Guardian Angel Carers was founded by former two-times Olympian and entrepreneur Christina Bassadone in 2012. Her passion and drive found a home in home care. Under her inspirational, focussed leadership, the company has grown at pace, achieving both business and industry success. Today this award-winning home care enterprise has a 200-strong team across the South Coast, with several branches and a newly thriving UK franchise family network.
Hello and welcome to Guardian Angel Carers,
You want to be your own boss, to succeed and to grow but to feel supported along the way. Ten years ago, I took the leap going from Olympian to business founder and now we're searching for like-minded, passionate people to share our vision. I know that I could not have achieved my successes without having the best team around me. I believe our franchise family will give you the support you need to thrive.
Our hands-on approach, leading technology and best-in-class tried and tested model gives you the tools and standards to guide you as you build your business.
Now is a great time to start that journey. The care industry is in high demand and recognised as a Top 5 UK growth area. I know from our own recent experience Home Care is a robust sector, able to sur-vive recessions and pandemics. It is also hugely rewarding, offering you the chance to run a successful business whilst giving back and feeling valued.
I'm excited to offer a wide choice of prime UK territories to people who share our values and have the drive and energy to be the best.
As you take this exciting new step, I encourage you to choose a great team to support you.
If you think you have got what it takes to win in the care sector, we'd love to talk to you.
Christina Handasyde Dick
We are a team of highly motivated people united by a desire to be an industry leader in Home Care. Knowledgeable, supportive and dedicated, we turn that vision into successful businesses. You can be part of a franchise family that is widening choice and enhancing care for the millions of people who need our help to live independently and happily at home every day.
The start-up cost of your Guardian Angels franchise is £28,500 plus VAT.
Care never stops, and more people need our services than ever. The UK Care sector is a top-five growth area. So there is both a need and an incredible opportunity to support those elderly and younger adults who want to live independently at home for longer.
You can now help meet that demand and deliver the highest standards of compassionate care through our proven franchise model, wherever you are based in the UK.
Franchising has at its core, a relationship between franchisors and franchisees of mutual interdependence and reliance. To thrive, there must be a cooperative relationship built on trust and bound together by common goals and mutual interests. So who are you partnering with, who will be supporting you along your journey from onboarding through to a successful Guardian Angel Carers franchisee?
Meet Sarah Harris, Head of Marketing.
What drives you?
When I became a mum, I reset my thinking to help me gain a better work-life balance. I reclassified my kids as my clients. So yes, I need to earn money to keep them in trainers, Lego, and yoyos (they are seriously retro) but I also need to do work that gives me time with them. I need a role that keeps me inspired, where I can grow and I come home buzzing, interested and interesting. I need to set an example. I believe hard work beats talent. My mantra, try new things you, ski the mountain, surf the wave, take the opportunity, always say yes. My only regrets are saying no to opportunities when I was younger – too scared, wanting to fit in, wanting (and failing) to be cool.
Persuading a client to refurbish a delipidated playground in a deprived area near one of their factories. In the days before ESG or CSR was on the minds and bottom lines of corporates, this was purpose before the band wagon. We put a lot of smiles on a lot of small faces and won an industry award.
Role at Guardian Angel Carers
My role is to develop a coherent, exciting marketing strategy and measurable plans to help drive growth for our franchisees and our core branches, attracting new clients, promoting the brand to potential recruits. I love data and copywriting – and thankfully have a team who are brilliantly creative and visual.
Sarah is one of our growing support team here at Guardian Angel Franchisees.
You don't have to be from the care sector to become a Guardian Angel Carer franchisee, but we believe it's important you care about owning a business that can make a difference.
You will need to have leadership qualities that can inspire, drive, innovate, and problem solve at pace. You should also be willing to embrace all aspects of running a home care business and, importantly, support a team whose work is mentally and emotionally demanding but incredibly rewarding.
We don't believe you have to be from care to join us, but we do believe it's important that you care about owning a business that can make a difference. You will need to have leadership qualities that can inspire, a drive to innovate and be fast to problem solve and be involved in being part of this growing, inclusive business, that welcomes you and your ideas and values your contribution.
Like us, you should also be willing to roll up your sleeves and embrace all aspects of running a Home Care business and support a team, whose work is mentally and emotionally demanding but incredibly rewarding.
