"I don't like seeing adverts that make it look easy"

Revive! franchise owner, Russell Hudson, has gone from a hands-on one-van operative to the manager of a fleet of vans, serving a loyal and growing customer base throughout West Lincolnshire, in just seven years. He talks to The Franchise Magazine about how being his own boss fits perfectly with his family life.

Back in 2006, Russell Hudson had spent 13 years in the hospitality sector managing a large number of corporate clients. He worked long days away from home for someone else. He knew this needed to change when he became a father. Russell says: “I had been working an excessive number of hours for a long time and as my wife was also in a high-powered job as a corporate accountant, we both knew what hard work was. When we started our family, we both wanted a lifestyle change which allowed us to spend time with our two young sons and I fancied the challenge of being my own boss and making sure my hard work benefited my family not my employer.”

Having made the choice to become self-employed, Russell immediately looked at franchise opportunities, as he understood that the support of a good franchisor would help him achieve success more quickly: “I saw an article about Revive! in a magazine and the brand really caught my eye,” adds Russell. Revive! offers a mobile service to car owners, repairing minor scuffs and scrapes to vehicles often referred to as a SMART repair. He continues: “I’ve always had an interest in cars and engines, so it made sense to choose something in the automotive industry. Revive! just fitted the bill. I could see Revive! had a clear plan about where it wanted to go and what type of franchise owner it was looking for.”

Russell started ‘hands-on’ in a van after he had completed one month’s training in SMART repairs at Revive!’s head office. “I knew I needed to be able to do the repairs myself to fully understand the business, but it was never my intention to stay as a man in a van,” he explains. In Russell’s first full year (2007) his business turned over almost £80,000 plus VAT and grew to two vans. He has now grown to a six-van operation and this year is expecting to turn over £300,000 plus VAT.

“I can’t say it’s been an easy ride, but I have certainly enjoyed it and achieved what I set out to. I really don’t like seeing adverts selling franchises that make it look easy,” says Russell. “Your franchisor doesn’t have a magic wand that can make you successful – only you can do that – but a good franchisor will work hard developing their brand and their processes,” – something which Revive! is renowned for, after winning the bfa ‘Brand Builder of the Year 2013’ award.

Revive! has also been at the forefront of developing a national standard and accreditation for SMART repairers. Taking full advantage of this initiative, Russell was one of the first franchise owners to be assessed for this accreditation and can now proudly call himself an ‘Expert Paint Technician.’