Alleviating loneliness and quickly connecting seniors with caregivers in their area is now possible
Many of us live further away from our elderly parents and are not able to show up as often. In an effort to fill this gap and prevent loneliness and anxiety from every side, Verity Batchelor has filled the gap with her platform: Good Life Sorted.
What is your USP?
We used technology to create a unique platform that connects elderly, vulnerable people with helpers in their area. We screen and train these assistants who then provide company and support to the customer. This is not medical care or personal care, but help with household tasks such as shopping and light chores – providing company and support.
What is the main problem you solve for your customers?
We alleviate loneliness by helping older or vulnerable people stay in their own homes for longer.
What made you start your business – did you want to shake up the status quo, was it a challenge or a gap in the market that you could fill?
My co-founder Konstantin’s grandmother was able to live independently, in her own home in a small Greek village, in the late 90s – thanks to the neighbors who came every day. We realized that this is not always the case for people in the UK and that there is a real need to provide support that is less about personal care and more about mental health: just a chat, providing support, taking someone out for a walk, helping with things around the house.
What are the Good Life Sorted brand values?
Empowerment, confidence, respect, individual approach, positive energy.
Do your values define your decision-making process?
Yes, absolutely. At every stage of the business, we return to these values to ensure that the people we hire, the training we provide, the technology we develop deliver on them.
Is team culture integral to Good Life Sorted?
Yes, especially since our “team” is scattered all over the place: we work in several regions and Assistants, once created with their own profiles on the site, are self-employed – they set their own hours and pay. They still need support and the embodiment of Good Life Sorted’s values and standards.
If team culture is an integral part of your business, what are you doing to go the extra mile to show your team that you value them?
It’s mostly that support – both online and in person. Helpers have chosen this role because they want to make a positive difference in their community, as well as earn an income and work flexibly. However, they still need support, so we provide a very thorough onboarding process, regular training opportunities and face-to-face meetings so they can support each other. It’s an emotional business, Assistants are naturally caring people (that’s why they do it) and they get close to their clients.
In terms of your messaging, do you think you’re speaking directly to your users in a clear way?
yes This is vital – we’re a tech business but our customers aren’t always tech savvy, so we keep the platform simple, easy to use and focused, being clear about our proposition without being patronising. All Assistants use an app which is again very clear and designed to be easy to use – mostly because we don’t want it to take up too much time, it’s all about efficiency and allowing Assistants to spend more time with their customers.
What is your view on inflation and interest rates – will you pass this on to your customers or let your margins take a hit and reward customer loyalty in these tougher times?
Assistants set their own hourly rates, so they are responsible for their own income. Many have kept rates the same, but some have raised them slightly to cover rising travel costs.
How often do you evaluate the data you download and address your KPIs and why?
All the time – we are a data-driven business. The data is evaluated every week and if necessary our tactics are adapted to make the most of every opportunity.
Is technology playing a much bigger role in the day-to-day running of your company?
She was always the biggest part of him! Konstantin and I met at Amazon, we both come from tech backgrounds, and our goal has always been to use technology to solve a human problem.
How do you feel about your competitors?
We don’t really have direct competitors as we are inventing a new category. Our model is quite unique in that we do not provide medical or personal care, but instead companionship and support provided by local helpers. Of course, anyone else working in the care industry has our full respect. This is an emotional and important area.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting a business?
don’t be afraid Not everyone will like your idea, but if you think it’s good, give it a go and don’t get discouraged by people who don’t see your vision. Do it!
It can be a lonely and stressful place to be the lead decision maker in business. What do you do to relax, recharge and sharpen your focus?
I am not the leading decision maker, I share this pleasure with my co-founder Konstantin – I would recommend this approach to anyone, as finding the right person to connect with is a joy: you bring together your different skills, views and provide mutual support from the beginning. But of course I still need to recharge and refocus! I spend time with my family, love to travel and just started yoga which I love.
Do you believe in the 12-week working method or do you do much longer planning strategies?
We use strategies with different durations – the cycles vary depending on what you plan. We have a long-term plan, a three-year vision, then monthly and weekly plans. As an agile digital business, we need to be very flexible. Individuals on the team are responsible for their own planning and we encourage this autonomy.
What is your company’s environmental strategy?
We don’t come into the office unless needed for appointments and the technology is designed to connect our Assistants with clients near them to reduce travel as much as possible. The very nature of our business is to be local.
What three things do you hope to have in place in the next 12 months?
We are looking to expand into other regions – we are mainly in the South East at the moment so we want to expand quickly across the UK as there is a real need for our supply and we are being approached all the time by families and social workers. We will invest in new technologies, further develop the platform and use data even more efficiently. Finally, we would like to raise more awareness of our customers’ needs. Loneliness is a huge problem in our country and our seniors deserve a little better. There is more over 2 million people in England aged over 75 live alone, according to Age UK – and having someone local to rely on is vital.