When people talk about a work-life balance in business, it seems like they must be dreaming.
Either you do an easy job, come home and have plenty of free time with no stress and no money, or you rise up the ranks, work harder, work longer hours, work from home and perhaps see your family for a couple of weeks a year in the Canary Islands?
My experience felt pretty similar to that. Although I loved my job working as a community nurse, a career that spanned 15 years, I was tired of the long hours for poor pay.
My need for a new way of life coincided with my desire to see improved social care for the people I was looking after. With this in mind, I set up Apollo Care in 2011 to address the gaps in home care and to create a new working life for myself.
Setting up Apollo Care
I’m not going to lie. Setting up a business is not for the feint-hearted. It demands time and commitment that can only be driven by a passion. But the result is that today I can have the life I want. As well as being business owner, social care expert, author, mentor and entrepreneur, I can create my working day around the needs of my family life.
Other people may think, “Well it’s okay for you, Cheryl. You know your field, it was easy for you to turn your passion into a business.”
This is true, but although I had my nursing expertise and I could determine the processes to create the ideal home care business system, there were other aspects of self-employed life that I had to get my head round. Advertising, marketing and social media for one.
Understanding how to get my business on people’s radar was a skill I had to acquire. I had to pay out money to learn these skills, waste time experimenting to find out what worked and what didn’t, and I had to do my research and seek advice. Then there were the HR systems, the payroll software, the accounts…
All this while I was trying to get my care business to take off! So while I am now able to benefit from a life of relative security and freedom, it certainly wasn’t that way when I started out.
Opening Apollo Care up to other business owners
I’m happy to say that, with the right people around me and a willingness to take on new challenges, marketing, social media and HR no longer scare me. I’m the proud owner of a beautiful brand that people know and recognise.
Yet, as I was busy finding out about other business functions that fell outside of the realm I was most comfortable in, I met many individuals from different backgrounds who were natural business leaders, but didn’t know so much about social care.
That didn’t make them any less suitable care leaders.
I thought, if I could package up my brand and make it available to other compassionate people, I could amplify the Apollo mission to provide high quality social care to those who need it most, wherever they are.
Apollo Care Franchising was born in 2013, with three new franchises opened within three months.
What is this franchising thing?
If you already know what this is, feel free to skip ahead. For everyone else, a quick explanation!
Many household names are in fact franchise businesses. Think of McDonalds, Burger King and Land Rover dealerships as famous examples. The owners of these outlets are not the same people who own the brand, but they have a license to trade as McDonalds or Nissan.
It works the same way with Apollo Care. Normally, if you wanted to set up your own business, you would have to create the service, product, branding and processes from scratch. With a franchise, you have access to all of this as well as support from the parent company.
So why buy a franchise?
If you buy a franchise, it’s a great gateway to setting up and running your own business with ready-made systems, a brand identity and a philosophy in place.
By allowing others to come aboard, it has ensured that all the knowledge, expertise and training is packaged up to give compassionate leaders a helping hand. This means that the time spent learning about social care or booking systems can be better spent reaching vulnerable adults who need our help. It also means you have a fast track to getting that elusive work life balance.
Does that mean you have your cake and eat it?
Using the right tools, support and expertise means that you can set up your own business just like I did, only in much less time with fewer learning curves to negotiate solo.
But that’s only half the story…
Apollo Care cannot make you a success. Only you have the power to take what we have to offer, be open to learning and implement our recommendations. Hardworking people with the desire to grab this opportunity and run with it are the people I want to support.
I don’t just accept anyone as a franchisee
You don’t have to have worked in the caring profession previously, but you do have to care. My business was built on the principles of providing a better, more holistic care service to what is available from other care providers. It’s therefore important that while you’re flying the Apollo flag, you champion this mission too.
If it’s a mission you choose to accept…
With Apollo Care’s exciting franchising package and your desire to run your own care business, you too can ditch the 9-5, be your own boss and create the life you want.