A former soldier with the Royal Engineers, Andy Darby was looking for a practical, hands-on business with high earnings potential and a long term opportunity to grow. In 2000, he started his ChipsAway business as a ‘man and a van’, but today operates a busy ChipsAway CarCare Centre (a fixed base workshop), with two mobile workshops and a team of four employees across three territories. He drives a BMW M3 convertible and estimates his ‘take home’ earnings are around three times more than his previous salary.

“My ChipsAway CarCare Centre has had quite an impact,” he reports. “Now I can process many more vehicles during the day, so turnover has jumped substantially. Of course, I have more overheads too, but the underlying trend is certainly onwards and upwards!”

For Andy, it was important to maintain the mobile ChipsAway service too – as many customers really value the convenience of having repairs done at their home or place of work. Accordingly, two of Andy’s employees work from ChipsAway vehicles. He estimates that he and his team repair over 75 cars a week and says the phones don’t stop ringing.

“My business has gone from strength to strength. Within a couple of months of launching my ChipsAway franchise, I was earning the same level of income I had as a soldier. Today of course, I make substantially more than that – in fact, I’m really beginning to make serious money now,” he grins. ChipsAway is the UK’s leading automotive paintwork repair franchise with around 350 specialists in operation nationwide, as well as a network of Master Franchisors overseas.

Based on unique technology, the ChipsAway system continues to dominate the ‘on-the-spot’ repairs sector, removing scratches, bumps and scuffs to car paintwork on a same day basis, and usually at a fraction of the price of traditional body shop repair methods.

What sets ChipsAway apart from many other franchises is the outstanding ongoing support. From the outset, training is thorough and a successful and experienced franchise owner mentors new franchise owners on a one-to-one basis. Thereafter, access to technical advice is available whenever it’s needed, as well as strong central marketing activity, including national TV advertising.

Further down the line, should franchise owners want to expand, they can continue to expect the same unwavering support and practical assistance.

According to Andy, if you’re looking to grow a seriously profitable business, ChipsAway is behind you all the way.

“I really enjoyed being a soldier, but I have absolutely no regrets about becoming a ChipsAway franchise owner,” he confirms. “I’m very happy with the way my business has grown. I always planned to build steadily and feel proud that I’ve managed to enjoy an excellent lifestyle, while still being able to afford to re-invest substantially in developing a successful management franchise.”

With more than 34 million vehicles on the road and up to 17 million minor damage repair opportunities every year, ChipsAway estimates that currently it serves only three per cent of its potential marketplace.

Reported by Megan Dunmore