Why a Caremark franchise for this husband-and-wife team?

August 9, 2021

We talk to David and Caroline Balmer as to why they originally chose to invest in a Caremark franchise, but also as to why they are investing in a second territory.

Caroline was already hugely experienced in the provision of care at home even before investing in her own care at home business with Husband David, as she was in an employed Care Manager role, skills she transferred straight into the business.

So, it was a home care business they wanted, but why a Caremark franchise in particular? They did plenty of research and found the model was the best suited to what they wanted for their business, not only the extensive range of services they could provide, but also the ability to provide: “good care at a reasonable price” David explained.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

Although Caroline’s care experience was useful for them initially, she does say it was hard at first to juggle heading up the business at the same time as being Care Manager and feels much more at home now, focusing more on the financial aspects of the business while David focuses more on the operational side of things, developing the business through marketing and submitting tenders while forming relationships with the local authority, leaving their Care Manager to run the care delivery side of things.

When reflecting on running a care at home business during Covid-19 David enthused that the constant stream of advice and guidance was invaluable to them to adjust their ways of working: “The up to date emails and information coming through from the support team really helped to keep our clients and staff safe, helping us provide the care the community needed, freeing up beds for people who were particularly afflicted with Coronavirus and helping to alleviate the pressure on the NHS.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

So, a few years down the road and the business has grown to a level where they feel the time is right to invest in another territory, a territory neighbouring their existing business in Worcester & Malvern Hills, which will be in Wychavon & Wyre Forest.

When talking of their free time, David and Caroline agree that owning a Caremark franchise gives them the flexibility to have a happy work life balance, giving Caroline time for her 3 horses and David time for the golf course.

You don’t need to come from a care background like Caroline, as full training is given and ongoing support is provided through a network of Regional Support Managers and Head Office Support Team. If you have the relevant investment, drive and business acumen then talk to us today on 01903 266392 or click here to find out more about joining the Caremark Network, who David & Caroline now describe as friends.

Tony Harris gets off to a flying start

September 27, 2019

Before launching his Lockfit franchise in South Birmingham, Tony worked in telecoms, making long commutes every day around the country.

He first considered investing in a business in the locksmith industry after researching the locksmith industry.

“I’d spent practically all of my career working in telecoms but I’d grown increasingly tired of living the same day, every day. I decided to leave my job after finding out more about the locksmith industry. I wanted to start a business, but I was hesitant about some of the risks that were involved when going at it alone, so franchising seemed like a very good option.”

After researching franchising opportunities in the locksmith sector, Tony considered various providers.

Related: Home Services Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Home Service Franchises?

He was intrigued by the level of expertise in the Lockfit network and their professional and transparent approach to the market.

“I met with the lockfit team in Solihull and was very impressed by the founder, Kevin Russell, his ethos and his beliefs. I also met with two of the other directors Andy Moore and Eddy Ankrett and that really reinforced my belief that Lockfit was a brand that I wanted to be associated with.

“I launched Lockfit (Birmingham South) in May and my experience, so far, has been extremely positive. Buying a franchise has enabled me to achieve a better quality of life – I now spend a lot less time commuting! and more time with my family.

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

In only 6 short months, Tony has established himself as one of the most well-respected locksmith providers in his area, and is looking at expanding into a second territory.

“It’s a real pleasure to work with people, like Kevin, who have a passion for the industry. With a growing national network and a reputation for excellence, Lockfit franchisees are leading providers of locksmith services.

We support every member of our growing network to build their own success and bring positive change to their local community.

If you are dreaming of owning your own business and being in charge of your own destiny, join our network of like-minded individuals.

Related: Lockfit Franchise

Fun Science Franchise Success Story – Camilla Rootes

July 19, 2019

Camilla joined us in October 2016 and started up Fun Science Sheffield.

At the time, Camilla was running the business part time around completing a PHD in palaeoglaciology (reconstructing glaciers from the last Ice Age).

It didn’t take long for Camilla to get her first school workshop bookings and within 6 months her first holiday club was fully booked with a waiting list.

In fact, the Fun Science Sheffield holiday club continues to be very popular and is often fully booked with many children attending regularly.

