Shining success

In two and a half years of owning his own Autosheen business, Phil Baggaley has never lost a customer

After 19 years as a Business Manager for a leading fast food franchise, Phil Baggaley decided he had had enough of being employed. He felt he'd outgrown his career - the money was good, but he was no longer enjoying the job. Phil decided it was time to look around for a business opportunity with 'the right fit' and found a surprisingly different way forward with Autosheen, the professional car cleaning franchise.

Phil explains: "As franchising has a much higher success rate than going it alone, I was convinced this was the best route and I liked the look of Autosheen because it has been well established and it was very affordable." He attended one of the company's free informal Open Days at the Midlands-based head office, which he says he found really helpful. "The Autosheen team were very open and informative and there were existing Autosheen franchise owners there to speak to. I found out everything I needed to know about the business model and also the 'hands on' aspects of the franchise."

Phil admits that he was pretty certain from the outset that Autosheen was perfect for him and the Open Day just confirmed this. In fact, he'd even provisionally booked a place on the next available Training Course and was therefore able to launch his new business just four weeks later. "I got off to a great start," he confirms. "Head office had lined up demonstrations at five potential customers' premises for me and Autosheen's General Manager Adrian Stiehl came out on my territory to help - I can proudly say all those businesses have now become regular customers!"

Adrian also supported Phil with marketing his new business, spending the day prospecting and getting the Autosheen name known around his territory. However, Phil claims new business more often than not comes to him without him even trying! "It's amazing how much interest is generated whenever and wherever I'm working," he adds. "People see my professionally liveried vehicle and the quality of the work I do and are always impressed. Invariably I'm asked for a leaflet, price list or even an appointment by at least one new customer every time I'm out valeting. Therefore I have plenty of repeat customers, plus new business from recommendations."

In fact, Phil has never lost a customer since he began two and a half years ago! Phil estimates that he has around 45 regular customers - some are private but most are businesses, one of which is a waste management company where he began by valeting 12 cars and now valets 21 vehicles, every three weeks. Phil averages about 20 cars per week, keeping him very busy. "There's so much work out there and I'm keen to build up my business to a point where I can put a second van on the road. Since making the change I'm much happier, I see more of my young family and I do what I want, when I want. What could be better than that?"

This year, Autosheen celebrates 25 years of successful franchising. An established business model with a strong reputation and an excellent track record, it offers hard working, practical people an outstanding opportunity to build a profitable, flexible and immensely satisfying business, at a surprisingly affordable price.

Reported by Megan Dunmore