Ultimate Care – Unlimited Potential
Business name: Ultimate Care UK Limited
Business type: Limited company
Industry: Domiciliary Care
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk
Frustration led Nicola Rowland to start her own company. After sixteen years in the care industry, she was disillusioned and frustrated with the level of care and working practices in the industry.
“I knew there was a better way of providing care in the community and my husband challenged me to have a go” – Nicola explains. They managed to borrow the start-up money from the bank and began trading in 2008. Although they were a new company and finding staff and clients was not easy, the high standard of care they offered started bringing good business, mostly via recommendations.
“We provided a different level of care,” explained Marc. “It’s not just about providing a service and then leaving. We take the time to sit and chat and build trusting relationships with all our clients.”
However, for a company for a company to be able to tender for social services contracts they needed to secure accreditation. What is more, only companies that were on the market for at least six months could apply. Unfortunately, the bank was not prepared to offer another loan after such a short time.
In order to grow and expand the reach of their services Ultimate Care UK Ltd required additional staff. They set their standards high and were not prepared to compromise on quality “But it costs about £600 to train a carer so we needed financial assistance” – says Marc.
Unfortunately, recession struck and they still were a new business, so banks were not able to help. That’s when Foundation East comes into play.
Valerie Jarret, the Business Loans Manager, visited Ultimate Care and recognised the potential of their business model.
“Foudation East does not use credit scoring as the criteria for awarding a loan; we look at the business plan, the accounts – but most importantly the people behind the company” – Valerie explains.
This business loan was exactly what the business needed to take on seven new staff, train them and buy a company vehicle. The company received some important business training as well. “Although we would have eventually achieved our aims, the coaching process helped us to understand quickly what is required to have a successful business” – says Nicola. “Funding from Foundation East has enabled us to grow and increase our turnover year-on-year”.
Where they are today
Ultimate Care are providing employment in areas with limited job opportunities and their path is laden with accolades – Home Care Registered Manager of the Year, East of England Employer of the Year, National Home Care Employer of the Year (visit www.ultimatecareukltd.co.uk for details). It’s safe to say, they are doing well.