North Somerset Enterprise Agency gives couple a ‘helping hand’
A Weston-super-Mare business which was launched as a result of redundancy has entered its second year of business with a fast growing order book and an expanding list of popular services.
Helping Hands, run by husband and wife team Dominic and Ally Ife, frees up people’s time and makes their lives easier by taking over many of life’s chores. The business offers a huge range of services from gardening to spring cleaning, dog walking to errand running and form filling to accompanying people to hospital.
Having researched the business idea Dominic approached North Somerset Enterprise Agency, which supports start-up and businesses with free advice, information and low-cost training and soon found himself learning everything he needed to know to start his business from training courses and workshops. The agency also helped with networking, local advice and contacts and an open door for advice and help.
“Our services are only limited by our customers’ imagination – and of course legal, moral and ethical boundaries.” says Dominic. “If clients ask for a service that we don’t offer we will introduce it ourselves or find someone who can – there is very little that we can’t do. We even offer gift vouchers so that customers can treat their friends and family to the gift of some time off!”
Fees for services are charged either hourly or as a job rate, contract or package. Whilst having worked hard to make Helping Hands’ services affordable, Dominic admits that he’s been surprised by just how widespread the demand for the firms’ services has been.
“We originally thought that our services would appeal more to elderly people who needed help with practical jobs, but our customers come from all age groups, our youngest being a 13 year old who wanted us to hide her gift of a second-hand bike for her brother until Christmas Day! (Of course no charge was made for the service !)
“We might be watering a customer’s plants whilst they are on holiday and ensuring another customer receives their morning newspaper then an hour later we could be running a pet taxi service! There’s never a dull moment and although the business demands long hours and we have to be very flexible to fit around our customers’ needs, we love the variety.”
He credits the team at North Somerset Enterprise Agency with ensuring Helping Hands survived the early days. “We had access to all the help and support we needed and were always able to see an adviser when we wanted to. They also introduced us to a wealth of local contacts.” he says.
Terry Gilbert of the North Somerset Enterprise Agency says: “Helping Hands is a business that spotted a need and has worked hard to deliver a service that has something to offer almost everyone. It’s terrific to see them heading into their second year of enterprise with a growing reputation and demand.
“At a time when there is little job security, it’s inspiring to see how redundancy can be turned from a real blow into an opportunity for a new way of life. Running a business is hard work and isn’t for everyone, but as Dominic and Ally demonstrate it can be a life-changing and rewarding way forward.”
Helping Hands can be contacted on 01934 623068, mobile 07907 844078, via the website: www.helpinghandsweston.co.uk or by e-mailing email@example.com
For more information on the North Somerset Enterprise Agency visit: http://www.northsomersetenterpriseagency.co.uk/about-us/