We are delighted to welcome our latest franchisee, Julia Richardson, to the Extra Help family. Julia is the proud owner of Extra Help Leeds North, which launched at the end of October.
Julia lives in Leeds with her family. She has one son and a daughter, who is currently studying at university, in Edinburgh. Prior to becoming an Extra Help franchise owner, Julia was a registered childminder and nanny for eleven years, during which time she was graded as ‘outstanding’ twice by Ofsted. She has also recently completed a foundation degree in Child and Family Studies at the University of Leeds.
Julia’s childminding business was running extremely well, until the country went into lockdown in 2020.
“Although my childminding business had been successful, the COVID-19 pandemic effectively wiped out all of my hard work overnight and I found myself struggling to maintain a reasonable income thereafter as people learned to manage in different ways,” she says.
Julia realised that throughout the pandemic, home-help services had still been in demand, especially because people had been separated from their elderly relatives during lockdown and were unable to visit or help them. She originally considered setting up her own home-help and cleaning business from scratch, until she discovered Extra Help online and realised it was a ready-made business, with an established brand and a proven business model that ticked all the boxes.
“I did look at other, similar franchises, and chose Extra Help initially because it was so reasonably priced, compared with the others,” says Julia, “but from the very first phone call I had with them, I just knew this was the one I wanted to go for. To date, it’s a decision I haven’t regretted.”
Since deciding to become an Extra Help franchise owner, Julia says she has been receiving fantastic support from the Head Office team, including online training and a virtual, weekly Power Hour, which has been enormously helpful in getting the information and advice she needed to get her business up and running.
Julia also attended the recent Annual Conference in Bristol, which enabled her to get to know many of her fellow franchisees and feel like part of the Extra Help family immediately.
Since then, Julia has registered her Extra Help franchise with her local council and has signed up to an online, lead generation site to find new clients. She already has her first client, who is the grandparent of a child she used to look after, and Julia hopes she will attract more clients through her existing network of contacts. She also recently advertised for home helpers online, which generated an overwhelming response of over 200 applications! She has now shortlisted the ten most suitable candidates and is confident she’ll have a full team of home-helpers imminently.
Julia has also trained to be a Dementia Friend, meaning she has learnt about the condition and how she can provide the best support to her affected clients.
Although she was initially attracted by Extra Help’s emphasis on helping the elderly, Julia believes that anyone can potentially benefit from Extra Help Leeds North’s services, particularly parents.
“As a registered childminder and nanny, I can provide clients with even more reassurance that their children will be in safe and capable hands,” she says, “Being graded outstanding is really hard to achieve and I think it proves my commitment to providing an extremely high-quality service to my clients.”
Extra Help Leeds North offers a wide range of home-help and domestic services, including:
- Companionship – spending time with clients and providing respite for carers
- Transport to/from with appointments and social events
- Meal preparation
- Shopping services
- Domestic cleaning, including end of tenancy, spring and deep cleans
- Help and support for busy parents such as meal preparation, tidying and cleaning, school runs and helping out during school holidays
If Julia’s story has inspired you and you’d like to learn more about owning a successful and rewarding home-help and domestic cleaning franchise, give us a call on 01752 905790 to find out if your area is available.
You can also click here to find out more about the Extra Help franchise opportunity.