Carol Arnold and Cath Godding decided that two heads would be better than one in business and their joint-owned Extra Help franchise complements their individual skills and strengths perfectly
There are many pros and cons to starting a company with a friend, but for two mums, Carol Arnold and Cath Godding, it was a decision that they’ve never regretted.
Carol and Cath first met in the playground at their children’s school. Their friendship progressed into attending yoga classes together, until one day, after class, they discussed the possibility of starting a business together.
Prior to this, Carol had been an administrator for her local preschool for seven years, while Cath was previously employed as the language director at a grammar school for 16 years. Both ladies felt it was the right time to try something new and, as Carol had previously owned a franchise many years ago, they started looking for a franchise opportunity together.
Carol says: “It was important we found something we both enjoyed. 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.”
Finding the perfect fit
Carol and Cath attended the National Franchise Exhibition together to gain some inspiration, where they noticed an advert in the show guide for Extra Help, the home help and domestic cleaning franchise network.
Carol explains that Extra Help particularly appealed to them both because they could provide various services rather than being restricted to only one, enabling them to pick and choose which services to promote and respond to their target market more effectively. They didn’t feel comfortable 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.
In 2016, Extra Help Wirral was born. Since then, Carol and Cath have gone on to build an extremely rewarding home-help business that suits their lives perfectly, with 240 clients and a team of 50 home-helpers. Their services are constantly in demand and they no longer have to advertise, relying solely on word-of-mouth referrals. This is largely due to their excellent relationship with their local social services department and the outstanding reputation which they’ve built within their local community.
Carol and Cath work extremely efficiently together, having assigned themselves very specific roles within the business that make the most of their individual skills and strengths.
“We used to just try and cover everything between us, but last autumn we came to the decision that I’d be more office-based and concentrate on dealing with client calls and admin, while Cath goes out to meet new clients and sets them up with home-helpers,” says Carol. “She’s more of a people person and I’m good at the admin, so this works much better for us and our business runs more smoothly.
“We’ve been running Extra Help Wirral together as a team since the beginning, and it’s been a lot easier than if I’d done it on my own. We’re so busy – it can be quite full-on sometimes – so it’s great to have each other to share the workload.”
And the results speak for themselves. At the latest Extra Help Conference, Carol and Cath bagged more awards than any other territory, including the coveted Franchisee of the Year!
Extra Help Wirral provides many essential services, such as laundry, bed changing, shopping, gardening, and meal preparation. As many of Carol and Cath’s clients are elderly or vulnerable, they particularly appreciate the helping hand they receive from Extra Help Wirral, which makes an enormous difference to their quality of life.
Carol says: “Extra Help is a very rewarding business. I feel like I’m doing something valuable – it’s a very positive sector to be involved in. It’s great to be part of such a friendly and approachable franchise network, but one that’s also extremely professional. We know we have support whenever we need it!”
At a glance
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£8,500 (+ VAT)
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