Guardian Angel Carers
Number of franchised outlets: 8
Location of units include: Spelthorne, Farnham, Wimbledon, Haywards Heath
Investment range: £28,500 plus VAT franchise fee, £84,200 total investment (plus VAT)
Interested to know more? Contact us via the request information form today!
Lou is the franchisee that got us started. Her career at Guardian Angel Carers has taken her from being a CareAngel, to responsibility for recruitment at Angel HQ, to business franchise owner of our highly-successful Spelthorne home care branch. Now, three years on she’s turning a profit andninvestigating new territories.
When she moved to Spelthorne to be near her grandparents, her research for carers highlighted that there just wasn’t a care agency that felt right. “I realised that I wouldn’t have any other company other than Guardian Angel Carers look after them, and if they weren’t here, I either had to take my grandparents to Chichester, or get Guardian Angel Carers to come here.”
She needn’t have worried because the dynamic founder of Guardian Angel Carers, and two-times Olympian, Christina Bassadone, had already thought ahead. So, when Lou came to ask about how they could make something work, the plans and possibilities for a new business franchise were prepared.
Christina’s energy, first-hand experience combined with her astute business acumen were a big draw. Lou comments, ” I’d looked into how other business franchises work and although the processes appeared similar, what they didn’t have was Christina, or a business built on her values.”
It’s typical of how Guardian Angel Carers goes about its business. Energetic and positive at heart the company believes that enough is never good enough. Lou points out, “there’s always more we can do and ways for us to do better.” As a franchisee, she knows she can depend upon these standards to support the success of her business.
Covid-19 really highlighted that benefit to her. Guardian Angel Carers HQ has people who know what to do. She could trust their brainpower and resources to react quickly, plan carefully and properly understand what needed to be done for every business franchise branch. PPE came quickly, systems established and additional regulations met, “I knew they would help me to take care of my clients, my CareAngels and me in the safest way. I just didn’t need to worry.”
Owning a franchise is a very supportive way to own a business. Guardian Angel Carers views its franchisees part of its ‘family’. And, you don’t need to be from a care background to join.
Just this month the newest franchisees to sign are two ex RAF and commercial aviation pilots. It is a business that allows talented people to run a business and make a positive impact on peoples lives. To give back, which is gratifying both personally and professionally.
Lou confirms: “Owning a Guardian Angel Carers franchise has changed my life. It’s not as though I’ve got to be work Lou and home Lou – they don’t differ. I’m driven by the same values, with the same goals of positivity, to make a difference and succeed.”
“There’s always someone in HQ who has the answer because they’ve done this too. It’s invaluable to a franchisee to have that sort of support.”
Whether from business or care backgrounds, franchisees are encouraged in their strengths and supported to learn and grow their skills where needed. For Lou, with a care background, she uses her monthly meetings with Christina, to go through figures and forecasts, client numbers and operational aspects because that is her area of learning.
“Christina and the HQ Franchise Team will always talk about ‘we’ – ‘we’ are going to do this, ‘we’ will achieve this, ‘we’ will do that. It really makes me feel like we’re a team.”
For those with business backgrounds, the team is more likely to support CQC, Compliance, Safeguarding and care questions. Whatever, the franchisee needs, Guardian Angel Carers will support them to get the skills they need to succeed.
When you become the owner of a Guardian Angel Carers franchise, you can expect it to take four months to get accreditation and set up. Lou encourages others to use the time to do their homework and take advantage of the one-to-one support from Christina and the team.
During this period, new franchisees will take part in franchise and care training, alongside finding the right location and premises for your branch, doing due diligence on finance, compliance, business and recruitment planning. “You shouldn’t rush” says Lou, “this is where you set the foundations that can help your business excel.”
Lou acknowledges that there will be ups and downs as you go through the weeks, the excitement of your CQC registration, getting the keys to your new branch, and recruiting your first member of the team. But it can feel that you’re “putting a lot in while the pot goes down”.
Christina and the team stay connected, coaching, guiding and encouraging francisees to stay focussed, and realistic. They’ve been there too, and know that with patience, the corner will be turned.
“It’s nervewracking, but then you get your first client, and another, and another. It’s so exciting. The fire gets going, and you feel great. You see money coming in. I was so proud. I was the owner of my own successful income-generating business, doing work that made a difference.”
Raising funds to make your initial investment in your franchise is a big commitment. “I could have bought a car, or put a deposit on a house,” she says, “but for me, being a mother, I saw it as a long term investment for my daughter and me, to ensure a secure life for us both. Now I have two children, my daughter, and my business.”
