Case Study: Senior Helpers
Back in 2013, Leonie and Amy Williams wanted to open a small franchise business, Senior Helpers, delivering home care to the elderly and adults with disabilities in northern Tasmania. They are both registered nurses and although they had management experience they had never started a business of their own.
Leonie went along to one of the Launceston ECT networking sessions in search of advice and met business advisor, Thom Lloyd of Business & Employment, who was happy to offer assistance.
Thom suggested Leonie attend a ‘Getting Started’ workshop which explained basics such as business structure, business planning, compliance and marketing strategies.
Next, Leonie looked at marketing. Although Senior Helpers is a franchise, she needed to have a strong understanding of the Tasmanian market before any marketing was applied. Thom was able to assist with his own local knowledge and encouraged Leonie to take part in his Business Fest event in June 2014. Here Leonie networked with 80 small businesses over a day and attended four complementary workshops to expand her skills in marketing, social media, websites and the business pitch.
Senior Helpers started small but it was a much needed service and demand for it snowballed. By March 2015, Leonie and Amy owned two companies covering all of Tasmania with 50 part time employees and 2 full time managers as well as themselves. For their second year in business, they billed just under $1 million.
Thom was surprised at the speed of the uptake but pleased that the business could expand so quickly. “We helped set the business up in the right way” he said. “ We avoided the pitfalls and set goals that gave direction enabling a quick start and growth.”
Leonie and Amy are thrilled that in 2015 they won the Senior Helpers International Rookie Franchise of the Year award.
Leonie attributes to Thom the encouragement, understanding and willingness to direct or assist in
developing her self-confidence in the early days until they hit the breakeven point. “I am not sure we could have built our business so strongly without the able support and direction from Thom and the activities helped me understand my roles and guided my business decisions.” she said.
“I could not recommend the Business & Employment and ECT more highly.”