ChipsAway Franchisee Case Study Feed

Last updated: 07-December-2021

ChipsAway's youngest franchisee joins network during the pandemic and hasn't looked back -


largechipsaway-brandon.jpg

As an entrepreneurial student, Brandon Akerman was unsure where his path would take him when he finished university in the midst of a pandemic, in June 2020. Looking for the perfect balance between self-employment and a ready-made business portfolio, Brandon was encouraged to consider a role with ChipsAway by his dad.

An alternative path

A talented footballer in his youth, as a teenager Brandon (22) was given the option to pursue a sporting career or focus on his studies. He chose the latter, and alongside excelling in his education – achieving a degree in Business Management from the University of Plymouth – he demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit by setting up his own business selling car parts online. But he was unsure where to go next, after finishing university and having gained experience of setting up a business from scratch. 

He said: “I always knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I’d wanted to be my own boss for a very long time, but I’d been working on my online business and still felt like I was working basically from the ground upwards. I needed to find a perfect balance – something professional that I could own and run, and that I could build up in the future, but also established enough for me to jump straight into.

“My Dad recommended I consider franchising and came across ChipsAway. He suggested it would be great as I’d dabbled in car parts and did enjoy that, but it was also a good opportunity to build a real business I could call my own which would keep me really busy.”

Joining ChipsAway

Encouraged by his parents, Brandon researched opportunities with ChipsAway and discovered a local territory – Exeter – was available for purchase.

He said: “I’d been based in a classroom all my life, so I had very little hands-on experience of working with a vehicle. I’d worked in car parts, but I had no idea how to repair or paint one. The training took a while to get to grips with, but the tutors reassured me the entire time and I came to see it didn’t matter that I had no experience. I was allowed to take everything at my own pace.

“Getting started, I realised, was a bit like learning to drive; you don’t actually do the real learning until you’re doing it in practice. I was provided with a mentor who I could contact with any questions, and who proved to be a vital lifeline for me as I was getting started.

“However, while I was working from a mobile van, he had a ChipsAway Car Care Centre and when I learnt more about his operation, I realised that was the direction I wanted to head in.”

Ebb and flow

It didn’t take long for Brandon to bring his ambitions to life. Though he started out in a ChipsAway mobile van, he thrived and was soon given the opportunity to open his very own Car Care Centre. But just as every business owner does, he encountered challenges along the way.

He said: “There were only six months between me starting out on the road and opening my workshop, so I had been able to scale the business very quickly. I’ve been able to take on more jobs, increase my earnings and gain more experience in the Car Care Centre, which has been a steep learning curve.

“Taking on such a big operation does have its challenges, but I like to always think of the positives in every situation. I’ve employed a couple of team members who haven’t worked out, but have struck lucky with my current engineer, Justin, who delivers a fantastic service.

“I’m a true perfectionist, and so is Justin; we won’t give any vehicle back unless it’s absolutely pristine, so it’s great we share those values. However, maintaining those standards alongside the admin of running a business, maintaining our overheads, meeting demand and keeping customers happy can be difficult. You know what you’re coming into when you start a business like this but doing it day in day out is another thing. I absolutely love what I do, so I wouldn’t have it any other way, but anyone launching a franchise should be prepared for hard graft.”

Looking ahead

Brandon’s ambition means he never stands still and is always chasing his next big move. His hopes for his next venture with ChipsAway are high.

He said: “My dream is to grow and keep on growing. I’d like to take on another area soon and open a second Car Care Centre, and have at least one van out on the road. That would mean taking on more staff for both Car Care Centres and to man the mobile unit, but I think more hands make lighter work. If I can find people who share my work ethic, I know I can achieve what I’ve set out to.

“It’s all made more achievable because of the support I receive from the ChipsAway head office. The team are amazing and are on hand for any challenges I face. But mostly, having the backing of a household name leads to really positive things. Last week, I was working on a Ferrari and a Bentley; if I was 22 running my own body shop, with eight months’ experience, no-one would trust me with that responsibility. Similarly, if you’d have told me last year that I’d be in this position now, I wouldn’t have believed you. But the branding and marketing of ChipsAway propels you forward and enables you to achieve more.”

A new way of working

For Brandon, franchising has proven the perfect cocktail to drive his entrepreneurial spirit. And he recommends it to other people like him who have a business mind but need a little helping hand along the way.

He said: “This is a brilliant and modern way of creating your own business and is a fantastic option if you’re young and without much experience. Similarly, it’s perfect for those who are making a change in their career and want to go down an entirely new route.

“With ChipsAway, you have the opportunity to excel and to grow very quickly. I want to keep going because every day I meet lovely customers who put their trust in me, and I get the chance to work on some fantastic vehicles. Put faith in yourself, and you’ll be able to do exactly what you set your mind to.”


Chipsaway owner's shining example earns him a Great British Franchisee Award -


largechipsaway-andy.jpg

Female franchisee succeeding in automotive repair industry -


largechipsaway-caroline-banner.jpg

Name: Caroline and Jim Clennell
Location: Stroud and Cirencester
Franchise: ChipsAway
Date launched the franchise: October 2016

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying your Chipsaway franchise business?
I wanted to be able to run my own business, but in a field I love. I have always been mad about cars and I previously worked as a studio artist, so I knew I had some practical skills.  It seemed a no-brainer.

Can you also tell us about the Chipsaway franchise?
ChipsAway are the originators of the SMART (Small to Medium Area Repair Technology) repair process.  ChipsAway franchisees provide high-quality car body repairs to paintwork scratches, bumper scuffs, minor dents and alloy wheels.

Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose the automotive repair industry? And why a Chipsaway franchise?
We established the business in 2016. We both have a passion for cars, but having never been self-employed before, we wanted the backing of a strong, identifiable brand and something that would offer us support. These are things can take years to develop if you are starting from scratch, but if you buy a franchise are already in place.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
The training is amazing! It’s a month-long course to give you the skills, which is rigorously assessed and gives you an IMI qualification. The advanced course a few months later is also crucial and a great opportunity to reconnect with the basics too. The technical support is great - the team are always at the end of a phone, and their industry experience is invaluable.

The one-to-one business support is also pretty amazing too. We get a friendly, informative response to any query we have immediately. ChipsAway have been doing this for so long, it's clear that they have had a chance to perfect the support they provide.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
As a couple, we were concerned that working together might be a problem for us. However, we are delighted with how close it has bought us. We love working together, running our own business and the freedom that brings. We’re delighted that we have a brand-new skill that we have the opportunity to perfect.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise? 
We would advise prospective franchisees to do your research and talk to franchisees - each will have their story and views and no two are the same. For us, it was important to have a passion for the industry, and we never underestimate how important customer service is to the sales process. We meet new people every day and It’s important to build trust and a rapport with our customers.

What are your plans for the future?
In terms of goals for the future, we would love to grow and take on staff - and we feel greatly supported in our ideas by Head Office. Caroline is particularly keen to bring more women into the industry. We have no regrets!


Exclusive Interview: “Watching my children grow up was more important to me than my career” - 10-May-2019


largeChips_Away_0007.jpg

Name: Richard Dexter
Territory: Herefordshire
Franchisee Since: March 2011

Back in 2011 Richard had a career as a seasoned Film and TV animator, where he worked on films such as Lord of the Rings and Avatar. Whilst glamourous on the surface, this role came with long hours, and a lifestyle which left Richard spending less and less time with his children; it even began to affect his health. After 16 years in the industry, he decided he needed a new challenge and a change in his work-life balance.

