The most annoying vehicle paintwork repairs are those that don't really warrant the time and expense of using traditional bodyshops to fix them. Chips caused by stones, minor damage from careless reversing, scratches inflicted by vandals...or maybe just the result of a carelessly opened door in the carpark. Geoff Dobson examines a franchise offering a service that solves all this

It happens to us all - so we have to choose between the hassle and exorbitant cost of taking our vehicle into the local dealer's bodyshop (not to mention the inconvenience of being without transport for several days) or else ignoring the problem until we have accumulated enough chips and scratches to justify the cost of the visit!

So called SMART (Small and Medium Area Repair Techniques) repairs provide a fast, convenient, cost-effective and increasingly popular answer to this very common but extremely annoying problem. The service can be provided either at a SMART workshop or, more frequently, at your own home and at a convenient time of your choosing.

Priced from £14,995 plus VAT, a Beaverscreens or Paint Wizard franchise provides entry into this rapidly growing and highly profitable market sector at a relatively low cost. If combined with an additional module package, Beaverscreens franchisees can also acquire the necessary skills and know-how to repair windscreens, headlights, interior trim and carpeting. Franchisees determined to improve their earnings potential even further can also benefit from a Beaverscreens alloy wheel refurbishment module - providing a service which is increasingly in demand from owners of more expensive vehicles.

Beaverscreens is very much a family franchise, based on a business which has now been operating for over 12 years with Paul Beaver as its hard-working and entrepreneurial Managing Director. Paul is assisted in the business by his father Trevor and wife Michelle.

Not only do the directors operate the nationwide franchise network but they also continue to run two of the mobile territories themselves. It is within these territories that potential franchisees have an opportunity to assess the business first hand and it is also here that new franchisees are given their comprehensive 'on the job' induction training. Says Paul: 'As franchisors, we strongly believe that we need to stay in touch with the practical side of the business. That's the only certain way of keeping fully abreast of our customers' real needs and of making sure that we develop all the necessary products and services to keep Beaverscreens franchisees ahead of the game'.

The Leicester-based business has already launched 25 franchises in addition to its two company-owned territories. All of the current franchises are van-based and run from home, but the company is now looking to supplement these with a number of static SMART workshops. 'Demand for both Beaverscreens and Paint Wizard specialist repair services is increasing at an unbelievable rate,' explains Trevor Beaver. 'However, we have decided to limit our intake of new franchisees to no more than 10 over the next year in order to ensure correct set-up and thorough training for every franchisee.'

The franchise package not only includes full theoretical and practical training, but also an initial supply of equipment, marketing materials, full assistance with the franchise launch and ongoing support. Franchisees require good practical skills and the ability to sell Beaverscreens services both to the general public and to dealerships. Potential franchisees who believe they have what it takes to be one of the next 10 Beaverscreens or Paint Wizard franchisees will be invited to accompany Paul Beaver on a typical working day before making any final decision.