Autosheen on track

After 10 years as a Autosheen franchise owner, Ray Oliver is scaling up from a ‘man in a van’ business to a fully fledged management franchise

A former production manager, Ray made the decision in 2003 to break from factory life after 15 years, to take up the challenge of running his own venture and has steadily and consistently built up his business over time to become one of Autosheen’s most successful franchise owners.

With a growing regular customer base and strong support from the Autosheen management team behind him, Ray is ready to make the next move and expand his franchise by developing his business plan on two fronts.

The first step was to take on a young apprentice; Josh Tinker aged 18. Courtesy of Autosheen, Josh underwent IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) valeting training. Now with the correct skills in place, Ray will need to introduce Josh to the workings of the business, as he explains: “Josh is young, enthusiastic, fit and full of energy, which you certainly need for this job because it is very physically demanding. Now my focus will be teaching him how to work with customers as that is key to my business. Over the years I have forged some great relationships which have led to repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendation referrals from happy customers. Before I can hand over to Josh I need to be sure those customers will be happy with the standard and finish of his work and feel comfortable dealing with him.”

From Josh’s point of view, the opportunity to be trained as a professional valeter at a time when jobs for young people are thin on the ground, was a chance too good to miss. Keen on cars Josh proved a quick learner and was soon in his element.

The second part of Ray’s growth plan has been to form an alliance with a fellow Autosheen franchise owner, Mark Worthington, who effectively works in tandem with Ray to develop a niche area of business of his own.

“Over three years ago Mark, who was operating geographically close to my business, was looking for a way to take his own business forward,” Ray explains: “We could see a way of collaborating that would benefit both of us. I identified an opportunity in the specialist field of motor home valeting, Mark began working in the business one day a week, graduating to three days and is now full-time. Dealing with private clients and hire companies, Mark is making excellent headway in the motor home valeting market throughout the North West.”

As the new model for his management franchise takes shape, Ray Oliver is certain he has taken a positive step forward in putting plans in place for a successful ongoing business. With more ‘hands-on deck’ Ray was able to take a longer holiday this autumn, and in the longer term, will be able to start planning for his eventual retirement.

Autosheen is the UK’s leading valeting franchise with a successful track record spanning over 25 years and an impressive national accounts customer base that includes Tribos, the Royal Mail, Scottish Power, Zipcar and some of the largest leasing companies in the UK. Its reputation for recession-defying premium quality specialist valeting services sets Autosheen apart from competitors, together with its commitment to ongoing training and support for franchise owners. Autosheen is targeting strong national growth and is currently looking to attract new franchise owners across the UK