In 2005 newlyweds Sharon and David Cowan were looking to spend more time together and decided that setting up a business would help them to do that. Having looked at a number of varied businesses with Sharon’s nursing background and David’s financial and sales backgrounds, they were driven to looking at in-home care companies.
“We looked at a number of companies several of which were subsidiaries of American firms and several of which were Canadian,” David said. Sharon with her 25 years nursing in the community was familiar with what clients felt strongly about when receiving care and had always said the consistency of workers was very high on their list. "Of interest to a number of our clients is our Accreditation Canada designation making us one of the very few Franchise agencies, if not the only franchise agency, with the designation."
"While getting started was a process, once we had a few workers and a handful of clients it was not long before we were doubling in hours, clients, and workers, for a number of years to follow. It was not without a cost, though doubling from $100,000 to $200,000 in sales was nothing compared to going from $450,000 to $900,000+. In one sense it was enough to keep up day to day and working seven days a week. In those days David and Sharon did it all hiring, staffing, scheduling, invoicing and marketing. One huge benefit was we did not have to contend with a number of issues that one would if they were starting a business on their own. Web site, marketing materials, emails, policies and procedures are already dealt with at Premier allowing us to go to work in building business and a client base," says David.
"We were impressed several times with some monumental changes that the Franchisor has made over the years. The software used for scheduling and accounting was reviewed, input requested from the franchises, and ultimately new software, much more user friendly software and at a considerably lower cost, was selected. The web site and marketing materials, as well as varied services we can add, are all done without consuming any more time from us other than providing our input and comments," says Sharon.
The couple indicated that one of the largest benefits they saw when comparing Premier Homecare to other homecare franchises was their accreditation with exemplary standing with Accreditation Canada. Being an accredited agency with Accreditation Canada (the same organization who sets quality health care standards for most public hospitals and nursing homes in Canada) gives you credibility when you speak to partners (like social workers, nurses, and insurance professionals), it tells the public and your employees that you are following proper guidelines, and it also helps you internally so you know that you are doing everything right to run your business properly. Since homecare in Canada is completely unregulated, accreditation is a huge competitive advantage!