“My work had become something I no longer enjoyed. Watching my children grow up was more important to me than my career, and I knew I needed to make a change. I wasn’t particularly looking for a franchise but my wife found out about ChipsAway and the nature of the work really appealed to me, so we looked into it further.

“Initially, my biggest reservation was putting a large amount of money into something brand new. It was a scary step, but I don’t have any regrets. I now have a thriving business that both supports my family and gives me the time with them that I was missing in my previous life.

A ChipsAway franchise has certainly given Richard the freedom to mould his work around his lifestyle:

“After dropping my son at school at 9am, I walk the dogs, make my phone calls to potential customers that have come in, and start my first job at 10am. There’s no set finish time. Sometimes I will work into the evenings if I’m very busy, particularly in summer when I like to make the most of the long days.”

“ChipsAway has given me all the things I was looking for and has made my life so much better. Rather than being stuck in front of a computer, I can be my own boss and continue to do something creative. There’s no office politics, and I can even take the dogs to work with me!

“I couldn’t have started this type of business without the training support and backing of an established company behind me. Whether I’ve had a personal issue or work related concerns, they’ve always been there to help.”

Finally, we asked Richard about his aspirations for the future. He replied: “I just want to continue enjoying my happier, healthier work / life balance. I’ve always wanted a job where I wake up and want to go to work, and I have that now!”

To find out more about franchise opportunties with ChipsAway and to take back control of your work/life balance, request a prospectus here!


Ryan Lythe – Franchisee since November 2010 -


largeChipsAway_Ryan_Lythe.jpg

“A ChipsAway franchise gives you the opportunity to buy into a proven business model which works. This means I could change my career without having to lose earnings. When I attended the Open Day, I had the opportunity to use a spray gun to repaint an old vehicle, and that was when I realised how much I liked the idea of painting.”

After attending a four-week training course, and then an additional one week course after the first 3 months, Ryan generated estimates worth £10,000 over his launch weekend. Since then, he has opened his own Car Care Centre, and is fully booked for weeks ahead!

"It's almost been too good to be true, my business has come so far so quickly," Ryan confirms. "I'm so proud of the rapid expansion to a Car Care Centre (fixed-base workshop) with a team of technicians handling repairs. Growing with the demand has been the biggest challenge, but with the right employees and experience I have managed to grow around 50% year-on-year.”

A Quality Investment

“If you start up on your own you have nothing. When you start with ChipsAway you have everything – customers, training, and work from day one so you can start immediately!” Warren Wood, Franchisee since May 2017.

We support, so that you can succeed. This market-leading franchise will cost £29,995 + VAT, but with our various pricing options you will only need £15,000 + VAT to get started.


Interview with Andy Darby, ChipsAway: "The rewards are there if you're prepared to work hard!" -


largeChipsAway_Andy_Darby.jpg

After 11 years in the army, Andy was concerned about the transition from military to owning his own business. Although it seemed daunting, by following the ChipsAway business model and taking advantage of the available training and support, Andy had a smooth transition. He was able to expand his business quickly and has now built up a multi-van operation and team of employees to serve his two territories.

“Whilst I had been self-assured in the army, I knew that running a business was going to be completely different” Andy said. “I felt franchising was the best way for me to tap into the experience and knowledge I needed. Right from the start you're part of something much bigger. You also benefit from the experience and expertise that a strong brand has. It's a huge ‘leg up’ for business starters.

“I have always been passionate about cars, so ChipsAway seemed like a business that I would enjoy running, even if things got tough. ChipsAway offered everything - a great product, excellent training and support along with the potential to expand. It was also important for me to start earning as soon as I finished training and Chipsaway allowed me to do that.”

As part of their training, new franchisees spend 4 weeks learning the repair process and are mentored on a one-to-one basis by experienced franchisees. The initial course is then followed up 3 months later by a further week of more in-depth dent repair techniques. There’s also a sales and marketing module which provides good grounding on selling and running your business.

“The training was very hands on.” Explains Andy. “It enabled me to become proficient very quickly - the constant feedback and support from the instructors really helped. I really enjoyed my training and left feeling really confident.”

Following training and launch, ongoing access to support and assistance is available to franchisees whenever needed.

So, 15 years down the line, life has never been better for Andy: “I’m more financially secure than I’ve ever been and I can do more things that I enjoy. The biggest challenge has been getting the right staff and keeping up with demand - the business has grown both in terms of volume and the services offered.”

I really enjoyed being a soldier, but have no regrets whatsoever about investing in my own business. I certainly chose the best franchise and have been very happy with my decision to expand and open a CarCare Centre - being my own boss is great. Everything has worked out and if it didn’t, it taught me a valuable lesson!

"The rewards are there if you're prepared to work hard and the satisfaction of seeing your business become increasingly successful is fantastic!"


“I was attracted to ChipsAway in the first place because of the strength of the brand” -


largeChipsAway.jpg

Business is booming for ChipsAway franchisee Hussein Hussein and has been since he began his ChipsAway journey in 8 years ago. Demand for his automotive paintwork repair services instantly sky-rocketed. In the future, Hussein plans to not only extend his territory, but also open a fixed-based CarCare Centre and take on an employee.

“I was attracted to ChipsAway in the first place because of the strength of the brand,” Hussein explains. “I looked at similar opportunities, but ChipsAway was the clear choice - there is a great support structure and the name is well recognised in the marketplace. Coming from a corporate background, I understood the value of an established brand, a commitment to marketing and constant communication with customers. That’s why I chose ChipsAway - and my decision has more than paid off.”

Having done his research, Hussein attended a ChipsAway open day and found himself increasingly impressed with the ChipsAway operation. “The senior management team were highly professional and very approachable. There was a welcoming family atmosphere, which was underpinned by a ‘can do’ culture that really appealed to me,” he says.

Once his comprehensive training was complete, Hussein enjoyed an excellent launch promotion, and with the unstinting support of his franchisor, has continued to be busy ever since.

“My business has really taken off,” he confirms. “My fantastic launch ensured that I had plenty of work from the outset and through a combination of regular customers, word-of-mouth referrals and constant local marketing activity, I have a rapidly growing customer base. Business is going really well.

Committed to excellent customer service, Hussein finds the biggest challenge is balancing the various demands on his time - completing repairs, responding promptly to new enquiries, following up estimates and planning his local marketing activity.

“The only factor limiting my continued business expansion is time,” he says. Opening a ChipsAway CarCare Centre and taking on my first employee will enable me to process many more vehicles and therefore increase my turnover.

“Although my overheads will rise, there is certainly plenty of work out there and I know that with the continued support of ChipsAway and a commitment to further marketing I can generate enough work to enable me to continue my expansion and start to build a much bigger business for the future.”


Ryan Lathe talks about expanding his ChipsAway franchise to keep up with demand! -


largeChipsAway_Ryan_Lathe.jpg

Ryan has never been short of work since joining the ChipsAway franchise in 2010. Ryan has taken on an employee and expanded into a Car Care centre to keep up with demand.

“When you first think about leaving the security of employment to start your own business, a big question is whether there will be enough work for you to pay the mortgage and cover the bills,” Ryan reflects. “However, I’m now much better off financially than ever before, and I’ve managed to grow my turnover by around 50% per year since 2010.”

Ryan turned to franchising after he became increasingly unhappy working in the construction industry. Tired of long hours, work was making him miserable, until one day he was asked to help with spraying one of the diggers.

“I absolutely loved it,” he recalls. “I considered going back to college to retrain, but decided I simply couldn’t afford not to work. Then I spotted an advertisement for ChipsAway and it seemed to offer the perfect opportunity for me.

