Recession sends sales rocketing

Freed from the office environment, etyres franchise owner Matt McElhinney is relishing having total control over his lifestyle and after nine months is planning the expansion of his business

From a standing start in a brand new territory, etyres franchise owner Matt McElhinney is on course to achieve his first year target turnover. Now, only nine months on from the launch of his business, Matt is preparing to expand his operation with a second van to capitalise on the soaring demand he's experiencing.

With his Ipswich-based business off to such a successful start, Matt is thrilled that he made the leap from his previous career as an insurance broker. "I wanted to own my own business so that I could be in control of my own destiny and to do something for myself," he explains. " I began looking into franchising because I wanted to invest in a business with a tried and tested business model. etyres has a lot of experience in the tyre industry and backs up to the franchise owners with sales generated through its industry-leading website."

By offering free mobile tyre fitting on all leading brands of car tyres, van tyres, 4x4 tyres and run-flat tyres, etyres does away with the need for maintaining tyre depots and passes the savings on to customers with prices up 40 per cent below those of the leading tyre depots. This attracts huge interest to its online tyre sales portal and in turn generates sales for franchise owners, who operate the delivery and fitting side of the business through the company's highly visible branded vans.

As the franchise owner's business builds, the option is there for them to add more vans to increase their delivery and fitting capacity and take a more managerial role in the business, as Matt is already considering during his first year of trading.

In preparation for the launch of his franchise in March, Matt received etyres' head office training programme, which covers the operation of the business, followed by a week spent on the job with a neighbouring franchise owner to learn the practical aspects of the business. In addition, he reveals, "I've had support from the head office team to set up my accounts and an on-site visit to assist in implementing my local marketing. The support I have received has been very good.

"I like being my own boss in control of my own day...including not having to ask anyone for time off! I really enjoy being out and about and it's far from boring - every day is different."

Reported by Derin Ibrahim

Initial Investment Requirement

The average requirement for initial investment is £35,000, which includes a deposit on the van and all fitting and balancing equipment, etc., plus training, manuals and various services such as discount group insurance.

How it works

Customers view a price list of tyres or batteries on the etyres website, with prices up to 40% below those of leading tyre depots. Orders and payment can be made online or through etyres' call centre.

The order is then entered into the server at head office, which allocates and transmits the details to the franchise owner.

The franchise owner orders the tyres from the supplier and contacts the customer to arrange the fitting.

The franchise owner delivers and fits the tyres at the customer's choice of location.

The customer receives a receipted invoice by email and a desktop link for easy access to etyres' after sales programme of free puncture repairs and simplified re-ordering.