Risk averse Roger finds success with ChipsAway!

Although Roger Catchpole had the misfortune to be made redundant twice in his previous career as an IT Manager, his luck certainly changed for the better when he decided to take the leap into self-employment and invest in a ChipsAway franchise

Roger Catchpole had realised the hard way that being employed was no guarantee of security, and was determined that in the future he would not let his life be dictated by the decisions of other people. Four years on, Roger has built a highly successful, profitable business that he loves.

"I always wanted to run my own business but I'm a cautious character by nature and was worried about taking a risk," Roger explains. "In fact, at the beginning of the process, my number one priority in considering different franchise options was to ensure that whatever the business, the risk factor was minimal. Of course, it was also important to find something with potential for me to earn at least the same income as I did before, but most of all I wanted security."

Roger recognised that franchising was the safest route to self-employment and set about identifying franchise opportunities that were well established and had a long-term record of success.

His research led him finally to ChipsAway International, one of the world's leading minor automotive paintwork repair specialists. Using unique technology, franchise owners provide on-the-spot repairs to scratches, scuffs and bumps on car paintwork, in a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of traditional body shops.

With 34 million vehicles on the road and more than 17 million repair opportunities each year, demand for the service is huge. ChipsAway has 350 specialists in operation nationwide and a network of Master Franchise Owners internationally, but estimate that they are currently dealing with just three per cent of market demand!

"I attended an open day and everyone was extremely professional and friendly," explains Roger. "I was able to speak to existing franchise owners, including a Business Developer - an established franchise owner who helps new starters, providing support during and after their launch. Even after that, I searched the internet looking for customer feedback about ChipsAway repairs. Everywhere I looked, the comments were excellent. Finally, I was completely convinced."

Roger launched his franchise in Spring 2006 and says that ever since, he has been booked solid for weeks ahead. Although he advertises in the local papers, work mostly flows in from regular customers and word of mouth recommendation.

"My business took off really quickly," he recalls. "Within the first three months I surpassed my initial projections and after only six months I had achieved an income equivalent to my previously well-paid position as an IT manager."

Despite the recession, Roger's business has continued to grow and today he is the proud owner of a top-of-the-range three-litre Z4 BMW Sports Coupe and a brand new Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorbike.

"I am so glad I took the leap and invested in a ChipsAway franchise," he says. "I love being self-employed - I am no longer just a number on a company payroll and my quality of life is directly affected by my own hard work and determination to succeed.

"When I was made redundant, it hit me like a ton of bricks, but my ChipsAway franchise has given me my life back and restored my self-belief. I thought I'd made the right decision from the start - but now I know it!"

Reported by Megan Dunmore