2 years later, Camilla now has seven staff and runs clubs in several local schools as well as parties, holiday clubs and workshops.

Camilla’s favourite things about running her branch are messy experiments and getting children excited about science!”

Camilla has now finished her PHD and is officially Dr Magnetic Milla! She now runs her branch full time.

Related: Fun Science Franchise

Fun Science Franchise Success Story – Sue Hayward

July 19, 2019

Sue was working for Telford college before she joined us but decided to make the change to have a more flexible job and be able to spend more time with her 8 year old daughter.

Sue started Fun Science Shropshire in August 2018 and ran her first party the week after her launch event and her first holiday club in October 2018.

Four months later, Sue runs clubs in 3 schools as well as parties, holiday clubs and workshops in Telford, Shrewsbury and surrounding areas.

Sue says her favourite thing about running her branch is “the flexibility that it gives, and the buzz I get from every party, assembly and club that I run. It is a rewarding and refreshing career change”

Related: Fun Science Franchise

Driver Hire Renewals Come in Threes

May 17, 2019

Three Driver Hire franchisees – in Brighton, Cardiff and Gatwick – have recently completed renewal agreements securing further five year business partnerships with the leading transport & logistics recruitment specialists.

Franchising for over 30 years, Driver Hire recruitment offices mainly provide temporary and permanent drivers and other logistics staff to local and national organisations in both the public and private sector.

If they’re short of staff – perhaps because of illness, holidays or seasonal demand – Driver Hire will supply them with a suitable replacement.

Related: Recruitment Franchise UK – Should You Invest In UK Recruitment Franchises?

Simon Johnston,  Franchise Development Director commented: “The renewal process, which is free, involves the franchisee producing a five-year business and financial plan, using Driver Hire’s template documents. A meeting is then held between the franchisee and, usually two directors, to discuss the content and the franchisee’s future plans.”

Dave Pollard, owner of the Brighton franchise, said: “Renewal is a great opportunity to review your business. As with the purchase process, Driver Hire’s Group Services support team were both thorough and helpful. As a result I’m looking forward to developing my franchise further over the next five years.”

Related: Recruitment Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

For both Darran Perkins and Nic Chaviaris, their Driver Hire connections go back further than ten years.

They both worked for the previous owners of their franchise before making the decision to invest when the opportunity came along.

“I can’t believe how much my business has grown,” says Nic Chaviaris, owner of Gatwick franchise.

“I’ve never had any doubts that I made the right decision. I work with a great team and the business fits in with my family commitments. Most importantly we continue to be a highly successful operation.” Darran Perkins (Driver Hire Cardiff) agrees.

Related: Driver Hire Franchise

“When it’s your own business, you benefit directly from the effort that you put in. We’re a 24/7 operation, so success as a Driver Hire franchise is about following their well established franchise model combined with a strong work ethic. I continue to make a good living from my franchise – that’s why I chose to renew.”

Former Farmer Reaps Benefits After Switching Career Paths

April 16, 2019

A former farmer is reaping the benefits of success after switching careers to provide a hygiene service to local businesses.

Tired of long hours with little reward, Charles Williams invested in a hygiene supplies service and he’s never looked back.

Now 28 years later he has grown his Chemex franchise to a £400,000 turnover operation and supplies hundreds of businesses across the South Cheshire, North Shropshire and The Wirral franchise territory. Charles provides a hygiene advice and training service backed by more than 600 specialist products from his base in Ashton near Chester.

Related: Cleaning Franchises in the UK – Here’s All You Need to Know

His customers include nursing homes, schools, shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels across the region. His success has won him a special achievement award from Chemex to recognise the outstanding customer service he has provided to ensure local businesses don’t fall foul of hygiene laws.

He is also the company’s longest serving franchisee.

Related: Chemex Franchise

Michael Graham, Managing Director of Chemex, said: 

“Charles is a wonderful example of how to be successful in business. He provides outstanding customer service and goes the extra mile to ensure his customers’ requirements are fully met. It was a brave step to switch from farming to a completely new career, but Charles has shown great commitment and dedication to build a highly successful business.”

