Description: ChipsAway International is the dominant player in the lucrative and rapidly growing SMART automotive repair market. Opportunities: Franchises available in all areas of the UK and Ireland. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £15,000 + VAT Home-based: Yes.
ChipsAway Automotive Repair Franchisee Interview
Fast Forward with ChipsAway!
When franchisee Andrew Banning joined leading automotive paintwork repair specialists ChipsAway in May last year, his vision was to build a thriving management franchise that could deliver the control, flexibility and quality of life he’d previously been missing.
Just eighteen months down the line, Andrew is well on the way to achieving that goal. He has already invested in a second vehicle and recruited a skilled technician to support the strong growth in demand for his services. As his business continues to boom, he has further plans to add another technician to the team shortly and ultimately aims to open a ChipsAway CarCare Centre.
A successful entrepreneur, Andrew spent the previous ten years operating a luxury car wholesale business, and had enjoyed high financial rewards with a lifestyle to match. However, at 42 and with a young family growing fast, Andrew decided on a change of priorities.
“The business environment in which I worked before joining ChipsAway was intense and very demanding,” he explains. “I’m ambitious and prepared to work hard to achieve results, but I had begun to feel that there should be more to life – I never switched off, never relaxed properly and never gave my full focus to my family,” he explains.
Not a natural employee, Andrew looked around for a ‘quick start’ business opportunity with a proven track record and an established brand. He wasn’t interested in starting something from scratch again and wasn’t prepared to risk the family’s security. A franchise , he says, seemed the obvious route.
Andrew’s mind was made up after attending a ChipsAway Open Day; he was impressed by the professionalism and experience of the management team and felt comfortable that the business was “a good fit!”
“Automotive paint repair was entirely new to me. I’m not a particularly practical person – my background is in management and sales - but the training and support is excellent and I had every confidence in the business model and in the ChipsAway people.”
Although for Andrew investing in a ChipsAway franchise was an adventure into the unknown, he has been delighted with the success of his new business from the very start. Over his launch weekend, Andrew wrote estimates worth £11,500 and took £4,300 in firm bookings, filling his order book for the first few weeks. Over the subsequent months business growth continued to exceed expectations – and after a year, he had reached the point when he realised that he needed to take on some help.
“I spent some time finding the right person to join me,” he says, “but within weeks, so much more business was coming in that I was at full capacity again. So, although I’m making more money now, I haven’t achieved any more free time for planning and business development – and that’s why I’m already looking to take on someone else.”
Andrew says he’s thoroughly enjoyed stepping out of his comfort zone and is relishing the challenge. He adds that he’s physically fitter and his life has been transformed. Instead of spending all his time on the telephone or in front of a computer, he’s out and about, meeting different people and, most importantly of all, he has reclaimed some of his precious family time.
“I still find there are not enough hours in the day,” he admits, “but that’s a consequence of rapid success. This marketplace has huge potential, it’s a question now of putting the right resources in place to enable me to grow the business and make more money, whilst spending less time hands-on. Taking on my first employee was the first – and probably hardest – step along that management franchise road, now it can only get easier and I’m looking forward to the ride!”
GREAT! WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
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