I'd Like To Share Some Exciting News!
I've been shortlisted ...
Posted on: 01/05/2014 By: Claire Robinson
This week, I wanted to share my excitement with you! I've been shortlisted by our local newspaper, the Plymouth Herald, for their Entrepreneur of the Year award. The shortlist came out a few weeks ago and tonight is the awards dinner so fingers crossed ...
Being nominated for the Plymouth Herald Entrepreneur Of The Year is a great honour!
To be honest, I already feel like a winner. When I announced that I'd been shortlisted on Facebook, I had over 120 likes and lots of lovely comments. I was so chuffed and all of the kind words meant so much to me.
Life over the last few years hasn't been easy. Sarah and I set Extra Help up in the middle of a recession; one which had had a serious impact on both our previous businesses, but we had the belief and passion in our idea to make it work.
At the time, Sarah had a baby who had severe dietary problems, which definitely took its toll on her, although she, like me, is very resilient. I had chosen to sell my last business and move to the South West, not really knowing anyone and taking my three children with me.
I'd suffered huge financial problems with my advertising business, but wallowing in self-pity and blaming anyone apart from myself just isn't me. So I picked myself up, learnt from my mistakes and pushed forward.
I then lost my parents very suddenly (within six weeks of each other) in 2012. Being an only child with no extended family really took its toll on me. At the end of 2013, Sarah had another baby, who also has medical issues and had to have an operation at ten weeks old. Even through all this, we have surged forward with the business.
"I always knew Extra Help would be a success. Sarah and I are so passionate about it, the concept is brilliant and the need will just grow and grow!"
We started our business life as home help/domestic services for the elderly. We are all living longer and want to stay in our own homes so the need for our type of business was already there and steadily growing.
If you look back, how many people's parents had cleaners when we were young? Hardly any! And now it's the norm and the home help business will be the same. There are quite a few personal care companies out there, also doing what we do, but they charge a lot more for their service. As we only do domestic help we can charge a lot less.
Since launching Extra Help in 2010, it's definitely evolved. Our services are now targeted at anyone who needs them, from working professionals who need a housekeeper to come in each day, to domestic cleaning and help for parents who work from home or need small amounts of child care, helping on a day to day or ad-hoc basis.
In the last year, we have sold and trained eleven new franchisees which brings our total up to sixteen! With more booked on to the training at the end of May, it's such an exciting time for us and I'm so proud to be part of it.
I'd like to thank all of our franchisees, who have faith in our business model and share Sarah's and my passion. Without their vision, we wouldn't be about to spread our much needed services across the country.
"That's it from me now, I'll keep you posted with the results of the awards dinner!"
If you want to know more about our franchise opportunities or the services we provide then give us a call on 0845 618 2904 and there's a lot more information on our website too.
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.