Our franchise has given us control over our own destiny

Anatol Poyer-Sleeman & Michelle Clark, ChipsAway, Cambridge

In a move that underlines confidence in a strong and profitable future despite the current financial climate, Anatol Poyer-Sleeman and his partner Michelle Clark, who operate across five franchise territories, have signed up for a further five year term with leading automotive paintwork repair specialist ChipsAway.

'If our ChipsAway business was not delivering the lifestyle benefits we expect, we certainly wouldn't be committing to another five years at this point,' Anatol states. 'We have enjoyed five extremely successful years and have grown our business substantially over that period. While we have recognised the downturn and adapted our marketing strategy accordingly, the phones have not stopped ringing since the beginning of the year. We are booked solidly for three to four weeks ahead on all territories and frankly we're struggling to keep up with new enquiries.

'With business fleets for example, companies are keeping vehicles for longer rather than committing to the purchase of new cars. Accordingly, they have to invest in keeping vehicles in good condition to maintain their value and extend their life - that means more business for ChipsAway!'

Michelle adds: 'As we can repair most minor paintwork damage for less than a typical insurance excess, it makes real financial sense in the long term to get a repair done by ChipsAway. Potential customers understand this message and have responded well, particularly as times are tough and the name of the game is saving money and thinking smart!'

Anatol and Michelle serve their five territories with three mobile fully equipped ChipsAway workshops and a static ChipsAway CarCare Centre. The couple are positive about the future and applaud the continued support they have received from their franchisor. 'ChipsAway are planning a national TV campaign to support the franchise network and they have appointed a National Account Sales Manager, which is excellent news,' Anatol concludes. 'Several large new customer accounts have been secured and we have benefited from leads already. No other SMART (Small to Medium Area Repair Technology) repairer has the national network to make a National Accounts system work, so that is a significant advantage for us.

'We continue to enjoy a great lifestyle, thanks to our ChipsAway franchise. It has given us control over our own destiny and has equipped us to cope whether the market is buoyant or tough. We may not be taking the three skiing trips and summer holiday in the Caribbean as we did last year, but life is good and we still get a tremendous buzz from our business!'