Franchisee races ahead

After a successful career in aerospace and having set up his own motorsport consultancy business, Colin Hewett has pursued his passion for cars and joined Autosheen

A motorsport consultant has joined the Autosheen franchise, extending his services to bring professional valeting to Dorset. Returning from work overseas, Colin Hewett, 50, wanted a new career and began looking into franchising.

“When I tried looking for work in the UK, there just wasn’t anything that excited me and so I decided to try something completely different,” reveals Colin.

Over the past few years, Colin reviewed the franchising opportunities available to him and after seeing Autosheen on the bfa website, and in several industry magazines, he went to one of their Discovery Days.

“The Discovery Day reinforced everything I’d learnt from my research,” says Colin. “I was really impressed by Autosheen’s products, their backing by Farécla, and also by their IMI accredited training with high-end detailing courses for their Signature Valet.”

Colin went onto sign with Autosheen in October 2012 and began the training included in his start-up package.

“The training was excellent. There was plenty of time to learn over the 10-day period and it allowed me to get on with the job straight away!

“I also did three days of on-the-job training with Adrian Stiehl (Autosheen’s General Manager) and I couldn’t praise him enough! He was interactive and helpful, doing valets with me, checking my technique at all times and offering constructive advice as we went along. He even helped me with the sales side of the business and did a few cold calls with me. Fantastic!”

Having officially started in December 2012, Colin’s business is taking off and is now gaining interest in the local area.

“I’ve done lots of corporate demonstrations and have seen results from them already. I’ve also had a few marine Shrimper appointments booked in recently with local boatmen preparing for spring.”

Now, several months on, Colin is concentrating on setting his goals for the future.

“I need to get the business foundations in place; I’m going to build my customer base – both corporate and general public – to generate a regular income stream.”

In order to achieve this, he actively uses marketing tools available to him, regularly updating his Facebook and Twitter accounts, advertising in the local press and building on his personal Autosheen website.

In the long-term, Colin wants to develop his business enough to be able to take on staff.

“Ideally, I would like to employ another person and run a two-vehicle operation, one for car appointments and the other for marine. Maybe, in the very far future, I could employ two people to carry out the jobs while I focus on the business side.” Colin’s territory covers western Dorset towns including Weymouth, Bridport and Sherborne. In the future, he hopes to expand further into the marine valeting sector to cater for boat owners in the area.

“I like valeting boats. The marine sector is very difficult to get into, but one boat is equivalent to a whole day’s work, earning me the same amount of money but for far less effort.”

Autosheen is the UK’s leading valeting franchise with a successful track record spanning over 25 years and an impressive national accounts customer base. Its reputation for recession-defying specialist valeting together with its on-going training and support for franchise owners sets Autosheen apart from competitors.