Absolute Care Services Havering Case Study

Horace and Patricia Jarrett are a brother and sister team based in the London Borough of Havering.  They joined ACS in late 2014 before launching in 2015.

What did you do before joining ACS?

I (Horace) worked as a Business Change Programme Manager in the financial services sector and worked for some of the world’s leading financial institutions including Barclays Bank, Bank of New York, JP Morgan Chase and Visa. My sister Patricia also possesses a financial services background having worked in human resources, service management and community liaison for companies including NatWest, RBS and Churchill. 

How did you find out about franchising?

I carried out a lot of research online using the franchise directories and also attended several franchise shows as it’s a great was to speak to the franchisors face-to-face and get a feel for them and the type of company you’d be joining. In fact, it was a franchise show in London that I met ACS owner and Executive Director Della Smith. I found Della to be very straight talking and knowledgeable; she instantly installed me with confidence in care and her franchise opportunity.

Why did you choose a franchise over going it alone?

Home care is a highly regulated and potentially complex business with a risk of getting it wrong without the right input and guidance. If set up correctly at the beginning, it will minimise the risk of encountering future problems and avoid potential pitfalls. I believe that this is the fastest way to get started and become productive. Della has been hugely supportive and even helped us get on our local council’s care framework which has opened up a very big revenue stream for us.

Why did you choose ACS over other care franchises?

At the time ACS were one of the newer franchises and we calculated that they would have more time to devote to helping us develop our business. We were impressed with the attitude of Della and her Franchise Manager, they seemed to genuinely care about the quality of service and not just focussed on the financial rewards or capital required and how we’d be able to get it.  

What skills and personality traits do you think are needed to run a care franchise?

You have to be patient, determined and optimistic because it does take time to set up the agency and recruit your front line staff to provide your clients with care. Our background was financial services and although we had been helping our elderly parents around the house, we didn’t come from a care background and therefore you have to be willing to learn and work hard. This is a business all about people - both staff and clients and therefore you need to possess good interpersonal skills and be a people person.

What do you like most about ‘your job’?

Seeing people’s lives changed by what we do is incredibly rewarding. This applies equally to our wonderful clients and their families as well as our loyal and devoted staff. I’m not going to lie, it is hard work but the comments that come back into the office from our clients and their family members make it worthwhile and make you realise that we are making a very positive difference to so many people’s lives and that is incredibly gratifying.