How to write a business plan for a care franchise
The care sector is thriving. In 2018/19, local authorities spent £22.2 billion on adult social care, and with an ageing population, demand for care services is only growing. Many people require care throughout their lives, but most people need some care services like those provided by care franchises as they get older. As a result, starting a care franchise can be an excellent opportunity to open a business that is not only financially viable but personally rewarding too. However, like all business ventures, there is no guarantee of success. If you plan to start a care franchise, you will need a comprehensive business plan to ensure your franchise is profitable for many years to come. In this article, we look at the critical elements of a business plan for a care franchise, providing our top tips on how to write a business plan, and what you should include.
Why do I need a business plan?
There are many reasons you should write a business plan, but first and foremost, a business plan is essential to secure funding for your business venture from an investor or bank. Also, the business plan process helps give direction to your business and helps you understand if you are meeting your markers for success along the way.
What should I include in a business plan for a care franchise?
The executive summary
As the name of this section suggests, this part is designed to give a clear overview of your business to capture the attention of the reader and provide them with a reason to provide investment. It would be best if you outlined your business model, competitors, goals and target market as part of the executive summary. If you are becoming involved in the care sector, you may wish to describe how your business will have an impact on the quality of your clients’ lives. Investors will want to know that you genuinely care about making a difference in the sector, and how you plan to do that.
Depending on your planning style, you may wish to write the executive summary last after you have plotted out each of the other elements of your business plan.
Use this section to go into detail about your care business. Discuss the market and the gap your business will fill. What would make your clients’ lives better? What services do you offer? How do these services address the conditions and challenges your target market faces? Include details about how exactly you will provide these services (e.g. over the phone, in-person) and your hours of operation etc.
An analysis of your competitors
Establishing a reputation as a care provider can be challenging. When it comes to their health or that of those closest to them, many people want to hire an established business they can trust. However, as a new business, this doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot become a trusted name – this is where joining an established franchise comes in.
Provide an analysis of the care sector in your local area. Outline the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and address how you will offer better or more convenient services to your client base. Also, be clear about affordability – care can be a significant and sometimes insurmountable cost for many, so you need to demonstrate that your services are accessible.
Set out your sales and marketing plan
You will need to make it clear how you plan to attract new customers to your business – from the outset and beyond. Your plan should cover all elements of sales and marketing including PR, your website, SEO and social media. However, because you’re setting up a business which may target the elderly, you will need to consider traditional print media or local advertising too. You may also wish to use this section to set out your pricing structure, and how this might attract sales.
Financial projections and investment needs
You will need to set out your figures and projections for the business if you are seeking investment, but also to make sure the business stays on track financially. Outline your expected projections for the next 12 months – you may wish to get the help of a business advisor at this point.
Ready to start a career in the care sector?
Starting a care business can be truly rewarding – both personally and financially. You have the opportunity to make a significant difference to people’s lives, and give families peace of mind that their loved ones are being taken care of adequately. Whether you plan to be hands-on, hands-off or even operate as a home-based franchise, take a look around the Quality Franchise Association members directory today.