There’s no denying that all of our Extra Help franchisees are incredible people. The nature of their work, with a specific focus on helping elderly and vulnerable people to live independently in their own homes, means it takes a genuinely kind and caring person to become an Extra Help franchisee.
Julie Vernon, the owner of Extra Help Telford & Wrekin, is proof that the kinder and more caring you are, the more successful your franchise will be.
Julie launched Extra Help Telford & Wrekin in September 2020, wholeheartedly embracing Extra Help’s compassionate ethos right from the beginning. In only two and a half years, she has built a lucrative home-help business, with around 130 clients, served by a team of 40 home-helpers, and is billing over 300 hours per week!
Julie’s success certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed within the franchise network. At the last Extra Help Conference, she was delighted to win a grand total of four awards:
- Franchisee of the Year
- Most Improved Turnover
- Most Improved Regular Hours
- Highest Achiever – Year 3
Much of Julie’s success can be attributed to her obvious willingness to go the extra mile to improve the quality of her clients’ lives. As a Dementia Friend, she has set up several, successful dementia groups, in conjunction with the local council, that are free of charge and open to both clients and non-clients. All of these groups are funded by the council.
She also works closely with the Alzheimer’s Society, which helps to promote the groups, and Age UK, which is staffed by volunteers who aren’t able to support dementia sufferers. Therefore, it has a huge waiting list of potential attendees for Julie’s groups.
“We do everything we can to make the groups engaging and enjoyable for attendees,” says Julie, “We blow up balloons and encourage them to sing and get up and have a boogie. They really enjoy themselves, and even the ones with short-term memory loss seem to recall the group, which is amazing!”
By providing these free groups and activities to her local community, Julie believes she has significantly raised her profile, both with potential clients and her local council. As a key figure in the community, she has been invited to attend a Dementia Support Information Day in May, which will bring together many relevant, local organisations in one place, for people looking for dementia information and advice. Julie is intending to hand out her leaflets and talk to as many people as possible to ensure she further raises Extra Help Telford & Wrekin’s profile within her local community.
After two years of hard work, Julie is enjoying the fruits of her labour. Her home-help franchise has grown to such an extent that she recently moved into a commercial office and took on her first member of staff, Michelle, who was originally one of her home-helpers. She believes that having a member of staff has immensely improved her work / life balance, as she now has someone to talk to, as well as share the workload with.
“Michelle is primarily responsible for payroll and staffing and deals with getting cover for staff sickness and holidays. She relieves the pressure and covers for me if I need to have time off. I’ve also recently taught her how to do client sign-ups, which is great, especially when it’s really busy. It’s working out perfectly!” Julie says.
Julie’s most important piece of advice to potential Extra Help franchisees is to get out into the community and make sure people know who you are.
“I absolutely love being out and about – seeing my clients smiling and knowing we’re making them happy is the best part of my job!” she says. “Sometimes we turn up at their houses with cake, flowers, or even just a hug if they’re feeling low. At Christmas we wrapped loads of presents and delivered them dressed as elves – my clients were delighted and their reaction made it all worthwhile.”
Extra Help is always looking for kind and caring people, like Julie, who would like to run a successful business, offering a flexible range of home-help services to their local communities. If you’ve been inspired by Julie’s story and think you fit the bill, give us a call on 01752 905790 to find out if your area is available. You can also click here for more information.