Charles said: 

“Investing in a Chemex franchise is the best decision I have ever made. It has completely changed my life. Since leaving farming my work life balance has improved dramatically and my social life has grown with many of my loyal customers becoming friends. The business continues to grow and I’m enjoying life. I like being out on the road meeting new people and building new relationships.”

Related: Cleaning Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Berkshire franchise company, Chemex, celebrates 25th Anniversary with record breaking turnover

April 16, 2019

Chemex, a Berkshire hygiene supplies franchise company has double cause to celebrate after reaching 25 years in business and achieving record turnover.

Stephen and Margaret Crinks have grown their Chemex franchise to a near £750,000 a year business with four employees since starting from scratch 25 years ago.

The franchise business supplies hundreds of customers across Berkshire and North Wiltshire with a hygiene consultancy service backed by 600 products.

Related: Cleaning Franchises in the UK – Here’s All You Need to Know

The couple recently invested in a 2,200sq ft franchise service centre at Great Bedwyn near their franchise territory in Marlborough to help meet demand from its growing customer base which covers the M4 corridor.

Stephen and Margaret’s success has been praised by Chemex Managing Director Michael Graham who said: 

“Stephen and Margaret are a wonderful example of how to be successful in business. They provide exceptional customer service and help hundreds of businesses across West Berkshire and North Wiltshire to maintain a first-class hygiene regime.”

Mr Graham said the franchise had built up an excellent reputation and supplied prestigious clients such as the three-star Michelin restaurant The Fat Duck at Bray run by Heston Blumenthal.

Related: Cleaning Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Stephen Crinks said: 

“It is very satisfying that so many top-class establishments rely on us to make sure they have the best possible health and hygiene regime. We have grown the business year on year and although we work hard, I enjoy every minute. Each day I get to meet lots of wonderful people many of whom have been loyal customers for many years. I also owe so much to Margaret who provides the all-important admin and organisation which has been vital in enabling the business to flourish and grow.”

Related: Chemex Franchise

Oxfordshire Franchisee Thanks Redundancy For Sparking His Success

April 16, 2019

Chemex Franchise UK – Being made redundant has turned into a blessing in disguise for current franchisee Steve Payne.


Losing his job set Steve on an entrepreneurial path which has seen him build a highly successful franchise business in the hygiene supplies sector. And now Steve is celebrating 26 years of running a Chemex franchise supplying hundreds of businesses within his franchise territory of North Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.

Steve, a former RAF jet fighter technician, turned to Chemex after losing his job as a plant manager at a mineral water company and he’s never looked back.

Related: Cleaning Franchises in the UK – Here’s All You Need to Know

“At the time it was disappointing, but it set me on a new path which has enabled me to create a successful business and a highly enjoyable lifestyle,” said Steve whose business is based in Minster Lovell. “I recognised there was a good opportunity with Chemex and I have really enjoyed growing the business and building relationships with so many wonderful customers.”

Starting from scratch Steve has built up a six figure annual turnover and the business continues to grow. He provides a consultancy and training service, backed by 600 specialist cleaning products, to a wide range of businesses including restaurants, hotels and residential care facilities.

Related: Cleaning Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Steve’s success has been praised by Chemex Managing Director Michael Graham who said: 

“Steve is a wonderful example of how to be successful in business. He has turned a bad situation to his advantage by having a positive can-do attitude. He provides exceptional customer service and helps hundreds of businesses across North Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds to maintain a first-class hygiene regime.”

Related: Chemex Franchise

Elaine Anderson – case study

March 14, 2019

Elaine Anderson joined leading greeting card publisher and franchisor Card Connection in 2012 and took over the established territory of Glasgow and Fort William.

  • Name: Elaine Anderson
  • Location: Glasgow & Fort William
  • Franchise: Card Connection
  • Date: joined 2012

Elaine now delivers and merchandises Card Connection’s extensive range of high-quality greeting cards and accessories, such as wrap and gift bags, to retailers across the region.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise?

Before joining the Card Connection franchise network I was a contract manager for Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Enterprise for around 10 years before taking a break to re-evaluate options.

Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose your industry? And why your franchise?

