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“I cannot think of a more rewarding franchise than Bluebird Care”

Already used to being their own bosses, Mark Wright and Mark Lund (pictured top with staff members Daryl Annable and Julie Brittain) saw demand for their independent mortgage broker services drop following the banking crisis and realised the ideal way to use their management skills was to invest in Bluebird Care’s Sheffield South territory.

“Mark and I had worked together at a bank and progressed to running our own independent mortgage advice brokers in 2003,” explains Mark Wright. “We had always wanted to work for ourselves as we were tired of working until midnight for someone else – if we had to put in all that hard work we wanted to see the success directly. Unfortunately, like many other companies, our mortgage business was affected by the recession so we started to look at ways in which we could diversify.

“With our banking backgrounds, we already knew that franchising was one of the safest ways to start a business but were not sure which sector to invest in.”

To help them decide which brand to choose, both Marks visited a franchise show in Sheffield, where Bluebird Care so impressed the pair that following further research, they arranged a visit to the company’s head office.

“It was a very positive meeting, as Bluebird Care’s franchise model fitted perfectly with our own ethos of delivering outstanding customer care,” adds Mark Wright.

Once, they had joined Bluebird Care, the business partners undertook a four-month start-up programme including a one-week foundational course.

“We learned a lot and saw how our existing skills in people management and customer service were easily transferable,” says Mark Wright. “The support since we launched our franchise at the start of this year has been excellent, as Bluebird Care has guided us through every step of setting up the business including providing further training courses for our staff such as our Care Manager Daryl Annable.

“Both Mark and I are naturally prudent people who like to have peace-of-mind, which is provided by knowing that we have tried and tested expertise at the end of the phone at all times.”

Mark Wright said part of the success of their franchise has been recruiting the right team with the help and advice of Bluebird Care’s head office.

“We have a fantastic team of carers and the feedback we have received about them has been brilliant. Such has been the demand for our services, we recruited Julie Brittain as care supervisor and have just appointed a care co-ordinator,” he reveals.

“Until now Mark and I oversaw everything but now that we have key personnel in place we are able to start pulling back and will be able to do more networking and find further business opportunities. Our business has already been growing thanks to word-of-mouth referrals – we have just started receiving enquiries from social workers on behalf of people who have stated they want their domiciliary needs handled by Bluebird Care.”

With a couple of months before they celebrate their Bluebird Care franchise territory’s first anniversary, Mark Wright reveals that Sheffield South is already well above its target turnover.

“We are now at the stage where we want to consolidate our success and we certainly have plans to expand into other territories in the not too distant future,” adds Mark Wright.

“You have to be very passionate about care as it is a very emotive subject – I cannot think of a more rewarding franchise, as what you do affects people’s lives directly on a daily basis.”

Reported by Fraser McKay