Franchisees can usually expect to see a return on their investment with a Guardian Angel Carers Franchise by year three. Lou was able to raise funds privately through a business-minded silent partner.
Franchise managers at banks are generally receptive to loans for Care Franchises with up to 50% of the start-up investment and the potential to review. It’s a growing industry, and home care franchises are typically exceeding sales expectations and their targets. Of course, each individual circumstance is different, and anyone considering an investment in owning a business franchise will need to contact their bank directly for expert advice.
As Lou nears the end of her third year, she is confident in her business and care skills. She now plans to re-invest her profits and expand into neighbouring territories to provide home care to more people. Care doesn’t stop, and demand is only growing. “There’s always a time when you need a person. I don’t think there are many other businesses where you can lose that personal touch. And, I want to be there to do that.”
With encouragement and guidance from Christina and the Guardian Angel Carers team she feels she has all the ingredients she needs to make her business franchise flourish, and grow.
“I’m proud of myself. Where I’ve come, what I’ve achieved, the highs and lows. As a business owner, you sometimes have to act alone, but you should never feel lonely. Guardian Angel Carers never makes you feel lonely.”
Guardian Angel Carers new franchisees Tim Corry and Alex Duncan have a strong bond and shared belief in ‘service’. Both were Officers and Pilots in the Royal Air Force (12 and 17 years respectively) based at Odiham and serving on several overseas tours. They then took a career path as commercial pilots, but the 2020 pandemic made them think again.
Each month we will be following their story during their first year as they set up their Farnham territory and share their reflections on what it’s like to own a franchise and be part of our franchise family.
2020 has brought about big changes for us. Two former RAF pilots, and friends, who’ve regularly travelled a shared path, we’ve together decided to do something that, just a year ago, we could never have imaged to buy a franchise in starting a Home Care company.
Happily, we’re doing that as part of the Guardian Angel Carers franchise family. It’s a pretty big shift on the surface. Still, we believe we have a wealth of transferrable skills and the excellent guidance and mentoring of our Franchisor, and founder (double Olympian) Christina Handasyde Dick plus her fantastic team.
Over the 12 months, we’re going to chronicle our journey here. The ups and downs (excuse the pun) the trials and tribulations of starting a new business during a particularly extraordinary time.
Although we must admit to feeling a great deal of apprehension, we’re equally buoyed by the fact that so many service leavers go on to run successful businesses. As we follow in their footsteps, we know that our tenacity will keep us going despite any challenges. We hope that ours will be a good news story!
So how did we get here? In short – the pandemic. Like many, we’ve seen our seemingly secure jobs evaporate or found ourselves furloughed in an enduring state of apprehension for what is to come.
During the first lockdown, the airline industry ground to a halt for us both. Not ones to sit still, we launched ourselves into volunteering to help our neighbours and community. It re-ignited a deep sense of purpose and value in us from helping others. Using the time to reflect, we realised that ‘service’ was in our DNA. It was our motivation.
With our jobs as commercial airline pilots in question – me on furlough and Alex facing redundancy – we started to look at what else was out there. On leaving the RAF, we had only really considered flying, in the belief that’s where our skills lay. However, an officer’s role in the RAF is incredibly varied. We’d learnt skills and gained experiences that we’d taken for granted, and missed.
Motivated, we started to look around for something that would use those skills and offer us that sense of purpose. When we found the world of Home Care, we realised we could combine the best of all our skills.
Lockdown was shining a bright light on this sector. One that typically did not get the appreciation it deserved. Now, its people were on the front line of our Nation’s fight against the virus. It resonated with us both.
As we looked into the industry more deeply, we discovered more and more about it to inspire: the incredible work being done to treat dementia, the advances in enabling technology and preventative approaches to medicine and care. We wanted to be part of that.
This first month, we’ve signed up to become proud owners of our Guardian Angel Carers Home Care business. We’ll be welcoming clients from Farnham, Fleet, Farnborough and Aldershot – plus all the villages in-between.
So far, we’ve been able to use all our skills on a bigger scale. It’s been busy. We’ve created a business plan, secured finance, found new premises in Crondall for our clients and customers to visit, plus done our initial care training.
It’s given us an even greater respect for those working in this industry, and as we two friends roll up our sleeves to take this path, we are honoured to be part of this industry, do something positive, and serve our community once more.
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