Elderly care firm to roll out franchises

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A CARE company that helps its elderly customers to remain in their own homes is launching a franchise system to take its brand across the UK.

Entrepreneur Tim Cocking, whose firm Bright Care employs 65 people in Edinburgh, is planning to follow up a successful Glasgow pilot with franchises south of the Border.

Cocking has a target of creating 150 franchises over the next ten years.

He said: “The business model has proved itself very quickly and it is very scaleable in the UK.

“I think that there are great opportunities overseas too and I am very open to the idea of eventual European expansion, but all in good time.”

Bright Care caters for self-funded individuals who have taken “a strategic decision not to involve themselves with local authority contracts”. The service can include anything from help with the laundry to intensive live-in care for complex health needs.

Cocking said he is looking for “business professionals” with a strong interest in the healthcare sector to build the franchises and indicated that he is open to suggestions on how to improve his system.

“In the initial stages of the franchises, we will be looking for business partners who can help us fine-tune our systems and processes,” he said.

Cocking is offering franchisees a package of support including help in dealing with regulation, since one of the barriers to entry in the sector is negotiating registration with the Care Inspectorate.

Bright Care’s plans come ahead of the tenth annual Scottish Franchise Week, which starts on 29 April. Edinburgh-based franchising consultant Suzie McCafferty, whose firm Platinum Wave is sponsoring the event, said the current economic climate means it is a good time for businesses to branch out.

“Many people who have lost their businesses or have redundancy money are looking to get a franchise,” she said.

According to the British Franchise Association, there are more than 2,400 franchisee businesses in Scotland, accounting for 36,000 jobs and an annual economic contribution of more than £800 million.