A personal story journey to business success through Regent College London.
Soon after my daughter was born in 2003, she have been diagnosed with a serious health condition. I became focused on improving her health. It was the only thought that I had. It was my only goal. I did not think about me, or anything else until 2014 when, by chance, started working for a care company.
The company that I worked for provided door-to-door care services to the elderly. While working there, I realized that that this role was not at all what I truly want to do. The problem was not my daily tasks and responsibilities: I loved doing that. The problem was the way that the organisation was treating the elderly service users: its own customers. The employees were poorly coordinated, the rotas were unmanageable and the service users were charged far too much for a service that was inadequate.
I have to do something. I have to improve the provision of care in some way. And most importantly, I have to drive this change WITH MY OWN HANDS.
A new direction
It took me four years to complete the research needed in order to find out the best and most reliable strategy to help my customers.
In the meantime, two colleagues employed to do the same role as me had actually left the company and opened up their own businesses in the care sector, taking with them the service users that they had been working with. When these ex-colleagues opened for business they started trading straight and they had a customer base.
It was actually unlawful for an ex-employee to approach any customers or to manage an organisation offering similar care services. If an ex-employee wanted to manage similar care services, they had to wait a minimum six month. As I did not want to be in breach of my contract and I wanted to do things properly, to do the research and accumulate all of the relevant qualifications and experience, I waited.
I had chosen to do things the hard way.
I was persistent. As I researched more, my dream to provide good quality in-home care, became an ideal to work for.
HND at Regent College London
In 2017, I decided to work on the first item in the list on my Personal and Professional Development Plan and applied to study HND Business at Regent College London. I knew that to be successful I would need to improve my knowledge and learn how to manage a business successfully.
At the end of my first semester, I decided that the moment had come. In January 2018, together with my wife Carmen, we registered Us4ALL Ltd with the Companies House. A care provider is not allowed to provide services to customers without receiving accreditation and we applied for.
It was tough. Another seven months of courses, appointments and forms to be filled in. All while juggling our children and the Business HND. I have to admit we couldn`t do so without the unconditioned help from my father-in-law who decided to help us with our daughters. We just get our girls to the schools and then quickly running either to our Business HND course or a specialisation course for the Care Certificate. All together there were fifteen certificates for the accreditation beside HND.
Finally in July 2018 we received accreditation for our care company Us4All. It was such a marvellous moment when the accreditation certificate was handed to us. We could now legally trade as a care provider. We were so excited.
Patience was key
We began advertising Us4All as a new local care service provider. We were all over the places in our local community with posters, leaflets, and flyers. We tried Google-ads and other social media platforms to engage customers. We were sure to get at least a few customers, or so we thought.
We have been waiting for the phone to ring. But unfortunately it did not. The phone remains silent.
To understand what more could be done, we participated to seminars we asked for mentorship. Selva Pankaj, CEO of Regent College London then offered me this advice:
“You did everything that is required to advertise your business at this stage, you must be patient.
When you plant a tree, you will have to wait several years before it bears fruit!
The customers will come.”
And they did!
Our first customer
Finally in April 2019, one person approached us and became our very first customer. On the 29th of April 2019, we issued our very first invoice.
Now you will ask, why is the piece called Sweet Sixteen?
The answer is simple and clear as day light. It took us 16 years until we finally realised whom to say a big THANK YOU, to our daughter because she gave us a purpose in our lives.
Article by Radu Tobol, edited by Akosua Bonsu
More about the business Us4All
Radu is currently accepting new customers who required at home and personalised care.