"The business model is second to none!"

Although Sue Milakovic had no experience in the care industry, within a year of launching her business she had won the Bluebird Care Franchisee of the Year award and is looking to expand her business. Derin Ibrahim interviews

When Sue Milakovic joined Bluebird Care she admits that she 'took a leap of faith', which with the winning of the Bluebird Care 2007 Franchisee of the Year award and plans to expand her business, seems to have paid off.

While working for local government in the housing sector, Sue (pic, below) decided that she wanted to be self-employed. She remembers: 'I decided that franchising would be the best option as it would provide the support I needed and that I would be more likely to succeed as a franchisee.'

Established in 2004 and franchising since 2006, Bluebird Care is a management franchise that recruits and manages a team of care staff who provide care for individuals in their own homes.

Although Sue had no experience in the care industry she felt that Bluebird Care was the right franchise for her. She explains: 'The Bluebird Care franchise appealed to me because when I spoke to the people at head office they were very professional and enthusiastic, with a great deal of experience in the care sector. Additionally it seemed like a good business opportunity and it is a growing sector. I felt that Bluebird Care was putting quality into an area that needed it.'

In addition to receiving support whenever she needs it, Sue went on an intensive one week residential training course, where she learned about how the business worked. She was ready to launch her Staffordshire-based franchise in April 2007. 'Business has taken off really well,' she comments. 'This is a fantastic business opportunity and the quality of care we give to people is excellent.'

Even though Sue has not been trading for very long her business is already providing her with a stable income. 'I'm on target with the number of visits I aim to complete,' she reveals. 'I would say that financially I'm very confident that buying this franchise has been a good move. As well as this I like the freedom I get from working for myself and I also like that I know that the help is there if I need it. I feel that this is an excellent time for this sector and that the business model is second to none. This year I'm planning to expand into my territory more and cover a wider area.'


Mehul Shah, who owns Bluebird Care Reading with his brother-in-law Tushar Shah:
'Although we looked at a couple of franchises we decided to go with Bluebird Care as it is one of the fastest growing companies in the care sector. We have found that Bluebird Care has been very supportive and the head office team are constantly updating us on industry regulation changes. Additionally although the initial investment is relatively small the returns are high.

'Even though we only launched our franchise in July 2007 we are already planning to expand into our neighbouring territory this year. The most rewarding part of running the business is when you deliver a quality service to the customer. We've had people ring us up to thank us for the service we have provided. It's great to know that people appreciate the work you do!'