Alastair Shanks is a man on a mission….to develop the best home care business in Guildford and Farnham.
After leaving university Alastair joined Unilever’s management development programme and was fast tracked into a management role. He then joined his father’s engineering business with 13 branches spanning the UK as operations director. However, after seven years he hankered after running his own business.
“I knew I wanted to start my own business but felt that going out completely on my own would be too risky so I started to look at franchise opportunities. Through a franchise match making service I was introduced to Right at Home. I took to Ken Deary and the team right away and liked the company’s strong ethos and values,” said Alastair. “I was surprised that the care sector was an ideal match for me as I had never considered it however I liked the idea of being part of the local community whilst making a worthwhile contribution to the welfare of the elderly.”
He added: “The training was excellent and gave me everything I needed to know about running a home care business. I was also invited to the international conference in the US earlier this year and it was great to hear from franchisees there who have been running their businesses for much longer. I have also become a member of Right at Home’s Franchise Advisory Council that means I have a lot of input into the future development of the franchise network. I have always found that the management are open to new ideas and franchisees are actively encouraged to share best practice at our regular meetings.”
Since starting his franchise in June 2012 Alastair has built up a core team of a care manager, two coordinators, three team leaders and 40 carers. The business is already turning over £600,000 per annum but Alastair has no intention of stopping there. “There is a lot of potential growth in my existing area and I’ll be spending the next few years growing the business and ensuring we are delivering an excellent service to clients. One of the biggest rewards of the business has been the amazing feedback from clients and the feeling that we are really making a difference to people’s lives. The greatest challenge is never letting a customer down; you need to do everything humanly possible to deliver the service as people and their relatives are depending on you.”
Alastair would definitely recommend a Right at Home franchise to others: “Make sure what you are buying into is something that you can get passionate about and what you will be doing every day is something you will enjoy. I was lucky enough to spend a whole day with an existing franchisee which really opened my eyes to what it was all about.”