Len Parfitt, Cardiff

I was a butcher for over 30 years and when I sold my last shop in 2004 I spent about three years looking for something else to do.

I've always enjoyed cleaning my cars so when I came across the Autosheen franchise opportunity I was immediately interested. The fact that the Autosheen head office provides contracted work really appealed to me as it would allow me to hit the ground running. I felt confident with the brand because it has been around for a long time and to me this meant that they must be doing something right!

My franchise, which I run with my wife Jean, is based in Cardiff and was launched in July 2007. In my first month of trading I depended a lot on the contracted work provided by head office. I knew that business wouldn't come to me overnight and that it takes time to build up customers, however over the last two months business has really begun to build and every week is better than the last.

Although I've now built up a sizeable amount of repeat business the contracted work has continued to be a bonus. At the moment we are looking to take someone else on to help me. By the end of our first year we will be in profit and are hoping to have another van on the road.