“Investing in a franchise was a way of me changing my career without having to lose earnings and having a proven business model to follow. I attended an open day and read everything I could lay my hands on about the ChipsAway franchise. It all seemed great - almost too good to be true - but everything ChipsAway promised has turned out to be spot on.

Ryan adds that he has received excellent support from ChipsAway, not only from the Head Office and his business mentor, but also from neighbouring franchisees.

Since his very first launch weekend, in which Ryan generated estimates worth £10,000 and took sufficient firm bookings to guarantee his first two weeks of work, he has been continually busy, with his diary full up at least a couple of weeks ahead. As a result, Ryan took on an employee and expanded into a Car Care centre.

ChipsAway Car Care Centres are local workshops where specialist’s complete repairs, often complete larger and more advanced repairs than mobile specialists.

“I wasn’t at all nervous about expanding as I knew that if I followed the business model and relied on ChipsAway’s continued support I could easily grow my business,” he says. “I can’t believe I came so far so quickly - I wouldn’t change my lifestyle now for anything in the world. For the first time ever I look forward to going to work, my days fly by and I get paid every day by delighted customers for doing a job that I love. In the future, my aim is to open for 24 hours and possibly open another workshop down the line.”


Exclusive Interview: "Turning over £1 million thanks to the strength of Chipsaway's name" - 29-September-2017


largeChipsaway_KeithMcGowan.jpg

Name: Keith McGowan
Location: Glasgow
Franchise: ChipsAway

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business?

My background is in the motoring industry, which is why I was first attracted to the ChipsAway franchise. He knew the strength of the brand and the company’s reputation for high quality minor paintwork repairs.

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose the Chipsaway franchise?

I have grown up in the body shop industry in a family business, but I could see that the traditional body shop method was broken and we needed to do something different. That’s what attracted me to a ChipsAway franchise – I came across the advertisement in a Franchise Magazine. The strength of the brand and their high reputation also attracted me – ChipsAway is a brand that people seek out.

My business grew very quickly, I started off as a man in a van, after 6 months I opened a workshop and took on my first employee, the following January I took on another employee and it snowballed from there.

I now have a 3rd generation workshop and operate the biggest ChipsAway Car Care Centre in the UK, have 2 ChipsAway vans and am turning over £1 million per year.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

The Head Office provide excellent emotional and technical support as well as marketing and advertising services. It’s an emotional rollercoaster so it’s brilliant to have that support there when you are first starting out.

What is a typical day for you as a Chipsaway franchisee?

We have good, busy days for business, as well as bad, quiet days, but every day is an adventure.

What challenges have you faced?

Our biggest challenge was when the recession hit. Luckily, this was only for a 5-week period and we went from a low point to a very high point very quickly, as we secured a contract to work on 130 vehicles for a leasing company.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?

The whole journey has been an emotional rollercoaster with highs and lows, but it’s been excellent and I love what I do.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?

You need to have a clear view of who you want to be and where you want to go. I have always had a clear vision of what I wanted my Car Care Centre to look like, as I didn’t think that it was the best that it could be and I wanted to improve the customer experience.

With a clear vision, I have been able to achieve my goals and now I operate the largest Car Care Centre is the UK which is extremely successful.

What are your plans for the future?

To expand the business and to remain successful. We are always looking for new ways to improve the business and looking for more work. For example, when we complete on a repair, we always ask if they have any family or friends that may need work done or if they need any more repairs – we get a huge amount of repeat business and customer referrals.

Would you do it again?

Yes, absolutely!

To download our FREE and non-obligatory franchise prospectus, click here.


Exclusive Interview: "It's an exciting time to become part of the ChipsAway success story" -


largeChipsaway_AliHoy.jpg

Name: Ali Hoy
Location: Cardiff
Franchise: ChipsAway

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business?

My background has been in sales and marketing. I have held senior roles in companies operating in the USA and Asia, and because I wasn’t in a position to invest up to £200,000 in one of the major franchise brands I, therefore, looking around for a business opportunity with the potential to grow into a sizeable operation.

My business grew quickly – after five months, I moved into a small car care centre which was only 1800 square feet. Over time, the centre expanded, enabling me to employ more people and develop the business.

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose the Chipsaway franchise?

ChipsAway emerged as the clear choice, not only offered a saleable business model, but also a growing brand presence in the marketplace. The main thing that attracted me to a ChipsAway franchise is the brand awareness it provides and the return on investment – you can start making money from day one, but you have the freedom to grow at your own pace.

Since I first became a franchisee 6 years, ago, my business has grown hugely. We are now a team of 6, we have 3 courtesy cars, a beautiful Car Care Centre, our repeat or referral business is around 60% and we turnover £300k per year.

How did you raise the finance?

ChipsAway was significantly less expensive than a lot of franchise brands – I looked around for a business opportunity with the potential to grow into a sizeable operation, and ChipsAway was the perfect choice!

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

Head Office were really helpful in terms of emotional and practical support and marketing. ChipsAway is really getting it right with their focus on customer marketing and particularly TV advertising. Brand awareness is growing and so is market share – it’s an exciting time to become part of the ChipsAway success story!

What is a typical day for you as a Chipsaway franchisee?

At the moment, my son co-ordinates the marketing and social media – he is able to appeal to a certain age group and keep up to date with the latest marketing trends. My wife, Susan, looks after the administration, whilst there are four of us doing the repairs.

What challenges have you faced?

Initially it was hard work and we worked 7 days a week for a couple of years, and only in the last 12 months stopped working Saturdays. You get out what you put in with ChipsAway, but the hard work has now paid off! I can safely say that life is pretty good! It takes time to grow – if you continue to work hard and be patient, then you will be successful.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?

Be honest with yourself and work really hard – sometimes ambitions and abilities don’t align themselves at the beginning, which is quite a hard lesson to learn. It takes time to grow – if you continue to work hard and be patient, then you will be successful.

What are your plans for the future?

We aim to consolidated where we are now in business, £1500 per day, £30k / Month turnover and maintain our performance and quality levels. I want to ensure all my employees enjoy coming to work and doing what we do best. In terms of growth,

I’d like our centre to open for longer hours. Employing another repair specialist could generate a higher turnover whilst I move more towards the sales and marketing side of the business.

Would you do it again?

Yes! Growing your business is a long term project, and I've only really just begun!

To immediately download our FREE and non-obligatory franchise prospectus, please click here.


Motoring ahead with ChipsAway - 25-November-2014


largeChipsaway_Ross14.jpg

Aged just 23, car fanatic Ross McKenzie became the youngest member of the UK’s leading minor automotive paintwork repair network, having ‘stumbled’ across the ChipsAway franchise opportunity when he was looking for someone to repair his pride and joy almost five years ago.

Ross had always taken a keen interest in all things automotive and although wasn’t particularly looking for a new career direction, he was intrigued by the ChipsAway offering and having attended an Open Day, was totally convinced! When he was offered a very reasonable voluntary redundancy package, he took advantage of it to help fund the franchise investment cost.

“I’ve always loved cars and I’m quite a practical person anyway, so I think that helped. The ChipsAway trainers are fantastic – great teachers and also really supportive. My Business Mentor, who was with me for my promotions, as well as at the end of the phone should I need some advice or guidance, was also brilliant,” Ross comments. “During my first launch weekend we managed to estimate around £5,000 worth of work and book in approximately £3,500 – which kept me nice and busy for the first six weeks or so!”

Following his really successful launch, Ross has gone on to substantially develop his ChipsAway business. Just last year he decided the time was right to invest in another van and employee to service his large territory, and is currently now in the process of opening a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (fixed base workshop), which will allow him to process even more vehicles.

