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
Robert Follows in Father's Footsteps as ChipsAway Business Expands
Proud dad Paul Clift is expanding his successful ChipsAway business, taking on a second territory and an additional vehicle, enabling his son Robert to help him in building a strong family enterprise. At a time when so many small businesses are suffering and young people are struggling to find jobs, Paul reckons his ChipsAway franchise has provided the perfect solution!
“Robert joined me straight out of school, to help with the business,” Paul explains. “He absolutely loves it and wants to take a bigger role, which is fantastic as demand for our services has been growing strongly – in fact, if anything, the financial recession has been good for us – lots of new customers have discovered that a professional quality ChipsAway repair means that their car looks good and lasts longer!”
ChipsAway is one of the most successful automotive franchises in the UK with around 350 specialists operating nationwide and a network of Master Franchisors overseas. Operating from fully equipped mobile workshops, franchisees make high quality ChipsAway repairs to minor car bodywork damage, quickly and cost-effectively, restoring paintwork to pristine condition in a matter of hours. The quality, value and convenience of ChipsAway ‘on-the-spot’ repairs have ensured the company remains the leading brand in this lucrative and rapidly growing marketplace.
Paul first joined ChipsAway two years ago, having spent all his working life in the motor trade, first training as a mechanic and later becoming Operations Manager for a body shop. After being made redundant, Paul decided to look for an opportunity to run his own business. Although he initially toyed with the idea of a few non-automotive franchises, inevitably he was drawn back to what he knew best.
Having attended one of the company’s free find-out-more Open Days, Paul decided that a ChipsAway franchise was definitely the right way forward. “The quality of the ChipsAway repair system impressed me; I felt that I knew the marketplace and wasn’t going into the business ‘blind’,” he says. “Also, I wanted to do something I could be proud of – some businesses don’t really offer the same degree of job satisfaction. For me, there wasn’t the same sense of personal pride, or customer appreciation, in delivering a parcel on time, compared to providing a perfect repair to damaged car paintwork!”
Paul was thrilled with his launch, managing to generate estimates amounting to £8,000 over the weekend and taking firm bookings worth around £4,000. “From day one I had work lined up for about three weeks ahead,” he recalls. “Ever since, I’ve always had a full diary; my reputation has spread by word of mouth and currently recommendations account for about 30% of all new business leads.”
Robert came on board twelve months ago, helping Paul to manage his increasing workload, but as the business has continued to grow, the extra vehicle is vital in order to provide the flexibility that they both need, enabling them to improve their service to customers. “I like to be able to respond to my customers within ten days of their enquiry,” he explains. “Sometimes it’s longer due to high demand – most customers are usually prepared to wait, but clearly we’d much prefer to provide a quicker. Now we’ll be able to reply to customers sooner, get through twice as much work and have the capacity to grow further on the new territory.”
Paul says his redundancy was certainly a cloud with a silver lining. “My ChipsAway business is doing really well and working with Robert is great we’re both really excited about the future and growing the business even further!”
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