When Claire’s father-in-law required carer support due to Alzheimer’s, she found out how for herself how difficult agencies were finding it to retain carers, and the impact this had on the patients involved. Claire’s father-in-law was cared for by two agencies, with a multitude of different carers visiting his home. Alzheimer’s patients can find this distressing and respond better to familiarity and consistency in the people looking after them. She came to recognise the value of good carers, who are often not afforded good terms and conditions in their work.
This was the trigger to launch a new business, Independent Carers, to ensure carers are given a better deal and clients are afforded quality choices and consistency. Independent Carers gives carers a platform on which to advertise themselves, showcasing their skills and experience. The company aims to manage care individually by matching and introducing clients to the carers on the website.
Claire joined the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme, in the hope of acquiring new skills in area such as marketing and finance for her small business.
“I loved it! It was such a fantastic opportunity for many reasons. It was about having access to experts who know what they are about, know the background to not only the theory, but the practical application of the theory.
Do you think the course has helped you as an individual?
“The workshops around finance, marketing, social media and websites, that gave me a holistic view of running a business… it developed me in a way that’s taken me out of my comfort zone.”
Is there anything you do in your business now as a result of taking part in the programme?
“The programme has given me the confidence to procure expertise from other businesses rather than trying to work on every area myself.”
Would you recommend the course to other people?
“I’ve already been recommending the programme to other business leaders. I’ve joined the networking group, BizMums and become part of the Federation of Small Businesses.”
Any advice you would offer other businesses?
“As you go along the journey, there’s a heck of a lot of challenges in setting up a business. Every time I face one of these challenges, I come back to my lynchpin, which is wanting to help this situation – it’s having a passion.”
Business Alumni Network
The Manchester Met Business Alumni Network has been designed based on our work with the hundreds of businesses we have worked with over the last decade, and is a way of deepening the relationship, with programmes of CDP, bi-monthly networking meetings and industry-led Masterclasses.
“It’s a lonely existence if you are trying to chip away at it on your own. So having this network is crucial and having an organisation that provides that is just brilliant, it’s needed.”