ChipsAway: 10 Years of success!

Celebrations are underway at ChipsAway as the first wave of 26 franchisees complete 10 years of success with the world's leading SMART repair specialist. Megan Dunmore reports

To mark the network's first decade, Managing Director Steve Bignell recently hosted a gala luncheon for franchisees and their partners at the famous Belfry Golf Club - home to the Ryder Cup Competition.

Steve described it as an important landmark for ChipsAway, and added that such a large number of franchisees signing for a third five-year term was a clear reflection of the long-term success of the franchise and the strength of the marketplace. 'We have a fantastic record for keeping our franchisees on board. There aren't many franchise organisations that can claim to have retained virtually all of their original franchisees.

'All 26 of our 'founding' franchisees have built excellent businesses and have enjoyed a superb lifestyle over the last 10 years. One or two are planning early retirement, reaping the benefits of 10 highly profitable years and a substantial return on their original investment, but the majority are looking forward to further growth and continued prosperity over the next five years.'

British Franchise Association Accreditation Manager Catherine Jackson warmly congratulated ChipsAway and its franchisees: 'This result is an important demonstration of the long-term success of the franchise industry, and is a credit to ChipsAway in achieving mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships with their franchisee partners.'

ChipsAway is one of the leading franchises in the UK with over 350 franchisees operating nationwide, and a network of Master Franchises overseas. Using unique patented technology developed in the USA and introduced to this country in the mid 1990s, ChipsAway has become the dominant force in 'on-the-spot' SMART (Small & Medium Area Repair Technology) repairs. The ChipsAway system effectively repairs scratches, bumps and scuffs to car paintwork on a 'same day' basis, usually at a fraction of the price of a traditional body shop repair.

Franchisees operate from fully equipped mobile workshops or from static CarCare Centres, carrying out rapid interior and exterior repairs to factory finish quality at customers' convenience. No previous experience is necessary as ChipsAway provides comprehensive training and support.

A decade ago a ChipsAway franchise seemed a far cry for Mike Oakes and Jeff Wilson, who were working on North Sea Oil Rigs, but today thanks to ChipsAway both enjoy a superb lifestyle - beyond either of their expectations.

Jeff's father first spotted a newspaper advertisement for ChipsAway and showed it to his son. 'I owe my dad a great debt of gratitude,' reflects Jeff. 'Mike and I travelled down to see ChipsAway together. We were both very impressed by the business potential and each of us bought a franchise.'

Jeff, who bought a Porsche several years ago and now owns a small-holding in the North-East, modestly confesses: 'I've done extremely well for myself.'

Mike Oakes agrees: 'My business has been much more successful than I could ever have hoped - I'm earning three times more than I did on the oil rigs. You get out what you put in, but the rewards are certainly there. The ChipsAway product is great, the ChipsAway people are great and 10 years on I'm still having a ball!'