Polished performance from Rob

After ten years working at high level in a corporate environment, Rob Stobbs turned his back on company politics and walked into a whole new life with an Autosheen franchise

I was fed up of all the jockeying and political nonsense and just wanted to do something for myself," explains Rob Stobbs, who left a job as Development Manager for a major DIY retailer after a decade to become an Autosheen franchise owner. "I was looking for an opportunity that was straightforward and didn't involve having to handle employees - something totally down to me which I could build into a successful business able to deliver a good standard of living and job satisfaction, without any of the stresses and frustrations that come with working for a large organisation."

Rob is no stranger to self employment, having previously jointly run a plumbing and heating business. However, returning to that industry was never an option, he says: "There's a lot of new legislation surrounding plumbing and heating. Training is required as is gaining appropriate accreditation. Rather than looking back I wanted to move forward with a new project that I could start up reasonably quickly."

With this in mind, Rob turned his attention to franchising and set about finding the business opportunity that most closely matched his criteria. "I looked at quite a few franchises," he recalls, "but I kept coming back to Autosheen. Like most blokes I like cars and take pride in looking after my own, so having weighed up a couple of different valeting opportunities I spoke to the management team at Autosheen and to some of their franchise owners. Nobody had a bad word to say about Autosheen and when I saw a full valet demonstrated I was really impressed."

Within three months Rob had joined Autosheen. He says the training and support for his launch were outstanding. "Autosheen's General Manager Adrian Stiehl really knows what he's talking about and is a great guy," says Rob. "Providing you're prepared to help yourself and work hard, he will do everything to help make sure your business is a success!"

Rob found that he was able to tap into Autosheen's lucrative National Accounts customer base from the outset, which meant he had work booked in from day one and he confirms that he's stayed busy every day since. However, he's at pains to emphasise that while National Account work provides a welcome extra income stream and a great starting point, ultimately investing in a franchise means building your own business and developing your own customer base.

"Autosheen will support you all the way, but in the end you have to knock on doors and demonstrate your services," he says. "Demonstrations and word of mouth recommendations from satisfied customers tend to be the best sales tools, but I've also found that special offers help get a foot in the door with local businesses."

To date, Rob has secured a number of regular business customers on his territory - including HSBC bank, Alcon Laboratories (part of Nestle), a local courier, a car hire company and even a school - all of who use him regularly on a weekly basis to valet up to five cars in a day.

"I've had some great feedback," he states. "Everyone is really happy with the service and I get huge job satisfaction from what I do. I've only been at it a few months and I'm really enjoying it, but my eyes are wide open. I've got a large mortgage to pay and mouths to feed, so I know I've got to continue to work hard to make sure the phone rings, but I'm absolutely confident I'll get there - and sooner rather than later!"

Reported by Megan Dunmore

Initial Investment Requirement

The franchise package is only £9,995 + VAT and includes:

  • Access to an increasing National Account customer base
  • 7 days' training at Autosheen's Training Centre
  • 2 day in-field launch support
  • Exclusively developed premium valeting products
  • Personalised marketing package

National Accounts

Autosheen is an established franchise with a strong portfolio of long standing National Account contracts including Royal Mail, DWP (Department of Work & Pensions), HMRC (Revenue & Customs), National Rail and six of the 10 largest leasing companies in the UK, amounting to over a million cars to be valeted by Autosheen franchise owners for contract customers alone.