Name of Business: HelpAroundTheHome.co.uk
Your Name and Age: Saba Mussie 37
Tell us about your family: I live with my partner and my son. My son is four years old. I live in Australia.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
I had my own IT Consultancy business. I did from fixing computers to developing software for small to medium size businesses.
When did you launch?
We launched the Australian site – HelpAroundTheHouse.com.au late 2007 and we’ve now over 5000 members. We’ve launched the UK site three months ago.
How did you get started?
The website came from my own personal need. As a new mum it was difficult to juggle work and family commitment. Like most families I needed help with babysitting and housework. We couldn’t commit a regular housekeeper since we couldn’t afford one. I started to look for a casual helper, someone from the neighbourhood that I could call when I needed help. I did a lot of searching on the internet and couldn’t find what I was looking for. Being an IT person, I started working on the website immediately. It was low risk for me to start.
What research did you do before launching?
I did hours of researching before starting on the website – mainly on the internet.
How do you promote your business? What has worked best?
Hardly any. I was lucky to get a couple of pieces of media exposure early on. We rely mainly on word-of-mouth and Google.
What made you think of expanding overseas?
I guess Australia and UK are similar in many ways. Also the policies and laws are quite similar. We also did a fair bit of research in UK and we saw a gap in the market for this kind of service and took the opportunity.
What have you had to do to take the business to international markets?
I guess the main challenge was to know about policies and laws in Britain which turn out to be similar to Australia. Big plus for us.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
To attract sponsors. Still working on it.
How do you fit in work with the family?
I can work anywhere any time. It is just me and my notebook, this gives me a tremendous flexibility on when and where I work. I also have support from my partner and other business partner to fill in the gap.
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
It is so easy to get destructed when you work on project like this. I guess the main advice for all of us is to focus, focus and focus. I’m still working on this as I keep stopping myself from trying too many things.
If you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more.
What we offer is a one stop website for housework. People who need help with their housework can connect with people who can provide those services. Services include house cleaning, babysitting, ironing, cooking and more. The beauty of this is we provide the website so that people in need of help with their housework can meet each other.
Your website link: www.helparoundthehome.co.uk The website is free for all helpers. People who provide cleaning, ironing, babysitting, etc service can go to the website to register and put their ad for free. The website is free for all hirers for a limited time.