A visit to the Franchise exhibition in Scotland sparked my interest in franchising and an advert in the local paper led me to the Card Connection opportunity which had become available. I was looking for a new challenge and Card Connection ticked all the boxes. The business offered a solid cash-flow opportunity and stunning products.

Related: Retail Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Retail Franchises?

I also liked the business model where Card Connection’s franchisees use a proven system to place quality greeting cards and gifts in retail outlets on a ‘consignment’ basis. This means the stock and display equipment are installed on free loan to the retailer. This is one step beyond ‘sale or return’ as Card Connection customers never have to buy the stock initially, only paying for what they sell. Card Connection’s award winning merchandising service provided to retailers by local franchisees has proved popular with retailers and supported franchisees in business for more than two decades.

The staff were friendly and helpful and this stood out too. The team have a good attitude and it is this support you need when starting out, not pressure.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

Training was thorough and took place at Card Connection’s head office in Farnham, Surrey. There was a full handover with the outgoing franchisee who was emigrating to Australia, so I could learn the ropes before taking over full-time.

What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?The Glasgow and Fort William territory is a mix of urban and some particularly rural areas and even includes several island locations. Driving through the scenery is a delight and I have got to see parts of Scotland I’ve never been to before! I also need to travel on a couple of ferries which is not a bad way to get to work! I have around 200 retail customers which I visit on a regular basis every four-six weeks. I visit between five and seven stores on a typical day to supply the new stock of greeting cards and refresh the displays.

What challenges have you faced?

Starting out was ‘hectic’ but in a good way! I can only compare it to expecting a child: you do all the research but nothing quite prepares you for the reality! Card Connection’s business model is simple, but there was still a lot to learn. The team have been tremendously supportive and really helped me get to grips with the franchise, so I could get up and running quickly.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life? If so how?

I am so pleased I chose Card Connection – the company and staff have been really good to deal with. I now manage my own business, it is completely different from any of my previous roles but I really enjoy the challenge.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?

Homework is essential! Research is great, but there is no substitute for spending time with a franchisee and seeing what they actually do on a daily basis.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?Organised people who are focused will make good franchisees. I think people who are over anxious may find self-employment challenging. Franchisees also need to be prepared to work really hard and be flexible. Often it is not a 9-5 job!

What are your plans for the future?

It is coming up to five years with Card Connection, so I plan to continue to build the business. I now work with my son and also have a part-time helper to pack the greetings cards. We will now focus on developing better quality stores which are of a certain size to maximise profits.

Would you do it all again?Yes! I researched many options before joining Card Connection but the franchise has definitely turned out to be the best choice for me.

Related: Card Connection Franchise

The power of Two!

March 14, 2019

Young entrepreneurs Shipra Mehta and Swati Bagwe are just two of Caremark’s thirty something clutch of franchisees who have recently joined the expanding UK network.

Shipra and Swati, friends and business partners, launched their Caremark home care business in Richmond-upon-Thames in January 2017 and started trading in May of that year. In less than 12th months, they have gone from a standing start exceeding performance targets to a business which is building a great reputation in their local community.

Their drive and determination to create a high quality locally based home care service was rewarded with two prestigious accolades from Caremark Limited at the company’s annual conference earlier this year: The Rising Star award and the Regional Award for top franchise in the south-central region, acknowledging their progress through the last year.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

Both women come from professional backgrounds, with Shipra having worked in the NHS and Swati within underwriting for a major insurance company. Despite their different career paths, their common denominator is their shared vision to create an outstanding business, delivering bespoke care and support to the vulnerable people in their local area.

Their young business has already attained recognition from Richmond Council as a provider of home care, as well as the council awarding one of their care workers with the Dignity in Care accolade.

The combined talents of both these young professionals is sure to stand them in good stead and will, no doubt, see them collect yet more gongs in the coming years.

With plans to extend their service to adults with learning disabilities, both Shipra and Swati are excited about their future and are looking forward to reaching out to different people in their community.

“I can certainly say, that now, a year on choosing a Caremark franchise has definitely been the best decision I have taken yet,” says Swati, a sentiment with which they both agree!

Related: Caremark Franchise