Ross has recently also been awarded the coveted title of ‘Marketeer of the Year’ by the Franchisor, as a result of his carefully planned and well executed marketing activity, promoting the ChipsAway brand values of top quality automotive paintwork repairs, outstanding customer service and excellent value for money.

ChipsAway is the UK’s leading automotive paintwork repair specialist, with a nationwide network of around 300 technicians providing high quality on-the-spot repairs to minor damage such as paintwork scratches, bumper scuffs and kerbed alloy wheels. Repairs are completed within a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of traditional body shop repair methods. With 35 million vehicles on the road and over 24 million repair opportunities each year, demand for ChipsAway repairs is higher than ever before.


Paul's keeping it in the family with ChipsAway franchise - 14-August-2012


largeCA_Cliftfam.jpg

Proud dad Paul Clift faced redundancy before joining the UK’s leading ‘on-the-spot’ car repair franchise ChipsAway three years ago. Within 12 months of launching his business, demand had increased so much that he needed to gear up and expand, 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 continued to grow 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!”

Robert came on board two years ago, helping Paul to manage his increasing workload, but as the business continued to grow, taking on an extra vehicle was vital in order to provide the flexibility that they both needed, which enabled them to improve their service to customers. “Sometimes due to high demand we weren’t able to get back to our customers within ten days of their enquiry. Now we can reply to customers sooner, get through twice as much work and have the capacity to grow further on our second territory.”

Paul says his redundancy was certainly a cloud with a silver lining. “From day one I had work lined up for about three weeks ahead,” he recalls. “Ever since I have always had a full diary; reputation has spread by word of mouth and currently recommendations account for at least 30% of all new business leads. 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!”
 


ChipsAway franchisee Ryan is motoring ahead - 13-August-2012


largeCA_Ryan.jpg

Only four months after his ‘fantastic’ launch with ChipsAway, the UK’s leading brand in mobile automotive paintwork repairs, franchisee Ryan Lythe is still amazed by the runaway success of his business. He’s already actively looking for premises to set up a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (a fixed-base workshop) and plans to take on an employee to help him manage the rapidly increasing demand for his services - fixing minor damage such as scratches, bumper scuffs and kerbed alloys within a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of traditional body shop repair methods.

“When you first think about leaving the security of employment to start your own business, obviously a big question in your mind is whether there will be enough work for you to pay the mortgage and cover the bills,” Ryan says. “If someone had told me that within four months I’d have no worries at all and would actually be looking to expand, I’d never have believed it!”

For eight years previously, Ryan worked in the construction industry driving heavy plant. He worked long hours and had become increasingly unhappy with his lifestyle - until one day he was asked to help with spraying one of the diggers. “I absolutely loved it,” he recalls. “I considered going back to college to re-train, but decided that I simply couldn’t afford not to work. Then I spotted an advertisement for ChipsAway and it seemed to offer the perfect opportunity for me. Accordingly, I arranged to attend an Open Day and in the meantime read everything I could lay my hands on about the ChipsAway franchise. It all seemed great – almost too good to be true, but, everything ChipsAway promised has turned out to be spot on!”

Over his launch weekend, Ryan generated estimates worth £10,000, and took sufficient bookings to guarantee his first two weeks of work. Thereafter, he continued to enjoy a stream of new business, booked in as a result of leaflets he’d given out at his launch. “Since then, I’ve been constantly busy with a full diary at least a couple of weeks ahead,” Ryan confirms. “I don’t like to keep customers waiting any longer than that, so to take my business to the next level, I need another pair of hands. Now I’m seeing more work coming in from word of mouth recommendations and repeat business from established customers, as well as the regular leads I receive from the ChipsAway National Call Centre. The more I get known locally, the more the phone rings and with every month that passes my income goes up – honestly, it’s absolutely brilliant!”

Ryan says that he’s holding back on local advertising until he’s sufficiently geared up to cope with the further influx of new business that will it certainly bring. He adds that he has enjoyed excellent support, not only from his Franchisor and Business Developer, but also from neighbouring franchisees, who are ready to offer advice and practical assistance.

“I’m not at all nervous about investing in premises or an employee,” he states. “I know that if I follow the business model and rely on ChipsAway’s continued support, I can easily grow my business. I just can’t believe I’ve come so far so quickly – I wouldn’t change my lifestyle now for anything in the world. For the first time ever I look forward to going to work, my days fly by and I get paid every day by delighted customers for doing a job that I love!”

ChipsAway has over 350 specialists in successful operation across the UK and a network of Master Franchisors worldwide. Operating from professionally liveried, fully equipped mobile workshops and fixed-base CarCare Centres, ChipsAway continues to dominate in the ‘on-the-spot’ repairs sector, yet, with 34 million cars on the road and over 17 million repair opportunities each year, ChipsAway estimate that they currently only meet 3% of potential market demand!
 


Graduate Stuart beats jobs blues with ChipsAway franchise - 07-August-2012


largeCA_Stuart.jpg

Geography graduate Stuart Yorston little suspected that straight out of university he would be running his own highly successful business. Like most students, Stuart had assumed that once he completed his degree, he would settle into employment, following a career related to his subject.

However, in common with so many other graduates, Stuart found himself in that familiar catch 22 of not being able to secure a job without experience, but couldn’t gain the necessary experience without a job.

Eventually, having got nowhere with job hunting, Stuart decided to look at franchising.

“I’m a practical, hands-on person and definitely didn’t want an office based nine-to-five sort of a business,” Stuart says, “and job satisfaction was incredibly important.”

Stuart began researching the various opportunities available, discarding most as being unsuitable, until he came across ChipsAway, the market leading minor automotive paintwork repair specialists, and decided that this was definitely the way forward for him.

“I am more than happy with my decision, particularly as the jobs market in the recent climate has become tougher than ever,” he confirms.

“The recession hasn’t touched my business at all. If anything I’m seeing a positive effect as customers decide to spend money on their existing cars rather than buying a new one,” he concludes. “I get great job satisfaction and have plenty of money in my pocket.

“Although franchising is not an option many graduates consider, I would recommend it to anyone looking to take control of their career and build their own successful business. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to become a ChipsAway franchisee - I get great job satisfaction and even earn more than my university mates!”
 


Painting A Picture Of Success With ChipsAway Franchise - 30-July-2012


largeCA_Martin.jpg

Successful property developers for over 15 years, Steve and Anne Martin decided to change direction completely in 2009 and after considering various options, invested in a ChipsAway franchise. Since then, their business has continued to grow at an impressive rate.

Within months of their franchise launch the couple took on an employee to help them with their rapidly expanding workload and in their first year they achieved a turnover in excess of £150,000. Subsequently, Steve and Anne opened a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (a fixed base workshop), enabling them to process even more vehicles and provide better than ever service to customers. By the end of year two, their annual turnover had increased to £200,000.

According to Anne, their plans for 2012 include opening a second CarCare Centre and recruiting another team of technicians. “Our target is to achieve a quarter of a million pound turnover for year three, however that figure is based on our current situation operating just one CarCare Centre. Obviously, our expectations for the business will be substantially higher once we open our second.”

Anne concludes, “We're always busy and we certainly believe there’s plenty of potential work out there to sustain our plans for growth. ChipsAway has given us brilliant support and the opportunity to grow our ‘man and a van’ operation into a long term, successful management franchise.”

ChipsAway is one of the most successful automotive franchises in the UK with around 350 specialists operating nationwide, providing high quality on-the-spot repairs to minor car bodywork damage, restoring paintwork quickly and cost-effectively.
 


