National Accounts provide secure basis for business at Autosheen

Extensive National Account work sourced by head office is providing Autosheen franchisees with a steady stream of business. Franchisee Mark Worthington reveals how Autosheen's support has enabled his business to grow

When former warehouse supervisor Mark Worthington was made redundant he decided that this was the time to look at going into business for himself. He'd considered self-employment before, but the closure of the warehouse where he'd worked for five years proved to be the spur he needed to take the leap.

As he'd always enjoyed cleaning his own cars, Mark started to look at different valeting franchises, but says Autosheen made a real impression on him. 'They were extremely professional at Autosheen and I was particularly reassured by the National Account customer base they have,' he explains. 'Security was an important consideration for me - that's why I had already decided on the franchising route - and the prospect of regular work from major organisations was very appealing.'

Autosheen is a well established fleet valeting franchise with 25 years of experience and a strong portfolio of long standing National Account contracts including Network Rail, DWP (Department of Work & Pensions), HMRC (Revenue & Customs), BSkyB, as well as six of the 10 largest leasing companies in the UK, whose combined fleets total some 1.2 million cars. 'I have been able to tap into National Accounts such as the Royal Mail and leasing company Inchcape, which has been great,' Mark says. 'However, it is important for me to develop my own business contracts locally too. When I first started, I wondered how everything would go, but once I'd delivered a batch of leaflets around my territory, the phone started ringing and I was away - now I'm getting an increasing number of word of mouth recommendations from customers and I'm confident that my business is going to continue to grow.'

Mark says he's '100 per cent certain' that he made the right choice with Autosheen. 'I really enjoy my new found freedom and the flexibility I have now compared to my previous job, where I worked shifts,' he says. 'I thought that if I was going to take the plunge, it was now or never - and I'm so glad I did it!'

According to Autosheen Franchise Manager Tim Harris, Autosheen's strategy is to secure major national accounts to generate lucrative, regular work for franchisees across the network. 'One of our more recent National Account gains, Galliford Try, is a good example,' he says. 'The company has 11 depots nationwide and a fleet of 1,200 vehicles, all requiring specialist waterless valeting, which Autosheen franchisees can provide. There are not many franchise opportunities that can offer potential customers from day one - but our growing National Account base enables Autosheen to offer exactly that!'

A regular income stream for franchisees from day one, together with a premium product range and superb franchisee support structure, sets Autosheen apart from competitors. Recent business gains adding to the substantial National Account customer base means that Autosheen is looking for more franchisees across the UK to service new and existing contracts.

Interview by Megan Dunmore