ChipsAway: Making money from scratch

World leading SMART (Small and Medium Area Repair Technology) repair specialist ChipsAway International offers an opportunity to make money from your first week in business, thanks to the massive marketplace and largely unfulfilled demand for minor paint damage repair.

Mitchell Edwards is one of the network's relative newcomers. ChipsAway has around 350 franchisees operating nationwide, some of whom have been running highly successful ChipsAway businesses for over 10 years, but Mitchell's franchise is less than 12 months old.

However, already he has taken on an employee and recently opened a new ChipsAway CarCare Centre. 'There's simply so much work out there, that it's just too much for one person to cope with,' he explains. 'I hate turning away customers or telling them that they will have to wait for a month before I can repair their paintwork. The whole point about ChipsAway is quality of service - and that includes prompt response!'

The former pest control surveyor says he was on 'very good pay' before he decided to invest in a franchise, but he has always wanted to become his own boss. He recalls that he looked at a lot of different franchise opportunities before settling on ChipsAway, but reveals that he was persuaded by the business package. 'I thought this was a business that I could make work for me. The system is very easy to learn with the right training and there are more and more people with new cars who want to keep their vehicles in top condition.'

Originally, Mitchell invested in a mobile franchise, operating from a VW van specially customised into a fully equipped workshop. He was able to take his service to the customer and make factory finish quality repairs 'on-the-spot' to minor scratches, scuffs and chips on automotive paintwork within a few hours - a fraction of the time of a traditional body shop and at a highly competitive price.

As his business has grown, Mitchell has found that he just doesn't have enough hours in the day to meet customer demand and so he has expanded. He has opened a CarCare Centre in a unit on a local industrial estate, which he will now use as a base, and is currently recruiting someone to work alongside him. He has already taken on one extra employee, who will take over the mobile repair business.

'It's an additional overhead and more responsibility, but it's the only way forward for me if I want to expand my business,' he concludes. 'I've worked hard to get my business established and now I'm ready to put the hours in to make sure there is plenty of business to keep three of us busy and pay the bills. It's short term investment for long term gain - in the end I'm looking forward to taking more of a managerial role and letting the other chaps take the strain! That's the beauty of having your own business and I know from the success of some of the longer established ChipsAway franchisees just what is achievable!'

Find the perfect work/life balance

At ChipsAway International, we believe that life's too short to be miserable. Our franchisees think so too. They've left the world of nine-to-five, have the freedom to live life to the max, and are earning great money doing something they love.

Our customers love ChipsAway too.That's why they recommend us to their friends, and why ChipsAway franchisees are never short of work. If you like the good things in life, you'll love ChipsAway. Find out more at one of our informal Open Days.

Reported by Megan Dunmore