Ian is bouncing back from redundancy with ChipsAway! - 27-July-2012


largeCA_Whitlock.jpg

Former Financial Services Executive, Ian Whitlock has had a lot to smile about recently. Not only is his ChipsAway business a huge success, but he has just swiped his second prestigious ChipsAway award.

Since starting his franchise in 2009 Ian has been motoring ahead. After just 12 months he expanded from his initial ‘man and a van’ mobile operation into a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (a fixed base workshop) and more recently has taken on two part time employees to help him with the growing demand for his business.

“My ChipsAway CarCare Centre is a blinding success,” he says. “I’ve secured additional work and I can process even more vehicles in my unit. Business has been booming and I don’t want to have to turn anyone away so I have recently taken on two part time employees to help me meet my customers’ demands.”

Having been awarded ‘Newcomer of the Year 2010’ at ChipsAway’s franchisee awards, this year Ian was voted ChipsAway ‘Marketeer of the Year’, Ian described the accolade as an honour and is particularly looking forward to sharing his expertise with others as a Marketing Mentor and in his role on the Marketing Liaison Group, which is a panel of franchisees who regularly get together to discuss marketing initiatives for the benefit of the network.

He attributes his success to ‘first class repairs backed-up by a first class service’. Since moving into his CarCare Centre, he has introduced a courtesy service whereby he collects customers’ cars and delivers them back when repairs are complete – an added extra, greatly appreciated by many of the people in Ian’s territory of Eastbourne.

Despite the fact that a lot of Ian’s business comes from word of mouth recommendation from satisfied customers, he believes it is important to keep building momentum through local marketing. . He has also developed a fixed pricing initiative and has expanded to cover damage to custom alloy wheels, both of which have gone down a storm.

“It’s important to keep moving and not let the grass grow under your feet” he advises, “to be successful you must be able to spot an opportunity and to be brave enough to put it to the test!”

For Ian, after a rollercoaster experience of working in the financial services sector, investing in a ChipsAway franchise has offered security and financial rewards. “Having been made redundant twice, I was ready for a change” he reflects “What I liked about ChipsAway was that there was no unrealistic promises or guarantees, simply if you work the system it will work for you. After two years this has been my experience, if you are prepared to work at it ChipsAway offers a business model for success.”

Within his first two days of launching Ian had written 114 estimates worth £18,595 and booked £4,335 of repairs into his diary, with a further £5,160 of bookings flowing in over the following weeks.

“It’s not rocket science or luck,” he says. “You make your own luck by working hard, planning your marketing and giving it 100%!”

Business has continued to boom ever since and Ian confirms that levels of work have meant that he could have worked every single day since his launch, had he wanted to.

“I wasn’t expecting to be this busy or for business to be this good,” he concludes. “I’ve had as much support from my franchisor as I need and I have no doubt I’ll continue to receive first class support as my business expands even further. I’m very much happier in my new life – I enjoy the hands-on role and most of all I’m glad to be free of the stress of the corporate world. My health has improved dramatically since I became a ChipsAway franchisee and my wife says I’m a different person! The rewards are brilliant and I simply love what I do – I wouldn’t change my life now for the world!”

ChipsAway is the UK’s leading specialist in minor automotive paintwork repairs, with around 350 specialists in successful operation around the UK and a network of Master Franchisors worldwide. Franchisees operate from liveried vehicles customised into fully equipped mobile workshops and CarCare Centres, fixed base units. They provide convenient, high quality paintwork repairs within a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of traditional body shop methods.

With over 34 million vehicles on the road and up to 17 million minor damage repair opportunities every year, ChipsAway estimates that currently it serves only 3% of its potential marketplace. The quality, value and convenience of ChipsAway ‘on-the-spot’ repairs ensure the company remains the dominant brand in this lucrative and rapidly growing marketplace with franchisees having the opportunity to expand rapidly into a major management franchise with multiple vehicles, territories and CarCare Centres.

 


High Flyer Paul makes the grade with ChipsAway franchise - 13-July-2012


largeCA_Fabian.jpg

Now into his twelfth year with the UK’s leading automotive paintwork repair brand, high flying ChipsAway franchisee Paul Fabian has built an impressive management franchise business, with two ChipsAway CarCare Centres on adjacent territories, a team of six employees and an active 13,000 strong customer base.

Last year, Paul, whose consistently high performing business, together with his contribution to the network and support of fellow franchisees, scooped the top title of ‘Franchisee of the Year’ at the company’s first ever Annual National Conference and Awards Dinner – an accolade well deserved, according to ChipsAway Chief Executive, Time Harris.

“Paul is a great ambassador for our brand and an excellent role model for our franchisees,” he says. “He started as a ‘man and a van’ operator, but through determination, hard work and proactive marketing, he has steadily grown his business into a highly lucrative, thriving management franchise that’s worth very many times more than his original investment. His passion and enthusiasm has created a strong, secure business with a loyal customer base and the potential for continued growth and profitability.”

A former engineer with the RAF, when Paul left the Forces he decided to work for himself and set about looking for a practical, hands-on business opportunity with the potential for him to earn big money and retire early. Having researched various opportunities, he joined ChipsAway and launched a mobile van based operation, quickly building a reputation for outstanding customer service.

Just two years later, unable to cope with his rocketing workload, Paul decided to open his first ChipsAway CarCare Centre (fixed-base workshop) and took on an employee to enable him to continue to offer mobile services.

The move to a CarCare Centre meant that Paul could process many more vehicles as well as undertaking larger scale repairs. Business growth accelerated as a result, leading Paul to invest in a second CarCare Centre, bringing his wife Kim on board to help him manage the expanding operation. As demand for his services continued to grow, largely through word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat business from satisfied customers, Paul recruited more technicians.He Currently, his team is busier than ever, repairing an average of sixteen cars a day.

“Last year was my busiest yet, and I’m on track to achieve an increase in turnover again this year,” Paul confirms.

Although he describes his former income from the RAF as ‘a decent salary’, he says there is simply no comparison with current earnings. “I earn massively more than I ever could have done with the RAF, and my ChipsAway business just keeps going from strength to strength.”

“ChipsAway is a great franchise,” he concludes. “If you’re prepared to work hard and promote your business, you really can acheive amazing results. I always believed that I would be this successful. I could see the potential of the franchise from the outset and planned that from being a one-man-band, I would eventually develop my business into a management franchise and make a lot of money - and that’s exactly what I’m doing!”

ChipsAway is the UK’s leading automotive paintwork repair franchise with around 350 specialists in operation nationwide, as well as a network of Master Franchisors overseas.

Based on unique technology, the ChipsAway system continues to dominate in the ‘on-the-spot’ repairs sector, removing scratches, bumper scuffs and kerbed alloy wheels on a same day basis, and usually at a fraction of the price of traditional body shop repair methods. Franchisees operate from professionally liveried ChipsAway vehicles, customised into fully equipped mobile workshops, with the opportunity to expand rapidly into a major management franchise with multiple vehicles, territories and CarCare Centres.

With over 34 million vehicles on the road and up to 22 million minor damage repair opportunities every year, ChipsAway estimates that currently it serves only 3% of its potential marketplace!
 


ChipsAway franchisee Alistair has sights set on the big time - 10-July-2012


largeCA_Hoy.jpg

A great deal can happen in a year, as ChipsAway franchisee Alistair Hoy can testify. Ali opened a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (a fixed-base workshop) only six months after his initial business launch as a ‘man and a van’ operation, in line with his original business plan. Subsequently, he took on his first employee to help cope with escalating demand, then when he hit £10,000 per month turnover, Ali decided to take on a second employee – and all this before reaching his first year milestone!

