With the cost of living crisis becoming an ever-increasing concern, many business owners and would-be entrepreneurs are wondering what sort of businesses they could run that would be more likely to thrive during a recession. Which goods and services would enough people be simply unable to do without, even if we all find ourselves having to cut back on the ‘nice-to-haves’, like eating out, holidays, family outings, clothes, children’s activities, etc.?
Here at Extra Help, we’ve always claimed to be a recession-resilient franchise. So, we thought now would be a great time to explain why and how this is the case, so you’ll understand why Extra Help is the ideal franchise to invest in, regardless of the current, economic climate.
It’s a well-known fact that our elderly population is constantly increasing, as advances in science and medicine mean people are generally living for longer. According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2016, there were 11.8 million UK residents aged 65 years and over, representing 18% of the total population. 25 years before, there were only 9.1 million, accounting for 15.8% of the population.
What you may not know is that this means Social Services departments around the country are struggling to cope with the demand more than ever. Coupled with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, from which they’re still recovering, they also face enormous, ongoing budget cuts and staff shortages. Care homes are closing down all over the UK and, as a result, Social Services departments are finding themselves in the difficult position of having to prioritise the clients whose needs are the greatest, such as those who need personal care.
This leaves many elderly and vulnerable people, who don’t need personal care, but just a bit of help to keep on top of things, without assistance. Even if they have the money to pay for help, through their Attendance Allowances or Personal Independence Payments, they often find themselves let down by Social Services.
That’s where Extra Help comes in. Although we provide home-help and domestic cleaning services to many different types of people, we’ve always been particularly passionate about helping elderly and vulnerable people to remain independent and stay in their own homes.
Our home-helpers contribute to this in many different ways, from doing their housework, food shopping and preparing their meals; to taking them to appointments and social events. Perhaps most importantly, our home-helpers provide clients with much-needed companionship, the service that has seen the most increased demand since the pandemic, perhaps due to the fact that people living alone were isolated during lockdown and now appreciate seeing visitors and friendly faces more than ever.
These people are looking for reliable, efficient and trustworthy services they can depend upon, and Extra Help fulfils that need, with our high moral values and integrity, as well as our kind and caring ethos that resonate across the franchise network.
Therefore, when new franchisees join the Extra Help family, they’re always strongly encouraged to make contact and build mutually-beneficial working relationships with their local councils. Many franchisees testify that their local Social Services departments are crying out for a service like Extra Help that they can rely on.
Our franchisees claim the key to an almost ready-made client base is to prove your worth to Social Services. They often state they receive so many referrals through local social workers that they have no need to advertise!
If you’re thinking this all sounds too good to be true, it genuinely isn’t! However, never, ever underestimate the hard work that’s involved in building a strong, working relationship with your local council. It takes huge amounts of effort, determination and, above all, the ability to prove yourself 100% reliable. There’s no magic formula but, as part of our comprehensive franchisee training, you’ll receive all the tips and advice you need to ensure your Extra Help franchise becomes your local council’s first port of call whenever resources are stretched and they need to refer clients.
If you’d like to run a home-help and domestic cleaning business, offering a flexible range of services to your local community, give us a call on 01752 905790 to find out if your area is available. You can also visit our website for more information.