Nurse Next Door Co-CEO Amber Biesse talks about how she helps new partners build a successful business
When a partner is awarded a franchise with Nurse Next Door they commence a 12 week Foundations Training program designed to take a deeper look at every aspect of the business before they open their doors. Bringing each Franchise Partner to Nurse Next Door Heart Quarters in Melbourne for Partner Immersion Week’ is one of the most important elements of this training program and allows our partners to immerse themselves in the business in real time – using the systems and seeing the theory in practice. Immersion week generally occurs midway through the Foundations training program and leads into the Countdown to Launch, where the final training steps to become operational are mapped out on a calendar.
When Southern Gold Coast Franchise Partner Lauren Macdonald came to Melbourne for her ‘Partner Immersion Week’ I took the opportunity to ask her about the training and the process of becoming a part of the Nurse Next Door franchise family, as well as talking about some of the ‘aha’ moments she had upon seeing the systems at work.
Putting It All Together
Very simply, Lauren’s “why” is that she loves caring for people and as she prepared to return to work after spending time with her young family, she knew she wanted to do something in the home care industry. When she and her husband Glen Parsons came across Nurse Next Door in an industry magazine article, she knew it was where she wanted to be.
The reality of a franchise system is, once the territory partnership is awarded, there’s a lot to learn. Prior to joining Matt & I for Partner Immersion Week in Melbourne, Lauren had spent five weeks working through the first half of our ‘Foundations Training’. A clearly planned, week by week program that steps each franchise partner through all the areas of the business, Foundations Training covers operational aspects, business necessities, people and culture, brand knowledge, sales and marketing. There’s a lot of reading!
Approaching Partner Immersion Week Lauren confessed to me that she wondered how she would retain everything she had been reading and researching. Not surprisingly then, her first comment when we sat down to chat was how fantastic it was to come to Melbourne and actually see all of the pieces of the puzzle come together.
The ‘How’ behind the ‘Why’
The most important aspect to convey during Partner Immersion Week is what we refer to as our “One Best Way”, our proprietary way of doing things, which differentiates us from our competitors. Everything is clearly articulated in the Nurse Next Door Operations Manual and underpins every single thing we do. The Operations Manual really is the ‘How’ behind the ‘Why’ and enables us to produce extraordinary results over and over.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so for me, it’s not only about showing our franchise partners the systems we use to run the business, but also taking a deep dive into the numbers, so that each new partner understands why the business metrics are important and as a system, which ones we monitor for business health to maximise growth and profitability.
“Amber has shown me the data behind the systems and it has literally been so many ‘aha’ moments.”
Coming from an airline industry background, followed by time spent at home with her two young children, Lauren felt that numbers had never been “in her life”. Although completely comfortable with her decision to become a home care franchise business owner, and with no doubt as to her ability to provide a high level of care to her clients, Lauren confessed she was nervous about the financial aspect of the business, wondering if she had the business acumen required to fully understand “the numbers”.
Both Matt and I, along with our Nurse Next Door Performance Coaches, work hard to ensure that the every franchise partner feels comfortable with this side of the business, explaining the numbers in a way that breaks them down and makes them so easy to understand that even those who consider themselves “not a numbers person” will walk away excited about the prospect of collecting and analysing data, interested in learning more.
The ability to succeed
Not having a background in medical or health-related businesses is no deterrent to a Nurse Next Door franchise partner. Like 75 percent of our franchise partners, Lauren and Glen come from a non-medical background. Matt and I never doubted their ability to succeed.
Lauren’s customer service skills and understanding of the importance of what we call a WOW customer experience, as well as her passion for making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people, make her the perfect fit for Nurse Next Door. Glen brings invaluable knowledge as a Human Resources specialist, with recruitment and retention playing an enormous role for every Nurse Next Door franchise partner. Their strengths complement each other and provide them with a strong set of skills to seek out and develop an exceptional team of nurses, caregivers and support staff. Most importantly, Lauren and Glen aligned with the brand and its core values from the outset.
Matt and I truly believe we are in the right place, with the right brand, at the right time, and now we need to find the right people. We are able to teach our partners the world class systems that run a Nurse Next Door business, however it is the people that bring those systems to life, so finding people who align with Nurse Next Doors core purpose and values will be a critical factor to the success of the franchise system as a whole. Empathy, passion, positivity, grit are some of the attributes that must be authentically at the core of the person wanting to join us. We are looking for special people and the reality is that not everyone who applies to be a Nurse Next Door franchise partner will be the right fit.
Real Time Experience
Owning and operating our own corporate Nurse Next Door location in Melbourne allows us to literally bring the operations manual to life, whereby a new partner can experience first hand many of the things they have read about in the Operations Manual, in real time, in a real environment. From heading out on the road with one of our Care Designers to visit clients and shadow a Caring Consult, to sitting in on a finance meeting with the Melbourne Team or experiencing Discovery Day training for new Caregivers, it really is a true immersion experience.
The purpose of this, as Lauren remarked, is to give each franchise partner the confidence to see that they have what it takes to make their own business a success. They begin to see how we truly make lives better, and how they’ll bring that to life with their team, with the One Best Way of Nurse Next Door.
Sophisticated, seamless systems
“This is why you buy a franchise”
Whilst Matt and I can assure our potential franchise partners that everything has been thought of, the most rewarding moment for me, is when I see them realise the depth of our systems and understand the level of support they will have, not only as a start up but also ongoing, as they scale up. Our Partner Development Program has 3 different stages – owner operator, owner manager, and owner manager, as what a partner needs at start up is going to look totally different to what they need as an owner manager, so our coaching program is designed to support partners through their various stages of growth and development.
I’m so proud to stand behind the Nurse Next Door systems. These are systems that have been developed over years of research, practice and refinement. Systems that I continue to trial and test in real time, through our corporately-owned franchise location, to ensure each and every process is working as hard as our franchise partners.
All of Lauren’s concerns about her time out of the work force and perhaps not having enough experience, fell away. That’s the aim of the 12 week Foundations Training Program. To teach our franchise partners our systems and give them the confidence and inspiration to head back home and “get the doors open”. And above all, to be able to show Lauren, and any future franchise partners, that we have brought them into the system because we believe in them and that they have what it takes to follow our systems to build a successful Nurse Next Door business and, most importantly, that we are all better together.
With a core purpose of Making Lives Better®, Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, under the leadership of Melbourne based Master Franchisors Matt Fitton and Amber Biesse, provides in-home aged care and disability support services built on our philosophy of Happier Ageing® focusing on possibility rather than disability.