Today we are introducing you to Sandra, the small business owner of Active Care Nursing Agency, a business idea that started with a call from a friend needing help.
One day last year, Sandra was asked to support a client who did not have in-home care that day. Being a nurse and as a favour for her friend, Sandra provided support to this client. She quickly recognised that there was high demand for in-home care in her region. Since beginning her journey 18 months ago, Sandra now supports 47 clients with their care needs, from getting them up in the morning to preparing their food. She has employed 50 nurses so far and has big plans to grow the business and the services she offers to her clients.
“Richard, my Many Rivers business coach, has predominantly helped me set budgets and goals. These were goals such as developing my client base or my staff. He has helped me set goals for my business and where I should go next.”
Read more about Sandra’s Active Care Nursing Agency.
I am a registered nurse and I have been nursing for 48 years. I was a Director of Nursing in a recognised age care facility in Mildura for three years. When I decided to go into business.
My business is Active Care Nursing Agency and it has been operating for 18 months and I started as a sole trader. I was asked by a friend to help a client whose service provider was not available for the day. It snowballed from there. I had to start getting more nurses on board and create a roster. I worked out a rate so that I could pay the nurses and pay myself. It just grew and grew from that day 18 months ago and now I have 47 clients and 50 nurses. This January, I turned it into a company.
Active Care Nursing Agency
We do in-home care to get them up for the day, do their hygiene needs, medication management, wound care, food preparation and transport into the community if they need to go to an appointment. We do sleepovers for clients who are on their own, so my staff will stay there overnight if the clients need something in the middle of the night. I also have a cleaning arm now. There is a huge need in this area. Last week I got four new clients … in one week!
There is a lot of admin work to do and that takes up a lot of my free time. I step in to do care when some of my nurses have to get a COVID-19 test or take leave. I step in a lot. A few months ago, I employed a part-time secretary who does a lot of data collation and HR requirements.
There was such a need for disability and elderly support and we have so many service providers in Mildura but they don’t have the capacity to service all the clients well. Through word of mouth, people heard that I was looking for workers, that I provided good services, that I had a good reputation and everyone was ringing me. I have barely done any formal advertising and I have only recently set up a website.
Working With Many Rivers
I was online looking for some advice on how to start a business. I am a good nurse, but I knew that I needed support with the business side of things. That is how I came across Many Rivers. Richard, my business coach has predominantly helped me set budgets and goals. These were goals such as developing my client base or my staff. He helped to make predictions about my business and where I should go next.
Teaching me how to do bookkeeping, how to keep a log of my mileage and how to do an invoice correctly. He’s also supported me to stay on top of all human resources requirements. He put me in contact with a good accountant who now does my payroll too and is an enormous support.
The workload because I am a one-man band and at this stage, I want it to stay this way. Eventually, Richard and I have discussed the direction of my business to be towards a time when I can bring someone in to manage the day-to-day business for me.
My client base and my reputation of providing good services. My first client calls me a ‘pearl’ and himself ‘the irritant’ that created the pearl. It is all a big joke. I made him a badge that says, ‘the irritant’. My clients are like family to me now.
What has been the biggest change for you/your family since you started your business? I am always busy. I never get any downtime and when I do, I usually pass out from exhaustion. Friday nights are my nights off and all my staff know not to call me after 6 pm on Fridays!
Recently, I became a homeowner and at my age this is not an easy feat. This is something I would not have achieved without my business and Richard’s support.
I have really big plans; I would love to build some homes that I can provide respite care for the residents. At the moment, I just don’t have the finance behind me to get this going. Down the track, I would like to have some Specialised Disability Accommodation (SDA) and own some of it. I would also like to achieve some Subsidised Independent Living (SIL) allowance from NDIS.
I’d like to have the same resources as my competitors. They have homes that they have built and respite accommodation for the NDIS clients. They have a fleet of cars for their staff, and I only have one at this point! I’d love a facility where I could do community access activities with the clients. I would like my staff to use company vehicles and not their own. I also want to buy a vehicle to transport my wheelchair clients. That is what I am saving for right now!
Thanks Sandra for sharing the story of Active Care Nursing Agency with us. We can’t wait to support you on this journey to achieving your business goals.
Are you ready to take the first step towards making your business idea a reality? Our Many Rivers business coaches will be with you every step of the way, no matter where your journey takes you.