“I had big plans for my ChipsAway business from the start,” Ali confirms. “Now there are three of us in the team, the next step is to increase turnover to £20,000 per month. It’s a challenging target, but I confidently expect to achieve a quarter of a million pound turnover business this year.”

Ali’s previous background was in sales & marketing. He had held senior roles in companies operating in the USA and Asia and was never interested in downsizing to a small owner operator business in the long term. On the other hand, neither was he in a position to invest up to £200,000 in one of the major franchise brands. Therefore he had looked around for a franchise with the potential to grow into a sizeable business. ChipsAway emerged as the clear choice, offering a scaleable business model and a growing brand presence in the marketplace.

ChipsAway is the UK’s leading automotive paintwork repair specialist, with a nationwide network of around 350 technicians providing high quality on-the-spot repairs to minor damage such as paintwork scratches, bumper scuffs and kerbed alloy wheels. Repairs are completed within a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of traditional body shop repair methods. With 34 million cars on the road and over 17 million repair opportunities each year, ChipsAway estimate that they currently only deal with 3% of market demand!

Ali recognised that in order to build his ChipsAway business, he first needed to understand it inside and out. His comprehensive initial training and first months out on the road in a fully equipped mobile ChipsAway workshop not only gave him the necessary technical skills to repair minor automotive paintwork damage, but also provided an insight into customer perceptions and demands.

“Owners of fast food franchises don’t invest in order to flip burgers or cook pizzas, they invest to develop a business and make profit, but first they roll their sleeves up and learn what their employees will be required to do. I’ve taken the same approach to my ChipsAway business. As I take on more employees, I plan to do less and less painting, focusing instead on business development. Currently, I spend 40% of my time on marketing and business development, with the other 60% hands-on doing repairs. I expect that balance to change over the coming year - in order to achieve turnover of £1,000 per day, you have to be marketing your business strongly and consistently, so that has to be my priority going forward.”

With a ChipsAway CarCare Centre and two technicians, Ali can now repair many more vehicles per hour. “Now I can repair up to four cars at a time, preparing one vehicle whilst another is drying, with each member of the team assisting the other,” he explains.

Ali confirms that his decision to join ChipsAway was definitely the right move. “A successful business doesn’t just happen when you buy a franchise. You have to have passion for what you do, be prepared to work at it and believe in yourself. You also need a committed franchisor with a vision for the brand,” he says. “The ChipsAway management team is close to its franchisees and understands what we need; when you’re growing your business they will do everything they can to support you – and that makes a real difference.”

In Ali’s view, ChipsAway is really getting it right with their strong emphasis on customer marketing and continued investment in TV advertising. “Although the company has been established in the UK for almost eighteen years, it feels as though I’ve got in on something that’s just beginning,” he says. “Brand awareness is growing fast and so is market share - it’s an exciting time to be part of the ChipsAway success story!”
 


ChipsAway franchisee Alistair has sights set on the big time - 27-September-2011


largeCA_Hoy.jpg

A great deal can happen in a year, as ChipsAway franchisee Alistair Hoy can testify. Last year, Ali opened a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (a fixed-base workshop) only six months after his initial business launch as a ‘man and a van’ operation, in line with his original business plan. In January, he took on his first employee to help cope with escalating demand, then in July, when he hit £10,000 per month turnover, Ali decided to take on a second employee – and all this before reaching his first year milestone!

“I had big plans for my ChipsAway business from the start,” Ali confirms. “Now there are three of us in the team, the next step is to increase turnover to £20,000 per month. It’s a challenging target, but I confidently expect to achieve a quarter of a million pound turnover business within the coming year.” 

Ali’s previous background was in sales & marketing. He had held senior roles in companies operating in the USA and Asia and was never interested in downsizing to a small owner operator business in the long term. On the other hand, neither was he in a position to invest up to £200,000 in one of the major franchise brands. Therefore he had looked around for a franchise with the potential to grow into a sizeable business. ChipsAway emerged as the clear choice, offering a scaleable business model, but also a growing brand presence in the marketplace.

ChipsAway is the UK’s leading automotive paintwork repair specialist, with a nationwide network of around 350 specialists providing high quality on-the-spot repairs to minor damage such as paintwork scratches, bumper scuffs and kerbed alloy wheels from fully equipped mobile workshops. Repairs are completed within a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of traditional body shop repair methods. With 34 million cars on the road and over 17 million repair opportunities each year, ChipsAway estimate that they currently only deal with 3% of market demand!

Ali recognised that in order to build his ChipsAway business, he first needed to understand it inside and out. His comprehensive initial training and first months out on the road in a fully equipped mobile ChipsAway workshop not only gave him the necessary technical skills to repair minor automotive paintwork damage, but also provided an insight into customer perceptions and demands.

 

“Owners of fast food franchises don’t invest in order to flip burgers or cook pizzas, they invest to develop a business and make profit, but first they roll their sleeves up and learn what their employees will be required to do. I’ve taken the same approach to my ChipsAway business. As I take on more employees, I plan to do less and less painting, focusing instead on business development. Currently, I spend 40% of my time on marketing and business development, with the other 60% hands-on doing repairs. I expect that balance to change over the next year - in order to achieve turnover of £1,000 per day, you have to be marketing your business strongly and consistently, so that has to be my priority going forward.”

With a ChipsAway CarCare Centre and two technicians, Ali can now repair many more vehicles per hour. “Taking on a couple of employees means you can repair up to four cars at a time, preparing one vehicle whilst another is drying, with each member of the team helping the other,” he explains.

Ali confirms that his decision to join ChipsAway was definitely the right move. “A successful business doesn’t just happen when you buy a franchise. You have to have passion for what you do, be prepared to work at it and believe in yourself. The other half of the equation is a switched on, committed franchisor with a vision for the brand,” he observes. “The ChipsAway management team is close to its franchisees and understands what we need; when you’re growing your business they will do everything they can to support you – and that makes a real difference.”

In Ali’s view, ChipsAway is really getting it right with their strong emphasis on customer marketing and continued investment in TV advertising. “Although the company has been established in the UK for almost seventeen years, it feels as though I’ve got in on something that’s just beginning,” he says. “Brand awareness is growing fast and so is market share - it’s an exciting time to be part of the ChipsAway success story!”


Motoring Ahead with ChipsAway franchise - 27-January-2011


largeCA_Hussey.jpg
Less than four years on from the launch of his ChipsAway franchise, Rob Hussey is about to take another substantial leap forward with his successful and strongly growing business. Having taken on his son Barry and put another van on the road last October, to help him cope with climbing demand from customers across his adjacent territories, Rob is about to open his first ChipsAway CarCare Centre.
 
Despite the recent economic downturn, Rob has been working flat out, with full order books for weeks ahead. “Our newly fitted out ChipsAway CarCare Centre will mean we can process twice as many vehicles as before and provide better than ever services to customers,” Rob says. “This is a significant investment in our future and we’re really excited about it!”
 
ChipsAway is the leading brand in mobile automotive paintwork repairs, fixing minor damage such as scratches, bumper scuffs and kerbed alloys within a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of traditional body shop repair methods.
 
According to Rob, although previously he’d spent twenty-five years working in the motor trade, becoming a ChipsAway franchisee has made a huge difference to his life. He has found that working for himself has brought him real flexibility and an excellent income.
 
He is constantly booked for weeks ahead and says there is certainly no shortage of work. “I’m making plenty of money and my business is booming, so there’s only one way to go,” he declares, “and that is up!”

