We are delighted to announce the launch of another new Extra Help franchise this week. At the beginning of February, Mark Lane joined our Extra Help family to provide essential home-help and cleaning services to Newcastle-under-Lyme and the surrounding areas, including Burslem, Alsager, and Biddulph.
Mark lives in Newcastle-under-Lyme with his partner, Tara, who runs her own craft sales business and is currently helping Mark to set up his new home-help and cleaning business. With a wealth of experience in the care sector, Mark brings many valuable, transferrable skills to Extra Help that will stand him in good stead as a franchise owner.
Since last June, Mark has been working for a domiciliary care company in Human Resources, where he’s responsible for recruitment and training. He intends to continue working in this role whilst simultaneously building his home-help franchise business. Before this, Mark worked for twelve years for an ambulance service, organising rotas, training, and supervising staff.
However, Mark was keen to run his own business and, during last year’s lockdown, began researching franchise opportunities online.
“I’ve been considering buying a franchise of some sort for the last five or six years now,” he says, “It dawned on me that the skills and experience I’ve acquired could be put to good use in running my own business in a similar field. I wasn’t keen on running a domiciliary care business, with all the regulations that went with it, but there’s a huge gap in the market for people who need every day help and support before they need personal care. The cost of domiciliary care can be up to £25 per hour and, realistically, you don’t need to pay that much if you don’t need the personal care element.”
Mark narrowed his choice down to two possibilities, one of which was Extra Help, the other a companion-driving service franchise. However, Mark thought Extra Help seemed more flexible and scalable, with a much lower initial investment.
He says: “I could see there was the potential to break even more quickly. Plus I’d have the chance to help more people with different, day-to-day tasks and that appealed to me.”
Initially, Mark looked into buying an existing, nearby Extra Help franchise, which happened to be for sale, but decided to go for his own area instead.
Having received full training from Extra Help, Mark’s new home-help and cleaning franchise is up and running. Extra Help Newcastle-under-Lyme is now live on the Extra Help website, as well as on Facebook. Mark has also trained to become a Dementia Friend, meaning he has learnt about the condition and how he and his team can support people in his community who are affected by this disease.
Mark’s extremely encouraged by the response he’s received so far, having only placed one, free advert on Staffordshire Connects, a local website run by Staffordshire County Council, in advance of the launch of his new home-help and cleaning business.
He says: “To my surprise, I had several social workers contact me almost immediately. One has three potential clients for me who have been looking for my services. She’s struggling to find enough support workers and these clients were having 14-16 hours per week, prior to lockdown. Now the COVID restrictions have lifted, they need even more help.”
Through Staffordshire Connects, Mark was also contacted by a domiciliary care company. As this business was restructuring and focusing more on personal care, they were looking to outsource any home-help requests. As a result, he has already acquired his first client, who needs over 20 hours of support per week at Keele University. The same company has since been in contact again, with another client for Extra Help Newcastle-under-Lyme. As a result, Mark is now in talks with Keele University about providing client support during lectures.
To meet this ready-made demand, he has been busy recruiting for home-helpers and, having received many applications, now has five team members in place.
Extra Help Newcastle-under-Lyme provides the entire range of Extra Help services, including (but not limited to):
- Domestic cleaning, including end of tenancy and deep cleans
- Companionship – spending time or providing respite for carers
- Transport to appointments and social events
- Meal preparation
- Help for parents, including babysitting, school runs, etc.
- Shopping services
- Dog walking / pet sitting
- Small DIY and household maintenance jobs
Mark is thrilled to have ready-made clients, along with home-helpers in place to work for them, right from the launch of his home-help and cleaning business. He feels extremely enthusiastic and positive about his future as an Extra Help franchise owner.
“In the next six months, I’d like to consider buying a second franchise and extending my area. This does seem realistic as I’ve already had calls from just outside my territory and have had to turn them down!” he says.
Visit Extra Help Newcastle-under-Lyme to find out how Mark and his team can help you with day-to-day tasks, or call 01782 367955.
If Mark’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.