Many years ago Miranda Smith was looking to buy a business. It was at a tricky stage of negotiation and she felt a bit out of her depth.
“I met Auckland entrepreneur and business woman Dianne Foreman. She told me to go in with confidence, be clear and direct, and put my best foot forward. ‘Own the situation’, she said. None of my wiffle waffle.”
Miranda hasn’t looked back since. Today she is the managing director of Miranda Smith Homecare, the longest running private homecare agency in New Zealand with offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga and Hawke’s Bay. She has some 250 staff on her books and provides 4,000 hours of care every week to people in the community who need support.
The focus of the business is that vulnerable people have increased levels of independence, happiness, positivity and longevity when they stay in their own homes.
“We see the evidence everyday,” says Miranda.
Her company also provides palliative support and end of life care and Miranda owns Karitane®, an agency specialising in mothercraft skills and support for mothers with new borns.
She reflects that being a woman in her job is probably an advantage, though it hasn’t been an easy 18 months managing the business with the stresses of Covid.
“We have been down on staff numbers by about 30% every week because of concerns around Covid, the vaccine mandate and the stresses and vigilance of carers not wanting to pass anything on to clients.
“We are really hamstrung. We can’t find enough carers and we’re not able to help as many people as we’d like.”
Her aspiration going into 2022 is simple then.
“I want to get through this time ensuring everyone’s health and wellbeing is protected with as little risk as possible.
“And then I hope we can grow again.”