Online sales are booming! Franchisees sought in key areas

With low overheads and booming online sales generated for franchisees, etyres is offering a 21st century business concept for the tyre market

As the UK heads into economic downturn, starting your own business is scary. But if you find a business that is benefiting from the economic slowdown you're on to a winner. etyres is the UK's leading online tyre retailer where tyre prices are up to 40 per cent cheaper than at leading tyre depots. Not surprisingly sales are booming as drivers facing crippling fuel costs turn to the internet for savings on essentials such as car tyres.

Orders are taken online or through the etyres national call-centre and executed by a network of franchisees who provide a local mobile tyre fitting service. etyres' website features endorsements from TV's Eamonn Holmes of Sky TV and Vicki Butler-Henderson of Channel five who explain the massive savings. With areas of the country not covered it is looking to expand its franchise. 'Everyone wants to save money on essential purchases like car tyres,' reveals Tony Bowman, Managing Director of etyres. 'Our telephones are constantly ringing with new orders coming in - online tyre sales are booming. Even though we have over 70 franchisees across the country we still have some key areas available and are looking to fill these. Priority locations include Manchester, South East London, Southampton and Liverpool.'

The franchise opportunity is adaptable. Franchisees can take a hands-on role and operate a man-in-a-van business or alternatively they can run a management franchise and oversee the brand development in their territory while a team of employees get to work fitting tyres and batteries for customers across their territory at a time and location that suits the customer. Either way, the opportunity can quickly become a multi-van enterprise and long term, once their business is established, franchisees can acquire a second or third territory and see their businesses continue to grow and their profits soar.

Tony continues: 'Our investment opportunity is available to a wide age group and can be a one man enterprise or a partnership. Many of our family run businesses, such as father and son or husband and wife partnerships, have a track record of success. At the moment we have franchisees in their early 20s to franchisees in their 50s all operating profitable franchises.

'All that we ask is that prospective franchisees are hard working, practical and have good communication and customer service skills. That way we can ensure newly recruited franchisees have the customers' best interests at heart, which will ensure a prosperous future for the etyres brand as a whole.'

Established in 1992, etyres began franchising its business model in 1996 by selling tyres and batteries to companies in the contract hire, leasing and fleet management industries, however in 1997 etyres was able to extend its service to the general public via the internet. Tony explains: 'We keep our costs down as we don't have any of the overheads that traditional depots have, such as rent and rates. Instead franchisees work from vans and provide a mobile service - fitting tyres wherever it is convenient for the customer.'

As part of the franchise package all new franchisees have access to ongoing support and guidance from the experienced management team at head office and also benefit from etyres ongoing investment in technology. Determined to maintain its position as a leader in the mobile tyre fitting industry, etyres invests in search engine optimisation, communications and IT. This ensures that etyres franchisees have the technological edge over competition.

etyres fitters carry out the tyre replacement when and where it suits the customer. As a mobile tyre fitter there are no large overheads, which means etyres franchisees are able to pass on the huge savings to their customers. All the customer needs to do is log on to the etyres website and follow the simple instructions to place an order (they just need to know the size of tyre they require or the make and model of the car) or call the etyres head office call centre.

The etyres website carries a vast selection of tyres, from top of the range brand names - including Bridgestone, Firestone, Pirelli, Continental and Michelin - to good quality mid-range and economy alternatives.

'This is a recession proof business,' says Tony. 'As we head into the economic slowdown, etyres is seeing sales rocket as people who are strapped for cash search for a cheaper alternative to traditional tyre depots. It doesn't have to be a scary time to go into business. History shows there are plenty of businesses that boom in troubled economic times and etyres certainly is one of them.'

Reported by Jess Sturman