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6th October 2023

Case Study: Apollo Franchising

By Sophie Hibbert

It was Cheryl White’s experience as a District Nurse that led her to set up a home care agency. She set up Apollo Care from scratch in 2011 with her mum, one member of staff and a single client. 12 months later she had waiting lists for care packages and realised that she needed to grow the business, quickly.

The Problem

Cheryl decided that a franchise model was the best way expand the Apollo brand and values, but her own experience of manual rostering and invoicing meant that she knew she needed some software to help.

“When I set up Apollo, I was still nursing three days a week. I had a three year old. I just didn’t have time for anything at all. Literally – I was up until two, three o’clock in the morning doing rotas on Excel. And then, once a month, I’d be in the office all day Sunday doing timesheets.”

“I don’t know how I did it now, looking back. It was an absolutely nightmare. But, at the time, you do what you’ve got to do, don’t you?”

The Solution

Cheryl and her team looked at five different rostering systems, and settled on Nourish. “We liked the layout of it – we thought it looked quite simple to use. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I really liked the fact that a double up appointment had two little people on it, so you could easily see if you’d missed someone off. That was actually a big problem for us at the time.”

But Cheryl quickly came to value Nourish’s more advanced features, too. “In those days, the staff would hand in their own handwritten mileage sheets, so I’d have to go through all of those too, checking it against where they’d been”

”I knew that the staff mileage sheets were inaccurate,” she says. “In fact, when I brought the system in, the staff weren’t happy at all, when I told them that Nourish was going to calculate the mileage for them. It was one of the reasons that I went for it.”

Time spent creating rosters also dropped dramatically, and Cheryl was able to concentrate on growing the business: “Nourish definitely gave me confidence. I liked the fact that it would only charge for what had been booked on to the system. From a franchise point of view that’s brilliant, because we take a percentage of the franchisee’s turnover. So we don’t have any issues of people being over- or under-charged, because it’s all there.”

The Result

Today, Apollo Care is a thriving franchise with seven branches, employing over 100 carers, supporting more than 230 clients and delivering in excess of 1,600 hours of rostered care per week.

Cheryl doesn’t worry about taking on even more franchisees, because she knows that she can simply direct office staff towards Nourish’s support team.

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