High Five for ChipsAway franchise owner!

Five years since he became a ChipsAway franchise owner, Steve Ide is now considering expanding his business to cope with demand for his services

Happy franchise owner Steve Ide is celebrating five fantastic years since the launch of his successful ChipsAway business. The former telecoms Marketing Manager switched the long hours and high pressure for a lifestyle that enables him to spend plenty of time with his young family and still enjoy an excellent income, despite working much shorter days.

Since his launch, Steve says he has never been short of work - in fact, if anything, in the past he's had to turn jobs away in order to cope with demand and for the future he's seriously considering expanding his business to take on another vehicle and an employee to help him.

"I've been reluctant up until now to take on the responsibility of an employee," he admits. "I've been really happy with my independence and the work-life balance I've achieved. I take my children to school every morning and collect them every afternoon, I love what I do and I suppose I'm nervous about letting anyone else look after my customers - I take great pride in the quality of my work. "However, the only way forward is to grow, to allow me to continue to provide as timely a service as ever to even more customers."

From the outset, Steve says he was only really interested in ChipsAway even though he spent several months looking through magazines and visiting the major exhibitions.

"The ChipsAway franchise really appealed to me," Steve recalls. "I wanted to be able to provide a specialist service that provides value for customers, and after attending an Open Day at the company's Head Office with my wife, I was convinced this was the right move for me. I really liked the people, they were highly professional, friendly and very open. In fact, after five years I can still say without reservation that the ChipsAway team are great, they're good people who know their business and who provide every encouragement together with unstinting support to help you succeed!"

Steve describes his training as 'excellent' and adds that his Business Developer - a seasoned franchise owner assigned to support and advise during the early days - was just 'awesome!'

"I was so nervous on that first Saturday morning of my launch weekend," he admits, "but it went so brilliantly that by Sunday evening I was as high as a kite and couldn't wait to get started the following Monday. As I opened for business for the very first time, I had over £3,500 worth of work booked in - the business model just works. From day one you have customers and you're earning money."

Five years on Steve has built a strong, regular customer base of people, most of whom love their cars and trust Steve to keep them in showroom condition. His work tends to be either repeat business or comes in following referrals from regular customers.

"My customers are brilliant," Steve confirms. "Many of them have become friends. Business is good and cash flow has never been a problem - people like to pay you for a job well done."

He concludes: "Joining ChipsAway was definitely a really smart move for me - my only regret is that I didn't do it ten years earlier!"

ChipsAway is one of the UK's leading repair specialists, with a nationwide network of around 350 franchise owners providing high quality on-the-spot repairs to minor automotive paintwork damage from fully equipped mobile workshops. Repairs are completed within a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of traditional bodyshop repair methods.

With 34 million cars on the road and over 17 million repair opportunities each year, ChipsAway estimate it currently only deals with three per cent of market demand.