When choosing a franchise, it’s reassuring to know you’ll have access to help and advice whenever you need it. In this week’s blog, we want to tell you about an amazing lady, who is an essential member of our team here at Extra Help and provides our franchisees with first-class support.
As well as being the owner of two Extra Help franchises, she also acts as a mentor to several other franchisees. In addition to this, she trains all new recruits and is their point of contact for any queries they may encounter when setting up their businesses.
Our franchisees describe her as their ‘rock’, ‘absolutely amazing’, ‘so helpful and responsive’ and they all agree she makes their lives a whole lot easier.
Denise originally came to Extra Help in 2017 to provide admin support. With extensive experience in office management and exceptional organisational skills, Denise was perfect for the role! She’s an excellent communicator and enjoys supporting others.
In addition to this, Denise had very real and personal experience when it came to providing home-help and companionship, as her mother has dementia and Denise had gained extensive experience in helping her to continue living independently, before she went to live in a home. When Extra Help Rickmansworth needed a new franchisee in 2019, Denise put herself forward and became its new owner.
“I’ve always worked in roles supporting and organising other people and decided it was time I did something for myself,” she says. “With my mum having (now advanced) dementia, it’s a cause that’s very close to my heart. I knew my potential clients were likely to have similar issues and, as I’ve been through all the stages with my mum, knew I’d be able to help people who were also going through it.”
Despite Extra Help Rickmansworth only having two clients and one home-helper when Denise became the new owner, she grew the business steadily at her own pace, winning New Franchisee of The Year at the Extra Help Conference in November 2019.
When Extra Help Leighton Buzzard & Hemel Hempstead became available in 2020, Denise decided to take on this second franchise and, thereby, expand her territory. Hemel Hempstead backs onto the top of Rickmansworth and Leighton Buzzard is next to Hemel, and she was very familiar with both areas, so it made sense.
She says: “If someone had said to me in 2018 that, by 2020, I’d have two businesses, I never would have believed them. But I absolutely love it and feel like I was born to do this!”
As part of Denise’s other role as admin manager, she is responsible for training new franchisees. It was a natural progression for Denise to also become their mentor. Denise is considered one of Extra Help’s most experienced franchisees and, in view of this, is well placed to advise new franchisees on every aspect of building their businesses.
“Since the COVID pandemic, all of our training has gone virtual and is spread over three sessions,” says Denise, “We then have weekly calls to make sure they’re comfortable with everything and they know I’m always there for them. I get on so well with them and thoroughly enjoy helping them!”
In recent times, Denise has taken on most of the new franchisees as mentees, however, if they have another experienced franchisee who is local to them, they will be encouraged to make contact. Franchisees also have access to a closed, support group on Facebook, as well as a weekly, virtual Power Hour, hosted by Claire Robinson, our managing director, so then have many ways of accessing help.
With 55 clients and 500 monthly billed hours, Denise’s two franchises are becoming increasingly busier. She admits that wearing multiple ‘hats’ means she is extremely busy, but says the key to successful multitasking is good time management, as well as being disciplined enough to know when it’s time to take a break.
Most of Denise’s clients are elderly or vulnerable, requiring services such as companionship and meal preparation, as well as cleaning. Denise says she loves working with the elderly and, in particular, providing companionship, because they’re so happy to have the help and are so grateful. She feels like she’s making such a positive difference to their lives.
She says: “We’re really proud to be listed on the HertsHelp Directory, the preferred council supplier list that covers Dacorum, Hemel and some of the areas towards Watford. They refer clients directly to us, once they’ve done the initial visit, and the client has the added reassurance of knowing we’ve been recommended by social services. To be honest, this has worked so well for us that we don’t need to advertise, all the clients we need come to us!”
Denise’s advice to anyone considering joining the Extra Help family is to go for it!
“Extra Help is such a great company to be involved with,” she says, “It’s simple to set up and run and you have access to so many great tools to help you build your business. Our franchisees are great and I’m speaking from the heart when I say I’m really proud of what we do. Some do struggle at the beginning, but I tell them I built Rickmansworth up from nothing and I’m living proof that it can be done!”
If Denise’s story has inspired you and you’d like to join our family, providing much-needed home-help and cleaning services to your local community, visit our website or call Extra Help today on 01752 905790.