Bluebird Care: The franchise opportunity

Want to start a care franchise? The award-winning "largest home care provider in the UK" says it offers proven potential for success...

Franchise: Bluebird Care
Description: An established and award-winning provider of home care services in the UK
Started in: 2004
Founder: Paul and Lisa Tarsey
No. of franchises: Over 200
Coverage: UK and Ireland
Average cost per franchise: £37,500 + VAT
Website: www.bluebirdcarefranchise.co.uk

Paul Tarsey and his wife Lisa founded Bluebird Care in Petersfield, Hampshire in 2004. They had experienced a de-personalisation of the delivery of care in the home. To them, care had turned into a process devoid of high-quality care and customer service. Seeing a need in the market to provide a truly customer-focused home care service, they created Bluebird Care.

Risking every penny they had to set up Bluebird Care, one September day Lisa Tarsey had the ‘what have we done?’ moment. Then, the phone started ringing and hasn’t stopped since, helping Bluebird Care to become the fastest-growing and largest home care provider in the UK.

Moving into franchising

So how did you move into franchising?

Experiencing phenomenal growth, the business model was a proven success. Franchising Bluebird Care was the plan from the start and in 2006 it was the right time to bring in a franchise director.

Where did the business open its first franchises?

The business model, refined during those first few years in Petersfield, has underpinned the growth of the Bluebird Care network to over 200 offices across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Bluebird Care is now a major contributor to the sector, regularly participating in national consultations and conferences to champion and drive change for its improvement.

How successful were those original franchisees?

This continued success saw US-based Interim Healthcare Inc. and Bluebird Care join forces to form one of the largest care franchisors in the world.

The franchise opportunity

What makes the franchise different/unique?

Our management franchise business is unique in the UK. We are a successful private sector business, enabling us to attract, develop and keep the best people and to deliver the best possible customer service.

What makes us different, however, is that our key motivation is quality. We firmly believe that providing the highest quality of home care and support services to our customers will meet their needs and help sustain their independence and lifestyle.

In turn their satisfaction with our service provision continues to grow our business. Our proven track record shows that this approach definitely works.

What makes us different as a Franchisor ….

 

What makes us different as a home care provider ……

What services do you offer?

  • Homecare
  • Live in care
  • Learning disabilities care
  • Physical disabilities care
  • Care for children
  • Mental health recovery at home
  • Respite care
  • Specialist care services

How big is the market opportunity?

Since franchising the Bluebird Care business model, the average year-over-year growth across our network has been an extraordinary 112%. The Bluebird Care business model, created, adapted and enhanced in the UK, has demonstrated its ability to perform from region to region across the country.

This consistent and sustainable growth across the UK goes to show the model’s capability to deliver a strong performance no matter where it’s located. From city to town and country, we can show you the potential of your preferred available territory.

The Bluebird Care business model has been developed to meet the demand of both current and future markets. The opportunities in every area are huge – everyone knows someone who needs care and it is impossible to saturate the local market. The business can build to as big as you want it to be!

How many franchisees do you have today?

204

How is the brand marketed?

The successful marketing of your new or established Bluebird Care business will drive its growth and development, and this is why we provide the highest quality marketing and PR support to our franchisees.

The Bluebird Care marketing team support franchisees to best establish local brand awareness and equip franchisees to manage their public relationships with key stakeholders, both offline and online.

The fast developing digital world is having a significant impact on how people research for and make decisions on purchasing home care. We understand where the sector is now and where it is going, and through this expertise the marketing team at the franchise support centre ensure franchisees have the tools to build strong and effective relationships with all key stakeholders, from customers and staff to local stakeholders and media representatives.

How do you divide the regions?

Typically we define our territories through local authority boundaries.

The perfect franchisee

What do you look for in potential franchisees?

We seek franchisees with commitment, drive and enthusiasm for the business, rather than searching for specific industry experience. We will teach you the care industry and provide the support to succeed.

Do franchisees work from an office, or are they home-based? Is it part-time or full-time?

This is not a home-based business opportunity. All Bluebird Care franchises run from an office located within the Franchise territory.

The Bluebird Care business model is very specific about individuals’ roles within the business. The franchisee’s role is full-time business development and you will employ staff to cover the more specific care management roles.

How are franchisees vetted?

We will send you a franchise prospectus. If you would like to find out more, we will arrange to meet with you to explore the business opportunity in full.

What do you offer franchisees that sign-up?

Bluebird Care offers a comprehensive business support package tailored to get our franchisees started quickly and confidently and on their way to business success, including…

  • Training
  • IT
  • Recruitment Support
  • Licensing
  • Uniforms
  • Literature & Marketing
  • Accreditations & Memberships
  • Research
  • Online Resources

How much does a Bluebird Care franchise cost?

The price of the franchise package is £37,500 +VAT and an ongoing management fee of 5% + VAT of monthly turnover.

In addition to the franchise package fee, start-up costs and working capital will need consideration. Typically the total investment is approximately £115,000.

We enjoy a long-standing relationship with four of the leading high street banks, who are willing to lend (to Bluebird Care franchisees) up to 70% of the overall investment required (subject to status). Therefore, the final 30% is a franchisee’s stake in the overall investment in un-borrowed funds.

Success and growth

How successful are some of the franchisees today?

Success of our franchisees is defined in different ways. Some of our businesses have achieved the highest possible regulator inspection rate placing them in the top 1% of home care providers in the UK and some are generating revenues of £2m or more.

How is Bluebird Care looking to grow?

There has never been a better time to start a home care franchise, and Bluebird Care is looking to recruit new franchisees for the remaining available territories throughout the UK.

What is the potential of the business?

The Bluebird Care business model has been developed to meet the demand of both current and future markets. With an ageing population and growing private market, the opportunities in every area are huge – everyone knows someone who needs care and it is almost impossible to saturate the local market.

What will the challenges be in achieving that?

Like most industries the challenge will be in recruitment and retention, however because of the success of our proven model, we have team members who have stayed within the business for over 10 years.

What awards has the business won?

To what extent are the founders involved today?

The founders are still involved at board level and contribute to the success of the brand.

Finally, is the company a British Franchise Association (bfa) member?  

Yes, it’s a full member.

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