When Michele Bucoy started her own franchise, it wasn’t just the dream of owning a successful business that
motivated her. The mother of three also wanted to make a difference in the community.

A Clinical Nurse Consultant with over 24 years’ experience in Melbourne’s cancer wards, Michele has helped countless patients back home after being discharged from hospital. The role opened her eyes to the need for care in the home environment, especially when it comes to daily living tasks.
“In the hospital environment, you look after patients and make sure they get better, but you don’t see the big picture,” said Michele. “In home care, you get to see how people live. I wanted to be part of helping people settle
back into the community.”

Taking the leap: from nurse to business owner

After exploring her franchising options, Michele turned to Home Caring: a company dedicated to providing personalised home care to seniors and people living with disability. Home Caring offers franchisees a unique
50/50 partnership model, which reduces their initial investment by 50 per cent and enables them to earn 50 per cent of the profits, along with a generous salary. The company also offers suitable qualified health professionals
the option of investing a lower amount to get started – as little as $25,000. Michele started her Home Caring business in February this year, targeting her services at people living in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. To land her first few clients, she set up stalls in shopping centres, visited community markets and used her nursing connections to promote her services.

Today, Michele has 26 clients and provides a high number of service hours each week, including 24/7 care to a person supported by Australia’s National Disability Scheme, the NDIS. Best of all, she loves going to work each day. “The thing I enjoy most is meeting people from different walks of life – people who inspire me because they want to maintain their independence in their own home,” said Michele.

“Being a nurse is such a great job and I’ve learnt a lot, but this is also very challenging. Running my own business is very fulfilling and with the amount of hard work I’m putting in, I can now see the results.”

Turning passion into a pay check

Another Home Caring franchisee who is using her business to make a difference is Neelam Rai, a mental health advocate living on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Although Neelam comes from the world of business, her true calling in life is caring for
people in the community. After volunteering with not-for-profits, she decided to turn her passion for helping others into a successful business.

Neelam launched Home Caring Craigieburn in March this year, armed with a robust business plan and a network of high quality support workers. The response was overwhelming: she currently has 60 clients in the pipeline, most of them fully funded by the government’s Home Care Package scheme and the NDIS.

Neelam believes each client is truly unique, and caring for them is a “very rewarding experience”. For example, when a husband and wife from her local area suffered a serious car accident that left them badly injured during the pandemic lockdown, Neelam was able to help them cope with such a tough situation. “They were so happy with their care. The daughter and son got in touch with me and said how much of a difference it made for them. It just lightened their load. When you get the opportunity to serve somebody, help the family and make a real difference in their daily life, it gives you immense happiness,” explained Neelam.

“The thing I love about owning a business in the care industry is giving people the opportunity to stay in their own homes for as long as they want to. They’re surrounded by the things they love and the people they love. It’s a business that’s all about personal care and making connections with people.”

Hands-on support to make dreams a reality

Michele and Neelam didn’t achieve business success on their own. Every step of the way, they had help from Home Caring’s team of franchise specialists. According to Franchise Manager Bill Lockett, Home Caring is committed to helping its franchisees achieve success – not only with its 50/50 partnership model, but also through hands-on support. “Our franchise model works because it gives our franchisees everything they need to build and grow their business, from care industry training to marketing assistance, finance management skills and recruitment,” he said. Neelam said that her business background, combined with Home Caring’s expertise in
the care industry, was the best combination for franchise success.

“It was really challenging in the beginning because I had no idea how the care industry operates. Once I learnt from Home Caring how the system worked, within a month and a half, I started to really get the business up and running. It’s been a pretty awesome journey with Home Caring; they’ve given me the best support they could,” she said. Michele’s journey was quite different. Unlike Neelam, Michele had plenty of health care experience, but had never run her own business before. To give her confidence as a new franchise owner, Home Caring provided her with training and support. “Home Caring head office have been fantastic. I’m always calling for advice, and I’m really grateful for all the help they give us. In my last financial review, I’ve been encouraged to
see my growth in the last six months,” said Michele.

Her advice for those thinking of opening their own franchise is to do plenty of research and find a company that matches your own values. “Make sure the company you choose is a credible one,” she adds. “Home Caring is a great business, but they’re also very passionate about looking after people who are in need. I’m glad I chose them, and I wish I had started this journey a long time ago.”