For the next few weeks, you will have an insight into each of our franchisees around the country, their backgrounds and what they think about Extra Help. This week we hear about Sue Timson, our franchisee for South Essex …
With nearly 20 years’ experience of care in the community via Local Authorities and the education sector, when redundancy happened in July 2011, it was the opportunity to provide a service that helped others in a way that other providers couldn’t deliver.
Sue Timpson has been the Franchisee for Extra Help in Essex South since the end of July 2011. She is her own boss and manages a team of domestic helpers that look after clients who need a little extra help in their homes like cleaning, ironing, walking the dog and shopping.
Sue already had a natural affinity for helping others, having worked with Local Authorities for care in the community, specifically helping mentally disabled people for five years and then excluded children in the secondary education sector for over nine years until she was made redundant.
Sue was offered another position within a school however she didn’t want to feel like she was just ‘ticking boxes’ when it came to providing support for vulnerable people in her area. She wanted to really make a difference and deliver a better service to needy people that were simply struggling to cope; either because they simply had too much on their plate or they had some form of disability which made day to day life hard.
Sue’s sister-in-law was a friend of Sarah and Claire and knew they were looking for new franchisees for this growing business. After a few conversations, Sue was convinced that this was the business that would enable her to deliver the services that she wanted to provide to her customers.
Although she hadn’t entertained the idea of running her own business in the past, Sue didn’t want to work for the public sector any more, or for other agencies that provide care to a community, because she felt their offering was sometimes restrictive. Extra Help allowed her the freedom to simply help – whatever that meant to her customers.
Sue could see the opportunities with a franchise:
- She wasn’t alone – she was part of a team; advisors in the form of Claire Robinson and Sarah Jackson, Joint Managing Directors of the business, who had both ran franchise businesses in the past, could and do provide advice and support at the end of the phone and face to face, when needed. They are also great to brain storm ideas and discuss any issues with.
2. She had a strong brand identity – that positioned the business well to the potential customers in South Essex and would help to combat competitors.
3.She had a choice of different income streams that the business provided – so she had options and choices to promote a range of services relevant to different types of customer.
4.She was her own boss – and she had the opportunity to generate her own income and direct up to what level that could go to.
5.She had an affinity with the services provided by the business to customers – something that she found invaluable in working with her delivery team of helpers.
What prompted her to ‘go for it’?
“I knew social services handled the ‘initial response’ to the local community for a six week period. Unfortunately those people that need further support would not be entitled to those services ongoing, due to Government budget cuts over the last few years. I knew I could help with a wider offering as well, so I wasn’t restricted in how I could help those people that needed it. Having met Sarah, I believed in the business and the ethos behind it. It’s a great template and she explained it well.“
Does she have any regrets?
“No, not at all. I was looking for something new and having spent five years at night school to get my counselling diploma, this opportunity presented itself at the right time and seemed like the perfect fit. It is a challenge to run a business, however with the support from Sarah Jackson and Claire Robinson, it is so reassuring to know that they are there to help with any issues, answer any queries and generally just knowing they are there is a real boost to my confidence in doing what I’m doing.“
What are her plans for the future?
“I really want the name of the business to be recognised and I am working towards that all the time. I also want a reliable team around me that I know have the same work ethic and values as I do to deliver a great service, often to vulnerable people who simply need some help and should be able to get it at a sensible price and a regular basis. I also feel that my knowledge and confidence is growing in how to run a business and make it successful. I find it extremely rewarding.“
If you need help for yourself or a family member in Essex contact Sue on +44 (0) 845 219 8975 or email email@example.com.
If you are interested in running your own business, finding out more about what’s involved with running a franchise business and running one in the home help sector, please call Claire Robinson or Sarah Jackson on +44 (0) 845 618 2904 or click here to ping over an email to arrange an initial meeting and conversation to find out more.
Until next time …