Building bigger business with ChipsAway franchise brand - 27-January-2011


largeCA_Hoy.jpg
When Alistair Hoy invested in a ChipsAway franchise earlier this year, he had big plans for his business. Although he intended to operate initially as a ‘man and a van’, his sights were firmly set on opening a ChipsAway CarCare Centre within six months, as a first step to establishing a management franchise.
 
Having achieved that, Alistair has now begun the process of building a team of technicians to help him; he expects to invest in additional ChipsAway vehicles over the coming months and predicts that if all goes according to plan, his ChipsAway franchise will be a million pound turnover business within three to five years.
 
“I have held senior roles in companies operating in the USA and Asia and because I wasn’t in the position to invest up to £200,000 in one of the major franchise brands, I wanted a business opportunity with the potential to grow into a sizeable operation,” Alistair explains.
 
Leading automotive paintwork repair specialists ChipsAway emerged as the clear choice, offering a scaleable business model, a massive potential marketplace and a growing brand presence in the marketplace.
 
Alistair confirms, “Although ChipsAway has been established in the UK for over fifteen years, I feel as though I’ve got in on something that’s just beginning. Brand awareness is growing and so is market share - it’s an exciting time to become part of the ChipsAway success story!”

Success continues for award winning ChipsAway franchisees - 27-January-2011


largeCA_Anatol.jpg
ChipsAway ‘Franchisee of The Year’ Anatol Poyer-Sleeman and his partner Michelle Clark have celebrated another achievement, adding a 6000 sq ft ChipsAway CarCare Centre to their already extremely successful operation. The couple, who joined ChipsAway in February 2004, have built their business from an initial ‘man and a van’ operation, providing mobile automotive repairs to minor paintwork damage, into a substantial management franchise, which encompasses five territories, two fully equipped mobile workshops, a substantial fixed site CarCare Centre and a team of six employees.
 
“Opening a ChipsAway CarCare Centre was a significant investment for us, but was absolutely key to our strategic growth plans,” Anatol explains. “Having this very large facility, located on a busy ring road, has enabled us to process twice the number of vehicles we could previously handle. Our customers still value the convenience of a mobile repair service and Michelle is out in the vehicle full time, but now we can offer increased flexibility - we’re delighted that it’s going so well!”
 
The Anatol and Michelle success story started seven years ago, when the pair decided to invest in a ChipsAway franchise after attending one of the company’s informal Open Days. Having completed their training, they launched their business and over the weekend wrote 60 estimates for work - taking bookings well into the next month. They achieved £900 in their first week of trading, £4000 by the end of their first month, and the trend has continued upwards ever since.
 
In year two the pair decided to extend their territory and take on a second vehicle; by early 2006, they were so busy that they expanded again, taking on an employee. Subsequently they took the opportunity to acquire two further territories from their very successful neighbouring franchisee, substantially extending their area.
 
Anatol recalls, “It was a win-win situation. The outgoing franchisee made an excellent return on his investment, whilst we were happy to invest in two well run, profitable territories.”
 
Last year, Anatol was proud to be named ‘ChipsAway Franchisee of The Year’ in recognition of his substantial contribution in terms of time and support given to the franchisee network, as well as their business success. The couple have enjoyed seven years of profitability and growth and say they continue to feel very optimistic about future prospects – particularly in the light of sky rocketing car insurance premiums and increasingly high voluntary excesses.
 
“We’re very well recognised in our area now and so there’s almost an automatic flow of customers,” Anatol says. “Insurance premiums are rising faster at present than in any other period and people know we can repair their car paintwork damage for considerably less than their excess, so it’s an easy sell for us. The other area we’re currently focussing on is fleet work. We’ve recently gained a lucrative account with a large business locally, which generates plenty of work, so our marketing is geared to attract more contracts like that!”
 
He concludes, “We continue to enjoy a great lifestyle. We work hard, but we are also reaping the rewards – as well as our usual skiing holiday, we’ve also got a trip to Mexico planned and will be visiting Las Vegas later in the year. Our ChipsAway franchise has given us control over our own destiny and has equipped us with a great business which we have been able to grow and develop, whether the market is buoyant or tough. We still get a tremendous buzz from what we do and life is fantastic!”

High Five for ChipsAway franchisee! - 27-May-2010


largeCA_Ide.jpg
Franchisee Steve Ide is celebrating five fantastic years since the launch of his successful ChipsAway business. The former telecoms Marketing Manager ditched long hours and high pressure for a lifestyle that enables him to spend plenty of time with his young family and still enjoy an excellent income, despite working much shorter days.
 
ChipsAway is the market leading automotive paint repair franchise, with around 350 franchisees, who operate from fully equipped mobile workshops, providing top quality repairs on a same day basis at around half the cost of traditional body shop repair methods.
 
“I’m really happy with my independence and the work-life balance I’ve achieved,” Steve says. “I love what I do and take pride in the quality of my repairs. As a result I have a great reputation locally and am never short of work!”
 
From the outset, Steve was impressed with ChipsAway, who this year celebrate fifteen years of successful operation in the UK. Five years on he is still delighted with his decision to join the network. “The ChipsAway team are highly professional and friendly; they know their business and provide outstanding support to help you succeed,” he says. “Joining ChipsAway was definitely a really smart move for me – my only regret is that I didn’t do it ten years earlier!”

Family team find security with a ChipsAway franchise - 27-May-2010


largeCA_Clift.jpg
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 recession has been good for us – lots of new customers have discovered that a professional quality, cost effective and convenient ChipsAway repair to their paintwork means that the car looks good and lasts longer!”
 
Paul first joined ChipsAway two years ago, after being made redundant, having spent all his working life in the motor trade. “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.”
 
Redundancy certainly proved to be a cloud with a silver lining for Paul, “My ChipsAway business is doing really well and working with Robert is going to be great - we’re both really excited about the future and growing the business even further!”

Clive celebrates 10 years with ChipsAway franchise - 27-May-2010


largeCA_Lawrence.jpg
ChipsAway franchisee Clive Lawrence is celebrating ten successful and highly satisfying years with the UK’s leading specialist in minor automotive paintwork repairs; he has signed for a further five years and says he hasn’t ruled out a further five after that!
 
“I simply love what I do,” he explains. “I have a great business that has given me an excellent standard of living, I have had absolutely fantastic support from ChipsAway and I can honestly say I’ve never been short of work from the moment I launched my business!”
 
Clive joined ChipsAway after 30 years running a graphic design & print business and, as a marketing man, was impressed by the ChipsAway proposition – a unique, proven system with high quality products, well marketed, with massive customer demand.
 
“The franchise is very flexible, there are lots of ways to develop and grow – and the ChipsAway team are behind you all the way!” Clive comments.
 
Interestingly, during the recession, Clive says he’s experienced no problems at all. In fact new business has continued to roll in at a higher rate than ever, particularly since the company launched its National TV Advertising campaign.
 
“I’ve been more than happy with my investment in ChipsAway,” he concludes. “I have the freedom of being my own boss and earn a great living too - long may it continue!”
 

Two’s Company - 13-October-2004


Chipsaway_Kate.jpg

Two’s company as far as ChipsAway franchisees Graham and Kate Warner are concerned. Together they have built a successful, thriving business making high quality repairs to automotive paintwork, and according to Kate they are looking forward to ‘an excellent second year’. They love being able to work alongside each other, which was one of their initial considerations when they first decided to look for a franchise, as Kate explains.

“We married only recently and we really wanted to find something that we could invest in and develop together,” she says. “So we visited the franchise exhibition with an open mind, but also with a ‘must have’ list – we wanted to be sure we would receive the right support, we were looking for potential for high turnover and profitability, a proven marketplace and low management fees.”

