An interview with Revive!

The Franchise Magazine spoke to Mark Llewelyn, Managing Director of Revive!, and Bath franchise owner Matt Woodall, winner of Franchise of the Month (November), to discover the key to a successful vehicle-based franchise, from both sides of the coin.

Mark, please describe your franchise packages

Revive! offers franchise owners the opportunity to become part of one of the most dynamic national repair network in the UK. Starting in a van to understand the business, we expect franchise owners to grow and develop the business employing technicians – with the biggest limiting factor being their ability to manage multiple employees.

What do you think appeals about owning a mobile-based franchise?

Mark: Mobile-based franchises can be an appealing way to start up a business because of the low cost start up compared to a fixed site. Traditionally the costs of rents or leases and the costs that go with a fixed site, such as electricity gas, water and rates, are not apparent and therefore a lower cash investment is required. Secondly, a mobile business can go and find work. Instead of needing the traditional marketing and advertising routes, a van-based business in certain sectors can simply cold call and turn up on the site of their potential customers and leave some hours later having generated considerable income!

Matt: I wanted to work for myself, be my own boss. I can’t sit still and I like to be busy. Having my own Van based franchise I get a variety of work meeting different people going to different places. It makes it more interesting and enjoyable.

How important is the branding on the vehicle to generating sales?

Matt: The branding is very important; it’s essential. I’ve had people follow me to book in jobs. I have an OCD of keeping my van clean, smart and presentable! Customers always comment on how good my van looks.

Mark: The branding on the vehicles is important in a number of ways. It needs to fit the values of the brand and be eye catching to attract attention. Regular work does come in through the recognition of the brand and the vans and as the brand grows in credibility and awareness the vans will bring in more work.

The brand has a great physical look; it is smart and simple. Some of our competitors look a bit amateur.

Mark, is there any particular work background that most of your franchise owners come from?

There is no single background that stands out for our franchise owners – their backgrounds are wide and varied. Successful franchise owners have a drive and determination that allows them to overcome the inevitable obstacles that self-employment presents.

Matt, what sort of hours do you work and are you able to decide for yourself how much you work? Does it change seasonally?

Generally I start at 8:30am and finish around 6pm, but in winter, because of the daylight hours, I try and start a little bit earlier.

What sort of training and ongoing support does Revive! offer?

Mark: Revive! is a training organisation and so our ongoing training and support are key aspects for the business. This will start in their training and launch but continue during their first year with business administration and sales and management training. At Revive! we feel that training is so important that we were heavily involved in the creation of the cosmetic repair ATA, which is now the standard for all professional repairers.

Matt: In the first couple of years, I needed training and support as I didn’t have any experience. The franchisor was always there to help and support me. Still now, after five and a half years, if I need them they are always there to support me. I have just completed my ATA Accreditation.

Would it be accurate to say that the kind of work you do is recession-proof, with consistent demand for the service throughout the year?

Mark: The amount of work available to our sector continues to grow as more people are aware of the opportunity and the work we can do. The company has grown throughout the latest recession at a significant rate. The winter months of November and December are usually a little quieter than the summer months with daylight hours being shorter – but it’s a good time for franchisees to take holiday and recharge their batteries ready for the New Year.

Matt: Yes, I started in 2009 just after the recession hit. My business has grown 50 per cent every year. I believe people are holding on to their cars now and spending the money to make them look good rather than buying brand new ones. Demand for my service does die down a bit in winter, but I take this opportunity to have a little break.

Matt, what are your plans for the future of your franchise business?

My future plans are to continue growing my business. I currently have two vans and I would like to expand this with two more.

Finally Mark, what are your plans for development of the brand and the franchise opportunity in 2015?

We have further big plans for 2015 – but it wouldn’t be right to reveal all these now. Watch this space for some more innovation and big ideas from Revive! in 2015!