James Potter, Autosheen

Before I joined Autosheen I was a mechanic and when I was laid off in November last year I struggled to find work. Slowly it dawned on me that losing my job was not necessarily a disaster, but could be an opportunity for a better life.

I've always loved working with cars and so when I found a couple of valeting franchises I contacted both to find out more. Autosheen offered by far the better franchise package. They provide so much support, guiding you every step of the way from preparing your business plan to helping you build a customer base. I felt sure that I could make a go of it, so I signed up a few weeks later and launched my Autosheen franchise in February this year.

Since then, my business has grown steadily and when Asda opened a new warehouse on my territory I secured an agreement to provide valeting services for their staff and customers - with over 1,500 people working at that site there's loads of potential work!

When I first started, I was worried about how I would cope with approaching companies and trying to get their business. However I have had tremendous support from Autosheen and now I feel really confident.

If someone had told me when I lost my job that I'd be doing all this for myself within a year, I'd never have believed it!