Dreams come true

Every year, thousands of commuters dream of ditching the stress and boredom of employment to be their own boss. Most never get further than dreaming, but for those who do, their reward is often a real lifestyle change and the possibility of achieving goals they never could before

Whether it's a high performance sports car, a holiday home in the sun or simply the freedom to spend more time with your family, the right franchise opportunity can deliver your heart's desire.

With a nationwide network of almost 380 franchisees and a track record spanning 14 years in the UK, market leading SMART (Small to Medium Repair Technology) repair specialist ChipsAway International knows a thing or two about business success and is proud of the achievements of its franchisees.

Midlands based franchisee Sandip Kalkat is a great example. Former IT project manager Sandip had promised himself that by the time he was 30 he would own a top of the range sports car. Having reached the age of 28 with no prospect of earning enough to come close to attaining his dream, he realised that only by setting up his own business would he be able to take control of his life and make the kind of money he wanted. Accordingly, four years ago Sandip took the leap from employment and joined ChipsAway. Just two years later he was able to buy his first Maserati.

'The plan was always to work flat out for a couple of years to build up the customer base and put some money behind me, but then to take time to enjoy my success,' he says. 'These days I finish at 4pm every weekday and my lifestyle is the envy of my friends!'

Jamie Simmons is another happy man. His ChipsAway franchise enabled him to buy a luxury holiday apartment near La Manga in Spain - a dream come true for Jamie (pictured above right enjoying his absolute passion: golf and, inset, making a SMART repair). His hard work has paid off too in that his successful business means he now works a four day week (spending every Wednesday on the golf course!) and has been able to change his Mercedes sports car for a sleek, top of the range BMW X5 to accommodate his growing family.

Almost four years in and Jamie is as busy as ever. 'It's quite astonishing just how the work continues to flow in and the business moves on,' he says. 'In fact, I have so much work coming in that I rely on the network to take on some of the surplus by passing on jobs to fellow franchisees. I could easily expand my business and put another vehicle on the road or open a CarCare Centre - and I may well do that some time in the future - but at present I'm very happy with my lot!'

Both men decided to join ChipsAway having attended one of the company's free, informal Open Days, held at the company's Midlands based head office. Potential franchisees can watch a ChipsAway repair being demonstrated and have an opportunity to chat to the management team as well as existing franchisees, on hand to answer any questions.

According to ChipsAway Chief Executive Lloyd Evans, a common misconception is that a 'man and a van' business offers limited earnings, but this couldn't be further from the truth. 'The ChipsAway franchise gives franchisees a real opportunity to build successful, lucrative businesses and a great lifestyle for themselves,' he explains. 'We have franchisees that manage multi-van operations or have purchased second and third territories, others like Jamie and Sandip have made serious money from a single van franchise. The secret is a massive marketplace, unfulfilled demand for our services and the strength of an established, best-in-class brand!'

Reported by Megan Dunmore