Great growth potential running a rewarding business

In just under two years Bluebird Care franchise owners Phil Miles and John Prendergast have built a seven figure business and have been able to have a better work/life balance

With their Bluebird Care franchise generating a £1 million annual turnover, franchise owners Phil Miles and John Prendergast are ahead of target and thoroughly enjoy being able to run a profitable business that gives something back to their local community. "Before we joined Bluebird Care we both worked as Business Development Managers of a pharmaceutical company," reflects Phil (pictured (R) with John). "John and I worked well together and wanted to have a better work/life balance so we discussed setting up a business of our own. As neither of us had run our own business we agreed to explore every route into self-employment thoroughly."

John attended a British Franchise Association (bfa) seminar in order to gain a better understanding of the franchise industry and the relationship between the franchise owner and franchisor, and came away feeling positive: "The thought of being able to invest in an established business model was very appealing as we would be able to hit the ground running."

Care at home franchise Bluebird Care stood out because it had 'great growth potential' through supplying an essential home care service to a growing aged population. Phil and John did investigate other care franchises, however Bluebird Care's knowledge and professional presentation confirmed that this was the investment opportunity they had been looking for. "We found Bluebird Care online and followed up our research with a visit to their head office in Petersfield to meet the team in person," continues John. "We came away feeling positive and after cross referencing what head office told us with the existing franchise owners we decided to invest.

"We launched our franchise in November 2007 and our territory covers West Berkshire & Basingstoke," affirms Phil. "We manage the business from one office and have 60 carers on the books that make 4,500 visits a month. Our aim by the end of the year is to increase the number of monthly visits to 6,000.

"We cannot fault the training or support. Before the launch of the franchise we attended a one-week intensive training course, which went through everything we needed to know in order to run the business effectively. Since then we have had ongoing support from Bluebird Care on a range of matters, from our initial registration to queries regarding the care policies and procedures. It is also helpful that every month, Bluebird Care notifies us of any changes in care legislation.

"We are very happy with our franchise because together we can share the workload, enabling us both to fit work around our family commitments. Working in this industry is satisfying on both a personal and professional level as we have been able to build a reasonably large, profitable business while providing a service that helps people."

"We launched our franchise in November 2007 and our territory covers West Berkshire & Basingstoke," affirms Phil. "We manage the business from one office and have 60 carers on the books that make 4,500 visits a month. Our aim by the end of the year is to increase the number of monthly visits to 6,000. 'We cannot fault the training or support. Before the launch of the franchise we attended a one-week intensive training course, which went through everything we needed to know in order to run the business effectively. Since then we have had ongoing support from Bluebird Care on a range of matters, from our initial registration to queries regarding the care policies and procedures. It is also helpful that every month, Bluebird Care notifies us of any changes in care legislation.

"We are very happy with our franchise because together we can share the workload, enabling us both to fit work around our family commitments. Working in this industry is satisfying on both a personal and professional level as we have been able to build a reasonably large, profitable business while providing a service that helps people."

Interview by Jess Sturman