Getting to know you: Dr Jamie Wilson

What do you currently do?

I am founder and CEO of HomeTouch, the UK’s market-leading online platform helping families find high quality, affordable care.

Clients select their own carer through a list of curated recommendations and by browsing carers’ profile videos and reviews from previous clients. Carers determine their own rates of pay and workload and all contracts are a minimum of one hour.

We started in January 2015 and have grown 30%-40% each month, delivering thousands of hours of care across Greater London each week with plans to expand the service to the home counties later this year.

What is your inspiration in business?

As a dementia physician and ex NHS Doctor, I experienced first-hand the chronic shortage of home carers and the strain placed on families and the health service due to ever-growing demand, funding constraints and an underpaid and demoralised workforce.

This is an industry that hasn’t really embraced the digital revolution and I wanted to create a platform that could ensure improved continuity of care, tracking of carer performance, better working conditions for carers, and better outcomes for patients. We also help to address the winter beds crisis, by helping families to find care within hours when a relative needs to be discharged from hospital.

Who do you admire?

At the moment, I really admire my team. They are hard working, committed, believe in what we are doing and don’t get enough credit.

Looking back would you have done things differently?

Of course, but that’s part of the journey. I’m a great believer that you need 10,000 hours of domain experience before you reach an acceptable standard. Entrepreneurship is no different. The key is to constantly refine your judgements based on the hundreds of small decisions you make each day. Having said that, I made some terrible decisions very early on regarding capital structure and vesting periods for a co-founder that latterly went pear shaped – I would strongly advise anyone setting out to take the time to get this part right.

What defines your way of doing business?

Trust, transparency and great customer service. We have created something completely new in a very sensitive sector, which understandably makes people cautious in their decision-making. We set our standards incredibly high and it’s essential that we deliver on our promises. This is one of the reasons that we have such a rigorous interview process for carers and only accept 5-7 per cent of applicants.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Persistence and tenacity is absolutely key, you are bound to face hurdles and sometimes must accept that you will have to adapt based on your experience – but stick at it and be prepared to go the distance.

Secondly, you can’t do it alone and will need a team around you that is committed to your vision and motivated by the critical problems you are trying to solve. Empowering colleagues and sharing ideas is essential to keep the business moving towards the end goal.