This episode of the Care CEO Success Stories podcast features Tony Banks, founder and chair of the Balhousie Care Group, founded in 1991 and now operating 26 care facilities across Scotland with 1000 residents and more than 1,500 staff.
Tony was working in finance and property when he started the Balhousie Care Group at the age of 29 with his then wife.
A former period long-stay hospital was his first care home.
In the episode Tony reveals the endurance required to build and thrive an operator such as Balhousie Care Group, including:
• How Tony grew the group via acquisitions of former charity care homes and homes from corporate and local authorities, and homes in administration,
• How he used his property background when launching his first home
• How Tony put down £150,000 of his own money on his first home, and borrowed £750,000 from the bank at an interest rate of 11%.
• Why the group’s second home acquisition was one his most problematic
• How 90% of the time Tony can see where savings can be made before making an acquisition
• Why location, local market, uniqueness of service, and opportunities for extensions are ways Tony looks to provide added value when making a new acquisition
• The struggles Tony has had to surpass, including unfavourable financial climates and Covid. “We’re still here!” says Tony
• How Tony has for 30 years concentrated on providing “the best care we could deliver”
• How as the Balhousie Group expanded Tony benefited from joining business organisations
• Why the hotel sector is similar to the care sector
• How Tony still “gets excited” everyday about running Balhousie.
• When alarm bells ring on a new prospective acquisition, including if a home’s reputation is so bad it has to be re-opened after refurbishment
• How the Balhousie Group has handled continual short-term policy changes from successive governments, and revolving regulatory bodies
• The “immense rewards” Tony has had working in care, including that he is “proud of delivering great care to 1000s of people”
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