Extra Help explains how Michaela Nowik, from Milton Keynes, made the transition from corporate employee to successful franchise owner…
Michaela Nowik lives in Milton Keynes with her husband, Rod, and her two children, who are eight and ten years old. She has been the owner of Extra Help Milton Keynes since June 2018 and covers the entire Milton Keynes area, along with the surrounding villages.
Hailing from a corporate insurance background, Michaela gained a degree in Mathematics and went on to enjoy a twenty-year career, working for corporate organisations, gaining management experience that would later prove invaluable to her as an Extra Help franchise owner.
However, last year, Michaela reached a stage in her life when she felt she needed to change paths. She wanted to work within an environment where she felt she could truly make a difference and escape the 9-5 routine of being an employee.
Michaela discovered Extra Help when she met Claire Robinson, founder of Extra Help, at a networking meeting. She says Claire gave her immediate confidence in the franchise opportunity, particularly as Claire had run her own, successful franchise in Plymouth.
Once she had chosen Extra Help, Michaela says the process of becoming a franchisee was extremely speedy. She attended a two-day training course, which she describes as being ‘very practical and useful’, and started trading the following week when she found her first client.
Since then, Michaela’s business has flourished rapidly. She now manages fourteen home-helpers, most of whom have backgrounds in the care industry, working with children or domestic cleaning. The main service she focuses on is Extra Help for the Elderly, which she is particularly passionate about, providing meal preparation, cleaning, shopping and companionship. However, she has found that there is also a huge demand in her local area for domestic cleaning services.
The support Michaela receives from Extra Help is second to none, and she enjoys the balance of being her own boss, yet still having the assistance there for her if she needs it.
“Our Franchise Manager, Nealem is always on hand, and Claire and Denise are both really helpful,” she says, “You’re left to your own devices but you know there’s somebody there for you if you need them, so it’s the perfect combination. I never feel as though I’m being ‘managed’. It’s all good!”
As an Extra Help franchise owner, Michaela also has access to a support group on Facebook, where franchisees are encouraged to interact, provide each other with guidance and arrange informal meet-ups. She also recently attended the Extra Help Annual Conference, where she received training that she describes as being ‘really informative, relevant and beneficial’.
Michaela says the best thing about being involved in the home-help industry is when you receive positive feedback from clients and know you have made a tangible difference to their lives. She thoroughly enjoys managing her home-helpers and she says her clients are lovely too. She has now grown the business to such an extent that she was able to leave her corporate job just before Christmas to concentrate on Extra Help full-time.
Michaela’s plans for the future include raising awareness through networking and further expansion of the business.
“Milton Keynes is expanding at an enormous rate, with new housing estates being built all the time, so there is huge potential,” she says, “There are also many elderly people in the surrounding villages, so there’s lots of room for growth.”
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