Six countries, over 600 franchisees, and a firm track record across 20 years positions Visiting Angels as a champion of the care industry
Hundreds, if not thousands, of concepts operate within this benevolent landscape all around the world, and for newcomers to the scene, it can be tricky unpacking the various opportunities on offer. However, for Dan Archer, master franchisee and MD for Visiting Angels, the picture is a much clearer one: “It’s far less competitive if you’re looking at the marketplace we’re operating in.”
The marketplace Archer is referring to is one that prioritizes its care personnel – something he feels the industry is lacking on the whole. To combat the staff turnover that can be “as high as 50 per cent”, Visiting Angels instead opts for a “carer-centric” approach that has seen the franchise retain staff longer than many other similar businesses.
“We have a large margin, which means we can pay our care staff better, we can earn their loyalty, and when they’re loyal, we can reward them for it,” explains Archer. “Being carer-centric is looking after our carers, listening to their needs, and reacting to those needs. We’ve built the business around them.”
Built a business indeed, as, since the brand’s founding in 1991, it’s rocketed to international prominence, with Visiting Angels now having a presence in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, and the U.K.
Choosing your caregiver
Operating a carer-centric franchise business only works if the staff you’re hiring are the very best – something that Visiting Angels strives for with a stringent recruitment process. “We take four references for every caregiver that we recruit”, explains Archer, “and we do a personality profiling test. People are used to these in management positions, but we’re doing it for every single caregiver that we recruit into the business.”
“You want to be able to choose who you welcome into your home”
This background checking is then followed by a ‘Choose Your Caregiver’ initiative, that sees clients and their families having an active role in picking exactly who will come into their home. “What forms is a relationship,” says Archer. “It’s companionship-led, and in that situation, you want to be able to choose who you welcome into your home.”
Honing in on homeliness
The in-home care market is rapidly climbing as the industry grows as a whole, with a Baby Boomer generation financially equipped to bring help and support to their doorstep. This is a key benefit of franchises like Visiting Angels, and a cornerstone of why Dan Archer believes the business is thriving.
“The reality is that when somebody goes into residential care, they are probably one of 15 or 20 residents for each carer,” he says. “There are lots of advantages of care in the home setting – what we call ‘domiciliary care’ – because the time between a caregiver and a client is one-to-one. It’s absolutely tailored to that client’s needs, and there are no compromises because there’s nobody else in that relationship.”
Still need convincing? “The greatest benefit to what we do is that we make a genuine difference in people’s lives”, says Archer. “If you set out to make a difference, you will inevitably make a profit, which will enable you to make even more of a difference.”