Q&A with Bluebird Care's Best Newcomer Ian Barnes

Q: What attracted you to the Bluebird Care franchise?

A: The level of care my elderly mother-in-law received at home appalled me. I knew I could do a better job, so decided to investigate franchise opportunities. Bluebird Care appealed because the staff are very professional and have a lot of experience within the sector. I liked the branding and I found the success of the existing franchise owners encouraging.

Q: What training and support have you received so far?
A: Before I launched my franchise, I attended a one-week training course at head office. This covered all aspects of setting up and running a care at home business and included several small tests, presentations and a role play activity to ensure we all understood what we were being told and how to put it into practice. By the end of the week I had all the books and papers I needed.

The beauty of the Bluebird Care concept is that help is there if you need it. There are two Business Development Managers who visit on a regular basis to see how you are performing and to keep you updated with new regulations.

Q: How does it feel to be Bluebird Care's Newcomer of the Year?
A: It feels brilliant. I was very surprised when Bluebird Care presented me with the award at the annual conference and my trophy now has pride of place in my office.

Q: What do you enjoy about running your own business?
A: I love seeing something I have started from scratch flourish. Operating my Bluebird Care franchise is very rewarding because I am running a profitable business that delivers quality service to my local community. The fact that the business is only a five-minute drive from home means I now also have more 'me' time.

Q: What do you hope to achieve by the end of your first year?
A: Initially I set out to break even, however I achieved that target within six months and already I have 19 members of staff onboard. My aim now is to continue developing the business while providing a high level of care throughout my territory.