Ian is driving forward with ChipsAway!

Award-winning franchise owner Ian Whitlock updates us on his growing business

Former financial services executive, Ian Whitlock, has a lot to smile about this year. Not only did he swipe his second ChipsAway award, but also his ChipsAway business continues to be a huge success. Since starting his franchise in 2009, Ian has been motoring ahead. After 12 months, business was going so well he expanded from his initial ‘man-and-a-van’ mobile operation into a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (a fixed-base workshop) and now has a team of two employees to help him with the growing demand for his business.

“My ChipsAway CarCare Centre is a blinding success,” he says. “I’ve secured additional work and I can process even more vehicles in my unit. Business has been booming and I don’t want to have to turn anyone away so I took on two part-time employees to help me meet my customers’ demands.”

Following his ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award, Ian was recently voted ChipsAway ‘Marketeer of the Year’. Ian described the accolade as an honour and is particularly looking forward to sharing his expertise with others as a marketing mentor and in his role on the marketing liaison group – a franchise owner panel who regularly meet to discuss marketing initiatives for the benefit of the network.

Although much of Ian’s business comes via word-of-mouth recommendation, he believes it’s important to keep building momentum through local marketing. He has also developed a fixed-pricing initiative and a service covering damage to custom alloy wheels, both of which have gone down a storm.

“It’s important to keep moving and not let the grass grow under your feet,” he advises. “To be successful you must be able to spot an opportunity and to be brave enough to put it to the test!”

For Ian, after a rollercoaster experience of working in financial services, ChipsAway has offered security and financial rewards. “Having been made redundant twice, I was ready for a change,” he reflects. “What I liked about ChipsAway was that there were no unrealistic promises or guarantees; simply if you work the system it will work for you. If you are prepared to work at it, ChipsAway offers a business model for success.”

Within his first two days of launching, Ian had written 114 estimates worth £18,595 and booked £4,335 of repairs into his diary, with a further £5,160 of bookings flowing in over the following weeks. Ian confirms that level of interest meant he could have worked every single day since his launch – had he wanted to, of course.

“I wasn’t expecting to be this busy or for business to be this good!” he concludes. “I’ve had as much support from my franchisor as I need and I have no doubt I’ll continue to receive first-class support as my business expands even further. I’m much happier in my new life – I enjoy the hands-on role and most of all I’m glad to be free of the stress of the corporate world. My health has improved dramatically since I became a ChipsAway franchise owner and my wife says I’m a different person! The rewards are brilliant and I simply love what I do – I wouldn’t change my life now for the world!

Written by Jenna Leeds