"There are endless opportunities for expansion and development"

In the four years since Susan Milakovic became Bluebird Care's first franchise owner, she has enjoyed the benefits of running her own business so much that she has just launched a second territory.

With 15 years' experience in the social housing sector, Susan Milakovic has combined her excellent people skills and caring nature to successfully develop her Bluebird Care franchise. Keen to continue her own business development of one of the UK's leading care franchises, Susan made the decision to open her second Bluebird Care office in Stratford.

When Susan first decided to start her own business in 2006, she researched many different franchises using The Franchise Magazine and discovered that Bluebird Care's ambition and potential were what she wanted from a business opportunity.

"I looked at lots of businesses but Bluebird Care stood out for me and although, at that time, it had only been recently launched it was exciting and very interesting," she explains. "The professional approach to providing care and the experience within the company really appealed to me and I was keen to be the first franchise owner."

When starting her own business one of Susan's main concerns was establishing her reputation in the care market but with the assistance of a recognised and quality brand she quickly realised this was not an issue.

"Once I was ready to start trading it was a case of getting my name out there. By trading under such a renowned brand as Bluebird Care, I am able to provide a quality and efficient service and the work quickly started to snowball. Now the franchise network is well established it is even quicker for franchise owners to get their Bluebird Care business off the ground," she explains.

Since Susan joined the care franchise, she has seen it rapidly develop into a nationwide Bluebird Care network with now nearly 100 franchise territories.

"Bluebird Care has really taken off; although with the proven business model we have it is hardly surprising. As it was a new franchising opportunity at the time I came on board, I thought there may have been some risks in the beginning but the business model has continued to produce excellent results and the brand has gone from strength to strength," she says. "The network has a large number of successful franchise owners."

Now, having invested in her second Bluebird Care office in Stafford, Susan is currently embracing a more hands-on role to ensure that the new franchise has a successful start.

"I really enjoy being involved with the running of the business and once the new franchise is up and running, I will be able to revert into my managerial role and oversee quality control and customer service."

Susan has no regrets. "Within only a few years I have been able to obtain multiple territories, recruit over 60 employees and will soon realise my goal of working more flexible hours.

"I'm on track with my business plan. This is an excellent time for the care sector and the Bluebird Care business model is second to none," she reveals. "Work is challenging but so rewarding. I enjoy the freedom of being able to organise work to suit me with the reassurance of knowing I have first-class support from my franchisor.

"Of all the businesses I looked at, I am so glad I picked Bluebird Care. The company just continues to grow and there is endless opportunities for expansion and development."

Reported by Tiffany Brooking