Dave Bellis, Liverpool North: From Finance to Home Care Inspired by his Parents' Poor Care Experience

Help shape the future of care, as a local champion in your own community – with all the support you need to make your own mark.

Radfield Home Care

In the UK
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Member - Associate

After 15 years working within the finance department at petrochemicals bluechip, Shell, Dave Bellis found himself facing redundancy in 2016.

Radfield Franchise

With a lifetime of working for other people in various finance roles, he decided his redundancy presented him with the perfect opportunity to start his own accountancy-based business. However, after a busy day meeting with multiple finance franchises at the National Franchise Exhibition in 2017, Dave wandered past Radfield Home Care and, with personal experience of the industry, stopped for a chat before heading home for the day.

“I had a lot of notice about my impending redundancy at Shell, so I began looking at what I wanted to do. I went to the franchise exhibition in February 2017 looking at financial franchises, but I spent my last ten minutes chatting with Radfield’s Digital Marketing Manager, Phil.

“My parents have been in care for a number of years, so I have been heavily involved with sourcing home care providers and had a reasonable understanding of how the industry operated. As a family, we have always liked to give back too; my father was a doctor, my mother was a nurse and my brother is a dentist – so healthcare has always run through my family. I think after meeting Radfield at the show, their family values came through and something just really seemed to fit. As a result, I ended up making my mind up on the motorway back home…Radfield Home Care was the franchise for me.”

Over the following months, Dave researched the local healthcare marketplace in his home region of North Liverpool and began his journey with Radfield Home Care, officially launching his new Radfield Home Care Liverpool North business in January 2018.

His dynamic mix of professional finance and business experience, twinned with personal experience of the care sector has enabled him to relate with the characteristics of a well-led, high-quality, home care service, whilst successfully managing the day-to-day running of the business.

“Being an accountant helps me keep an eye on the figures and keep organised. Whilst I am sure more of a professional healthcare background wouldn’t do any harm, sometimes it is good to have a different viewpoint on things and do things differently in a way which you may not have thought of if you came from the sector.

“It is an interesting one though, as ultimately you choose to launch your own business to make a healthy living, but in this sector it is a two-way ship of success. If you are a business person, you will have a great understanding of business finances and management, but you have to go into this knowing it is more than just a business. The most important thing in this sector is providing great care to all our clients.”

Thankfully, this is where Radfield Home Care’s franchise team can step in to help support its franchise partners no matter their background – and it is something that Dave has found invaluable throughout his journey to date.

“The support structure has most certainly helped me. I was one of Radfield’s first franchise partners, so I have watched the support network grow. From day one though, I had the support and hand-holding to help me grow through my first months of trading, and I have my dedicated Franchise Support Manager who is continuing to support me to grow and overcome challenges that any new business will face – from a healthcare, HR and business management perspective.

“I have been very, very happy with the support I have received; there is always someone at the end of the telephone and they are not afraid to get their hands dirty and support me with running the business. I owe everything to Radfield for this opportunity. I could not have started this on my own…well, I could have done, but I would have failed.”

Like any sector, healthcare has its challenges, and recruitment is one of them. However, having a high focus on providing the highest quality service to his clients, it has not been a shortfall of applications that has been the challenge for Dave, but rather carefully handpicking the right staff that reflect Radfield’s ethos. Although this has meant the shortlist of potential staff has reduced, Dave is now starting to see the benefits of his focus on recruiting a high calibre care team – from home care assistants in the field, to his Registered Care Manager in the office.

“Recruitment in itself had not been our main challenge, but getting the right staff has been tricky at times. However, we now have a team of staff with a good pipeline of new team members coming through. Having a good retention and reward system has helped us retain our best staff too, which makes it easier to plan and reduces training costs.

“The same applies to the Registered Care Manager. My Franchise Support Manager helped me headhunt her, but taking the decision to invest in recruiting a Registered Care Manager of Carolyne’s calibre has been one of the best moments so far. Knowing I have somebody with a proven track record, I am comfortable in the knowledge she will do a great job and is taking the business forward is a huge relief. Her knowledge in the space challenges me and makes me think about things in a different way. She has helped push my business to the next level. If I had to give someone new to the sector one piece of advice, it would be to recruit the best care manager you possibly can as a number one priority. Don’t save on that at all, pay top dollar and get the best.”

Now Dave has developed a strong and growing care team, he is in a sustainable position to support his existing client base, but also have one eye on the future. He has plans to expand to every corner of his existing territory, but will not lose sight of the clients at the centre of his business, and wants to be known as the highest quality home care service in the North Liverpool region.

“Over the next 12 months, we will be working with our Franchise Support Manager to augment our growth strategy. By implementing this strategy, going above and beyond for our clients and working as a team with good communication, I would like to grow the business to be the best home care service in our area. If we achieve that, the business will be really successful.

“I think that is one of the joys of working for yourself. Every day there is an open sheet of paper in the morning and everything to go at to take your business and destiny where you want it to be. I love it, no two days are the same. Don’t get me wrong, you have to work hard, but because you enjoy it, it doesn’t feel like work. The main thing to me that makes this enjoyable is I make a difference to the clients we care for and the staff we provide a career and future for. It helps me sleep well at night knowing I am giving something back.”

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