Care firm invests in software to control franchises

Tim Cocking: growth drive. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane
Tim Cocking: growth drive. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane
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A CARE company that helps its elderly customers to remain in their own homes is investing £120,000 in software to help it expand across the UK with a network of franchises.

Edinburgh-based Bright Care, which also has its own operations in Glasgow, already has one franchised offshoot and owner Tim Cocking is in talks to open three more across Scotland.

To ensure he retains a close grip on the work being carried out under his brand, he has hired fellow Edinburgh firm Lyle Sutherland to build an IT and internal communications platform for Bright Care.

He is investing an initial £30,000 in the system, backed by a grant of £9,000 from the Scottish Enterprise Growth Fund, and will fund ongoing investment totalling £120,000 over the next five years.

Cocking said: “This is going to be added to and improved to meet the growing needs of the business. The whole idea of the system is that it allows us to take a consistent approach with every member of staff and every client.”

He added: “With franchising it can be dangerous because you are letting go of some of the control, but this software is designed to allow us to keep full control.

“Franchises will be doing exactly the same things as us, and I can be anywhere and check exactly what’s going on.”

Cocking said that he is spending up to £2,000 a month on advertising for potential franchisees, but is taking a cautious approach to recruitment. Out of 250 inquiries to date, he has only taken on one partner.