It wasn't just Paul Haylings and Chris Kendrick-Jones who were celebrating when they picked up Bluebird Care's Franchise Owner of the Year award - their staff celebrated too when the pair rewarded them with a monetary bonus. 'We were thrilled to win the award at the annual franchise conference held in Stratford last year,' says Chris. 'I think the reason why Paul and I won the award is because our turnover continues to grow year-on-year, our staff retention is good and we are more than happy to help Bluebird Care by talking to prospective franchise owners for them about our experience with Bluebird so far.'
Prior to joining the Bluebird Care franchise, Paul and Chris owned a printing business, which required a lot of travelling across the UK and Europe. 'We reached a point where we wanted to try something different that would provide a steady stream of income,' Chris reveals. 'The care at home industry appealed because people need care 365 days a year, so it is not a service that will go out of fashion. Bluebird Care stood out from the other care at home franchisors because we would be able to work in both the private and state sectors.'
After a meeting with Bluebird Care Managing Director Paul Tarsey and Franchise Director Simon Dalziel, Paul and Chris were ready to commit and launched their franchise in June 2007. 'The head office team answered all of our questions honestly and impressed us with their dedication to the Bluebird Care brand. On the drive back we knew it was the best business for us so, after undergoing a rigorous interview process and comprehensive initial training programme we started operating in our Tamworth & Litchfield territory.
'Last year we acquired a second territory that covers North Warwickshire and Nuneaton and have 30 care workers on the books. Our ongoing success is due to our care workers, who provide an excellent level of care to our clients.'