High flyer Steven shines at Autosheen

Dissatisfied with his career after he left the Forces, Steve Hendry decided that becoming an Autosheen franchise owner could give his life the lift he desired

Former RAF engineer Steven Hendry says his Autosheen franchise has exceeded all expectations since he launched his Newcastle business in October.

“I wake up in the morning and sometimes I have to pinch myself,” he says.

“After leaving the Forces, I spent several years as a Visa retail support technician, working long shifts – often 11 days at a stretch with no time off, so my quality of life was pretty poor.

“Now, everything has changed. There’s no boss watching over me, I have complete control over my own working day and I’m so much happier.”

Steven decided from the outset that franchising was the way forward. He wanted to be his own boss but also have the reassurance of a proven business model and the support of an experienced management team behind him. He also sought a total change of direction and so set about researching the different opportunities, finally alighting on the motor industry and one of the UK’s leading valeting specialists, Autosheen.

“Autosheen just stood out from the rest,” Steven explains. “They were well established and offered a good package, with strong support and on-going training. After attending an Autosheen discovery day, I liked what they had to say and was impressed by their plans for further development of the franchise – such as expanding into the marine industry.”

Business is progressing well for Steven; he launched only months ago but is steadily building up a regular customer base – he is even hoping to get some Newcastle United players on his books!

“In a couple of years I would definitely like to put another van on the road and employ another person to help with the workload,” he adds. “Currently though, I’m very new to the network and want to build up my business steadily. I’ve had really good support, including business development visits and a call from head office at least once a week to see how everything’s going. If I need any advice – technical or otherwise – I can just ring at any time.”

All Autosheen training is accredited by the independent industry body IMI (Institute of Motoring Industry) Awards, which reflects the professionalism and high standards of Autosheen and provides franchise owners with a clear competitive edge. Once basic training is completed, Autosheen franchise owners are subsequently able to take advantage of free additional training opportunities to extend their skills and add to the range of services they can offer customers. Steven has already attended a paint and interior protection course to enable him to apply long term protection to vehicles and has now signed up for the Autosheen machine polishing course, using products exclusively developed by parent company Farécla for some of the world’s best known prestige and sports car manufacturers.

“The quality of an Autosheen valet sets us apart from all our competitors,” says Steven.

“Sometimes I look at some of the cars I’m working on and can’t believe I can make them look as good as new again, but I always do and it gives me a real sense of achievement. One of my customers recently said he’d had a miserable day, but getting into his spotless car – which he said looked better than when he first bought it – really cheered him up and made me feel great. Customers like that invariably use you regularly and what’s more, they recommend you to all their friends!”

Now part of the highly successful Farécla organisation, whose well established range of car care products enjoys a worldwide reputation for quality, Autosheen is set to continue being at the forefront of the car valeting market, while targeting new sectors such as marine and leisure vehicles.

The comprehensive, high quality Autosheen franchise package comes with a proven 25 year track record, comprehensive training and strong on-going marketing and business development support for franchise owners.

Autosheen franchise owners operate a flexible and convenient mobile service from smartly liveried vehicles, fully equipped with water tank, an exclusive product range and every tool for the job. They provide regular, high quality valeting services, including specialist treatments such as full paint protection systems and waterless valets, to private individual customers as well as to the business sector.

Reported by Megan Dunmore