If you dread returning from your summer holiday to the drudgery of employment, a franchise may provide the answer to a brighter future. ChipsAway's Megan Dunmore reflects on how more and more individuals are seeking to shape their futures with ChipsAway franchises

There's something about a summer holiday that sets you thinking about your quality of life. Perhaps it's all that unaccustomed time on your hands. Away from the phone, the email, the boss and the constant demands on your attention, you have the luxury of reflecting on your lot.

Maybe it's that sinking feeling of reluctance to go home that you get in the pit of your stomach as the end of your holiday draws near. You face returning to the same old pressures, same old problems, so you vow to make a change.

People often return from their fortnight in the sun, full of new ideas, determined to make a difference to their lives and promising themselves that there will be more of that wonderful 'me' time, and less of the grinding rat race.

Most of those summer holiday dreamers will remain just that. Next year, they'll be going through the whole process again. But then there are the intrepid few, those that really mean to make things happen. For those people, franchising offers a realistic route to freedom - the chance to run your own business, with an established brand and the backing of a professional organisation to help you succeed.

At ChipsAway International, we know a thing or two about success. One of the UK's leading franchise organisations, we have over 350 thriving franchisees operating nationwide - and a presence in over 15 countries across the world with a growing customer base, a massive marketplace and demand that outstrips the service we can currently provide. That's why we're working hard to recruit excellent franchisees, to build and strengthen our network, and to enable us to realise our tremendous untapped potential.

Based on unique patented technology, developed by ChipsAway Inc in the USA and introduced to this country 10 years ago, ChipsAway has become the dominant force in 'on-the-spot' SMART (Small & Medium Area Repair Technology) repairs - a system which effects 'same day' repairs to scratches, bumps and scuffs on car paintwork, usually at a fraction of the price of a traditional body shop repair.

With 30 million cars on the road, and around a third of those with minor paintwork damage, you really can't go wrong, as franchisee Clive Lawrence pointed out as he renewed his franchise agreement with ChipsAway for a second five-year term. Clive, who is also a Business Developer for ChipsAway, joined ChipsAway after 30 years running a graphic design and print business, and sums up his first five years as 'fantastic'.

As a marketing man, he was attracted by the ChipsAway proposition as well as the hands-on aspect of the business. He comments: 'The franchise is very flexible, there are lots of ways to develop - and the ChipsAway team has been behind me all the way!'

Fellow franchisee Roger Kay is quick to agree. He has also completed five years with the network, and is looking forward to his second term with ChipsAway. Former optician Roger declares: 'ChipsAway really opened my eyes to the possibilities of running my own business! It was a steep learning curve, but I had plenty of training and support from ChipsAway.'

Roger has work booked in for up to six weeks ahead, and says he is constantly on the go. 'I am something of a perfectionist, and have created a reputation locally for service excellence,' he adds. 'That gives me huge job satisfaction - basically, I'm well paid to do something I love!'

So, don't let go of your dreams. Your summer holidays may be behind you, but ahead the future is yours to shape. Why not give ChipsAway a call, or visit our website. Better still, come and see us at the National Franchise Exhibition. Otherwise you might still be sighing about having to come home to the same old job this time next year!