Extra Help Wirral: When Two Friends Join Forces
Carol and Cath have made a brilliant start ...
Carol Godding and Cath Arnold became friends when they met at their children's school. Their friendship progressed to attending yoga classes together and, one day, while having coffee after class, they discussed the possibility of starting a business together ...
Extra Help Wirral is now looking for clients in this tranquil and beautiful location!
copyright: neilld / 123rf stock photo (licensee)
For seven years, Carol had been working in a voluntary capacity as Administrator for her local village preschool, as well as serving on the committee there. Cath had been working as the Language College Director at a girls’ grammar school for sixteen years.
Both ladies were feeling that it was the right time to try something new and, as Carol had previously owned a franchise many years ago, they decided to look into franchising.
"The idea of buying a franchise first came to us around last December," says Carol. "The local branch of Tumble Tots came up for sale and we tried to buy it, but, unfortunately, we were outbid."
Not to be discouraged, Carol suggested to Cath that they search for another suitable franchise. They attended the National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham to gain some inspiration and, whilst there, they noticed an editorial and advert for Extra Help, the home help and domestic cleaning franchise network, in the show guide.
Carol says that Extra Help particularly appealed to them because the franchise could provide various different services, rather than being restricted to only one, meaning they could pick and choose which services to promote and respond to their target market more effectively.
They didn't feel comfortable with providing personal care and were attracted by the fact that home helpers are self-employed, so there is no PAYE, National Insurance or pensions to manage.
"It was crucial that we found something we both enjoyed," says Carol. "We weren't looking to make millions, but just wanted to find a business that was relatively easy to run and would provide us both with an income that would take us up to retirement."
Carol contacted Extra Help, who gave her all the information she needed about the franchise opportunity, without putting any pressure on them, which they both appreciated.
They decided to go for it and attended a two-day residential training course, which Carol says was "tiring but enjoyable and really useful". Since then, they have been in regular contact with the Extra Help team while setting up their business, who Carol describes as being "very helpful and responsive", and have been proactively promoting their new business in their local area.
As they are covering the whole of the Wirral Peninsula, they have a potential target market of approximately 150,000 households to cover!
They have already delivered their first 10,000 leaflets, paid for by Extra Help, and placed adverts in the local Post Office, libraries, coffee shops and, of course, the preschool where Carol volunteers. Cath also has many school contacts and has been actively promoting the business wherever she can.
"I will be concentrating on the admin side of the business, as that's where my expertise lies," says Carol, "but for the moment, we're both doing a bit of everything."
Since officially launching in September 2016, Carol and Cath have also been busy searching for reliable home-helpers and cleaners, as three of Cath's friends have already expressed an interest in using Extra Help.
They will be promoting all of Extra Help's services and intend to focus on home-help services for the elderly but, as they both know lots of young mothers, their gut feeling is that Extra Help's Mothers' Help services may also prove to be very popular in their area.
"We've already been asked about babysitting and school pick-ups by some of our friends, so we know there's a demand for these services," Carol says, "and although we will probably focus on the elderly, we don't want to turn anything down! We've already found our first job looking after and walking a lady's dog on an ad hoc basis, so we're really pleased with that."
Carol's advice to potential franchisees is to make sure you choose something you will enjoy doing and be prepared to put in the effort!"
"It's hard work getting it all going but we've been told it does get easier!" she says. "We're both so excited about the future and are really looking forward to growing our business together."
If you're interested in franchising your area, call us on 0845 618 2904 or click here to find out more about our 4-in-1 franchise opportunity.
Until next time ...
Claire is a serial entrepreneur having successfully established a networking group, a magazine advertising company and a building contracting company over the past few years.
Now living in Cornwall and handling Extra Help operations countrywide, Claire has a passion for business and is determined to grow Extra Help into a nationwide brand.