Following on from last week, when we heard why our Essex franchisee Sue Timsonbought her franchise, this week we hear from Emma Clark in Leicester. When a busy, married, working step mum of one, needed some extra help for her own mother, little did she know that she would not only find the help needed, but she would also realise her dream of becoming a business owner with a passion to help others in a similar situation …
Emma Clark has been the Franchisee for Extra Help in Leicester since March 2012. 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. However, it wasn’t always like that. When Emma first came across Extra Help, the situation was very different indeed.
Emma first found Extra Help when her mum, who was suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, needed some support at home. Emma was working full time in Milton Keynes and trying to see her mum as often as possible, helping her as much as she could. As time went by Emma found that her mum needed more help than she had time to give, so Emma set about looking for a service that could bridge the gap.
Emma simply typed ‘home help’ into Google and came across Extra Help immediately. She liked the fact that Extra Help offered social care and extra support at home, which was ideal as her mum didn’t need any other form of personal care, simply some extra help round the house.
Emma didn’t even contact any other company, but had a conversation with the Milton Keynes Franchisee, who was able to provide the help her mum so desperately needed.
Over time, Emma became more interested in the business model for Extra Help and, having harboured plans to run her own business one day, decided to find out more about the company, especially once the Milton Keynes Franchisee told her about franchises being available.
Emma spoke to Joint Managing Director Sarah Jackson, who explained everything about becoming an Extra Help Franchisee and in particular taking one on in Leicester, where Emma now lived with her husband and step son. After several discussions, the decision was made.
Emma 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.
She had a strong brand identity – that positioned the business well to the potential customers in Leicester and would help to combat competitors.
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.
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.
She had an affinity with the service provided by the business to customers – something that she found invaluable in working with her delivery team of helpers
So what prompted her to ‘go for it’?
“Although I don’t come from a care industry background, in fact my background is a commercial one, with our 24-7 lifestyles, full time work and an ageing population we simply don’t have the time to always keep on top of the day to day chores. I truly believe that the service we provide is sought after and becoming more necessary for those that can’t cope and I take great pride in delivering our service with the attention that our customers deserve.“
So does she have any regrets?
She continues, “Leaving a full time paying job is a big leap of faith, however Claire and Sarah have been extremely supportive and the fact that there are several franchisees now, proves that the model works. I have to say I didn’t look at any other franchise opportunities. I had seen this business first hand and was delighted with the service they provided to my mum. Once I got to know Sarah in particular, the rest, as they say, is history. I recommend that anyone taking on a franchise do their maths to ensure the revenue and the costs are correctly balanced and talk to other franchisees about the business before committing yourself.“
So what are her plans for the future?
Emma adds, “My goal is to ensure that Extra Help is the No.1 home help business in Leicester. There is a lot of competition here and it can be really hard work to keep the promotional activity going all the time, when there is only you. I find it enormously rewarding though when all that hard work pays off and we have so many happy customers and lovely testimonials.“
If you need help for yourself or a family member in Leicester contact Emma on +44 (0) 845 219 8974 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 …