ChipsAway International seemed to offer exactly what they wanted, so Graham and Kate signed up to attend one of the company’s no-strings-attached Open Days, held at ChipsAway’s Midlands based head office.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t go along on the day because I was working, but Graham came back bursting with enthusiasm and amazed at what he’d seen,” Kate recalls. “We were quickly convinced that this was indeed the franchise for us!”

ChipsAway International was launched in the UK almost ten years ago, introducing the concept of SMART (Small and Medium Area Repair Technology) repairs for automotive paintwork, a unique system originally developed and patented in the USA enabling minor repairs to be made in a fraction of the time taken by a traditional body shop – and at a fraction of the price.

Today ChipsAway remains the dominant brand in SMART technology, leading a marketplace which has grown exponentially over the last ten years as the number of car owners - and consequently traffic congestion - has increased, generating a rising demand for minor repairs such as scratches, bumper scuffs and stone chips.

ChipsAway franchisees operate in 20 countries across the world, with well over 300 successful businesses in the UK alone. There are over 30 million cars on the road in this country, with an estimated demand for 10 million repairs annually – a figure that is growing year on year – which means that the surface of this massive and lucrative marketplace has hardly been scratched!

“The purpose of our Open Days is to illustrate just how easy it is to make money from SMART repairs,” remarks ChipsAway’s Chief Executive Officer, Roger Wild. “Most people worry either that they won’t be able to do the actual repairs, or that they can’t afford it. At our Open Days, we offer the opportunity to people interested in buying a franchise to come along, try a repair for themselves, and chat to existing franchisees who are on hand to answer questions. Invariably they discover that making a SMART repair is easy to learn, and the initial outlay to purchase a franchise can be recovered extremely quickly. It is a fact that ChipsAway is one of the few franchise opportunities that generates income from week one!”

Franchisees usually chose from two alternatives; either to take on a mobile franchise or a static Car Care Centre. In Kate and Graham Warner’s case, however, the couple elected to take on both franchises within their first year.

Last September they launched their mobile franchise – operating from a liveried van fully equipped as a mobile workshop, enabling them to undertake repairs at customers’ premises, whether at home or at work.

“We had a fantastic launch,” says Kate. “We erected our ChipsAway promotional marquee on a busy shopping car park over our first weekend, and generated about £20,000 worth of enquiries, which got us off to an excellent start!”

Their business continued to grow apace and in January this year, Kate and Graham opened their ChipsAway Car Care Centre, as planned. Although both of them were trained by ChipsAway to make SMART repairs, it is Graham who tends to have the ‘hands-on’ role, whilst Kate takes care of admin. She runs their accounts, organises marketing activity and manages the office.

“I spend half a day on the shop floor though,” she adds. “It’s my job to prepare the vehicles for repair, putting on the masking, mixing the paint and then often I finish off the repair by applying the polish.”

Most of their work has come by word of mouth, but Graham and Kate have also organised leaflet drops and advertisements in local magazines, which Kate confirms have worked well. “Although we have deliberately focussed on the general public, rather than targeting dealerships, we regularly have customers knocking on our door who have had ChipsAway recommended to them by the local BMW and Mercedes garages – which is a nice tribute to the quality of our work!”

She adds that ChipsAway’s Call Centre is a regular source of enquiries for them. “Every week we receive leads from ChipsAway, giving us even more business. We get great all round support from them – there are regular ongoing training courses and technical support at the end of a telephone line whenever we need it.”

Roger Wild believes the ChipsAway franchise is an ideal business opportunity for a husband and wife team or similar partnership. “Some of our top performing franchises are operated by couples,” he affirms. “They find that responsibilities can be divided and each individual can support the activities of the other.”

Kate and Graham – a former special needs teacher and church charity worker respectively - are quick to agree. “I did wonder whether I would be able to do it,” Kate admits, “but the training is very good, and now we feel confident enough to go forward. The work is certainly out there for us and turnover is very good. Launching our mobile franchise and then opening a Car Care Centre within three months required considerable investment, but we are now generating a net profit and look forward to an excellent second year!”


Spotlight on ChipsAway Sweden - 09-June-2004


Chipsaway_Jan2.jpg

Reflecting on the first year of operating a Master Franchise for ChipsAway International in Sweden, Jan Lethenstrom confirms that the secret behind the most successful franchise in its sector is its massive market potential. “In many ways it’s the best kept secret in the automotive industry,” he says. “People simply don’t realise that there is a convenient, cost-effective alternative to body shop repairs, so the vast majority of vehicle owners are driving around with a multitude of scratches, chips and scuffs on their paintwork. This means that practically every vehicle owner is a potential customer for ChipsAway – the trick is in marketing our services to raise awareness gradually as we grow our franchise network.”

Formerly operating in the financial sector managing portfolios of stocks and shares, Jan launched his own ChipsAway franchise in March 2003 in partnership with business colleague Leif Andersen. Once established and running as a successful stand-alone business, Jan and Leif turned their attention to recruitment of franchisees to commence forming the Swedish network. The first franchisees commenced operations in October, with more following in November, January and February. Two new franchisees are currently undergoing training, bringing the network total to eight.

“Our ultimate aim is to establish a nationwide franchise network of between 50-60 franchisees within 5 years,” Jan explains. “We plan to have 10 successful franchises in operation by June this year.”

In Sweden, there are 3.9 million cars on the road. Market research carried out in the UK suggests that over half of all car owners report minor damage to their paintwork, and that the vast majority do not repair because they are not prepared to meet the expense and inconvenience of using a traditional body shop, and are not aware that there is a more convenient, cheaper alternative.

This is the reality behind the phenomenally successful ChipsAway franchise opportunity. Launched in the UK in 1994, ChipsAway has become the dominant player in the so-called SMART repairs sector (Small and Medium Area Repair Technology), with Master franchisors operating successfully in eleven different countries to date. Using a unique system developed and patented in the USA, ChipsAway is able to offer a faster, more convenient way of repairing minor damage to automotive paintwork – and at a radically reduced cost.

“Car owners no longer need to book vehicles into a body shop for days at a time to have whole panels treated simply to remove a small scratch or chip to their paintwork,” states Jan. “We can undercut body shop costs by around 50%, and franchisees can undertake repairs at their customers’ premises within hours.”

Small wonder the concept took off instantly in the UK, and that this success is being replicated in countries like Sweden. In offering ‘on the spot’ repairs, ChipsAway has effectively extended an already busy marketplace. Indeed, since its launch over nine years ago, demand for this type of cosmetic automotive repair has dramatically increased and is still on the rise.

As Jan has observed, the trick for a Master franchisor is to release market demand as the franchise network builds and is able to meet that demand. Most of Jan’s potential franchisees come through the national franchise website in Sweden - www.franchise.net. They are invited to attend an Open Day where they can see at first hand how easy it is to implement repairs, and can chat to existing franchisees about the business potential.

“We give training both on the process of repairs, and on marketing and developing a business,” Jan adds. “The key thing is to recruit individuals able to acquire all round skills. Clearly, my success as a Master franchisor rests on the success of my franchisees. My key strengths are a huge untapped marketplace, world leading paint repair technology and no credible competition!”

Executive Chairman Roger Wild concludes, “We are seeking to substantially expand our international network, and are looking for business partners like Jan Lethenstrom and Leif Andersen – experienced professionals, who are interested in investing in an exciting business opportunity with virtually unrivalled potential for growth. ChipsAway has been established in the UK for over nine years with more thatn 300 franchisees operating successfully, yet we have only just ‘scratched the surface’ of our massive marketplace!”