'Franchising at its very best!' Award-winning Bluebird Care continues to grow

With government initiatives backing the home care sector, Bluebird Care is well positioned to continue its rapid national franchise expansion

Bluebird Care is the UK's most experienced care franchisor drawing on over 40 years' care and franchising experience. We work closely with our franchisees to build their own business in a market worth some £20 billion annually.

Operating in the recession-resilient sector of care at home, Bluebird Care's proven business systems and procedures ensure not only top quality care provision but also a viable, profitable business format. 'You cannot replace experience,' states Franchise Director Simon Dalziel. 'Bluebird Care has plenty right across the provision of care and, importantly, franchising. Our franchisees have the benefit of this experience, which in turn is leading to their own success.'

Bluebird Care franchisees come from a wide variety of backgrounds - care experience is not required. 'Our training and support systems will provide our franchisees with the care business knowledge they need,' reflects Training & Support Manager Lorna Liney, 'and our proven business format provides the correct staffing structure.'

The Bluebird Care franchise network is now in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and is expanding rapidly. 'We are very successful because we are very good at what we do,' concludes Simon. 'Franchising at its very best!'

As the UK's fastest growing provider of care at home, we are set to open 11 new offices during the first few weeks of 2009, creating up to 500 new jobs during the year. Just two years ago Bluebird Care had one office, but now the network has 40 trading across the UK and Ireland and reports an impressive month-on-month growth of 20 per cent in 2008, despite global recession.

Bluebird Care's rapid expansion can be attributed to a variety of factors, but mainly reflects public demand for professional care in people's own homes, based on personal preference and cost-effectiveness. It also mirrors Government policy, aimed at helping older people to stay at home where possible.

Managing Director Paul Tarsey reflects: 'We place our emphasis on value for money, professionalism and good old fashioned service! The principle of receiving professional care at home is far more cost-effective than selling up and moving into a residential home, which can cost up to £1,000 a week. Staying at home is also the favoured option for the vast majority of older or vulnerable people.'

Bluebird Care's most recent franchisee training course saw a large contingent from our expanding Republic of Ireland Network training alongside their UK colleagues (pictured top page 62). New Bluebird Care Franchisee Graham Lewis, who operates in Huddersfield, says: 'I really enjoyed the training course and it gives me the confidence to develop my business using the tried and tested Bluebird Care methods. It was great having the Irish guys on the course too - it shows how far Bluebird Care has come in such a short time.'

Other UK attendees on the course were Linda Vaughan, who is joining Graham in Huddersfield, and Ian Barnes, who operates in the Shropshire area, based in Shrewsbury.

Bluebird Care welcomes the Government's move towards Personalisation Budgets which takes another leap forward in April 2009 as yet more Local Authorities develop their plans in this exciting field. Personalisation Budgets see Local Authorities (via their Social Services departments) give their customers cash to purchase their own care, rather than the Local Authority purchasing it.

'This clearly opens up a whole new world for people who need care, because these people can purchase what they want, from who they want,' says Lorna. 'Because Bluebird Care has a reputation for quality we have found that the whole personalisation agenda has seen a significant influx of work, and we see the strengthening of this initiative as nothing but good news for Bluebird Care.'

Bluebird Care recently held its annual conference (pictured above) at the prestigious Stratford Manor Hotel near Stratford upon Avon. A busy day's programme included presentations from many areas of business and care and also included three presentations from our own franchisees who were keen to tell their own success story.

A notable presentation about the current economic climate was given by Richard Holden, Head of Franchising at Lloyds TSB. Richard was most complimentary about the Bluebird Care business and the impressive growth achieved in a short time. He further stated the Bank's commitment to the healthcare sector at a time where other areas of business were finding life difficult.

The mood of the conference was summed up by John Chambers of Bluebird Care (North Gloucestershire): 'A fantastic day full of interesting, relevant presentations and a great opportunity to network with fellow franchisees.'

Reported by Simon Dalziel


John & Jane Perry, Bluebird Care (Edinburgh South)

John and Jane started their business in Edinburgh in Summer 2008 and were recently awarded the coveted Newcomer of the Year award at the 2008 National Bluebird Care Conference. 'It has always been my ambition to run my own business,' says Jane, 'and once we had met the Team at Bluebird Care, I knew what I wanted to do and who I wanted to join! The training and support I have received has been first class and has given me the confidence to develop my business here in Edinburgh, where there is so much opportunity.'

John and Jane have plans for expansion too. 'We are looking to purchase the Edinburgh (North) territory and maybe even further afield as well,' she explains. 'Bluebird Care gives me the opportunity of working in a huge and growing sector providing a much-needed service and running a very profitable business.'

Paul Haylings (L) &'Chris Kendrick-Jones, Bluebird Care (Tamworth & Lichfield), Franchisees of the Year 2008

Our Franchisees of the Year, Paul and Chris have been trading for 20 months in their operating territory of Tamworth & Lichfield. A move into the care sector was a complete change of direction for them, as previously they had jointly run a successful printing business.

Chris explains: 'Things in the printing industry were becoming increasingly difficult so Paul and I decided to look at a total change. We looked at a number of franchise opportunities before Bluebird Care, but having met the team and recognised the opportunity the sector offers and the proven Bluebird Care business, we were keen to get going.'

And get going they have! Following a very successful year, they have just purchased their second franchise territory:'North Warwickshire & Nuneaton. Adds Paul: 'Our business will grow very large indeed.'