Since becoming an independent support worker on the Mable platform in August 2019, Tracy from Cairns has crafted a sterling reputation for herself and is now so busy, she can’t take on any more work hours in a week. Having previously worked as an agency carer, she now provides personal care, social support, domestic assistance and general maintenance to clients via the Mable platform.
What did you do before joining Mable?
I’m originally from the UK and when I arrived in Australia, I worked for an aged care agency.
Did you already have your own business before joining Mable?
Back in the UK, I had my own Accounts and Administration business but after arriving in Australia, I started working as a carer for an aged care agency.
How did you end up with your own support business through Mable?
It happened by accident, really. Working for the agency, I became really disheartened. I saw that the standard of work from some of the carers left a lot to be desired and there didn’t seem to be much of a personal element in their care. It seemed to be more about rosters and fitting in than the clients’ actual needs. I was researching another job when Mable came up.
What was it like starting your own business here in Australia?
It was pretty hectic, trying to make sure all the dots and crosses were in the right place, but this was mainly due to me realising there are some very big differences here, compared to how we do it in the UK.
I registered all my documents and virtually as soon as I became active, I found a client. She chose me because she recognised me and had seen me out locally with clients in my previous job.
What role has Mable played in supporting you to build your business?
I had all the advertising from Mable, they sent through business cards and flyers, etc. This was most beneficial as I needed to get this information out quickly. I had them professionally printed at a local business and felt good because my business was already having a local effect on other local businesses. I then went round to local IGA shopping centres in my area and asked if I could put flyers out and business cards on the notice boards. This is key to letting people know you’re working in that area, as they may have checked Mable before and not found you.
What type of support do you provide to clients via Mable?
I offer a wide range of support, from personal care to administration assistance and even general maintenance. I have more power tools than most men and I love to do woodwork in my spare time! The way I see my role for any of my clients is as an all-rounder. After all, the majority of my clients are requesting my services so that they can stay in their homes. I am their arms, their legs, their advocate and their assistant to do whatever they require, to enable them to feel independent and in their home. I do it how they like it, not how I would do it. If they request something that’s out of my scope of practice, I make suggestions or assist them to find what they need such as a gardener, electrician or plumber.
What’s the most critical element to succeeding on Mable as an independent support worker?
For me, the most critical element is having a great work ethic with very high standards. The most complained about issue is carers being on their phone while on the client’s time. I take my phone in with me in case I need it but unless the client wants me to look up or check something, it doesn’t get picked up until I leave, and then I will check messages, etc. All my clients are aware of this policy that I have, and they appreciate, understand and respect it.
Do you have any tips/advice you’d like to share with workers who are starting out on Mable?
Definitely get your name out there at local shopping centres and so on. Remember, when you’re out with clients, other people see you and watch you without you realising. The number of clients I have picked up this way is testament to this. I have been asked for my business card when taking people to shopping centres and hospital appointments, as well as my current clients talking to their nurses, occupational therapists and support planners. By getting a reputation as a good worker, I have found I’m refusing jobs as I cannot fit any more hours in the week. I will only recommend other Mable workers, but only if their work ethic and standards are as high as mine.