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Since launching the first Scottish Bluebird Care office in January 2008, John and Jane Perry (pictured top (left) with Directors Simon Dalziel, Lisa & Paul Tarsey) have seen their Edinburgh business go from strength to strength.
Their business boasts an annual turnover of almost £2 million and has won a number of national Scottish care awards and Bluebird Care awards, including the recent Franchise of the Year 2011.
The couple’s backgrounds were not in the care sector – John originally worked in sales while Jane worked as an accountant. However, after facing a series of redundancies in their careers, they decided to start their own business.
Jane explains: “We looked at several care franchise companies but were really impressed when we met Simon Dalziel and Paul Tarsey, Directors of Bluebird Care. The decision to join the network just seemed right to us.
“We loved the business model and the support Bluebird Care offered. Having sought care for a family member, we knew about some of the poor standards of care in the market and how important it is to offer great customer service.”
With reduced spend on care and cuts in local authority funding, coupled with an ageing population, the market for care has increased enormously. Recent figures put the UK market value at £54 billion a year, with many preferring to receive care in their own home rather than the cost of moving into a residential home.
“We’re pleased to say that our business is thriving, and we now have a great core team of 120 care workers working for our Edinburgh office,” enthuses Jane. “The job satisfaction comes from knowing you are making a difference; putting a smile on customers’ faces and receiving some great feedback and notes from satisfied customers.”
From Mauritius to Merseyside
In 2007, Craig Adamson (pictured right) was living in Mauritius, running an internet-based IT business but wanted to return to the UK, so started looking at business opportunities in the UK’s care sector.
‘‘My wife and I enjoyed life as part of a large extended family in Mauritius, which is very much the norm,” explains Craig. “All older people, disabled people and children are cared for by all members of the family; therefore there is no demand for care at home and very few residential care homes. We do not have that extended family culture in the UK anymore and the issue of caring for family is often compounded because families tend to live so far apart these days.”
Craig visited The British Franchise Exhibition in Manchester last year and, having met several care franchisors, the Bluebird Care opportunity stood head and shoulders above the others.
“When I met the Bluebird Care team it was very clear from the start that they knew their market and I was confident that they would be able to support me to build a successful business.”
Bluebird Care provides a necessary service to those who want to stay in their own home.
“Not only does it allow people of all ages to live safely in their own home, Bluebird Care also provides peace of mind for relatives who may live too far away to visit regularly.”
Although this is his first year trading in Sefton, near Liverpool, Craig has a detailed plan for his business.
“I have had exceptional support already from my Business Development Manager and we have a clear way ahead in terms of where I want to be and how I am going to get there,” he concludes.
Written by Annetta Doyle