Q and A
with Directors Mark Llewellyn and Terry Mullen of cosmetic car repair franchise Revive!
The Franchise Magazine: Revive! franchise owners have continued to report the growth of their businesses during the economic downturn. How has Revive! avoided the recession?
Mark Llewellyn: There is no doubt that the car trade was affected when the recession hit in October 2008. For those first five or six months things were tough, but the car industry is a large beast and a number of initiatives to work in partnership with dealers have been particularly successful.
Terry Mullen: We have also seen a significant increase in fleet work. One of the unique selling points of the business model is the cost effectiveness of the work we do. As a mobile business we do not have the costs associated with a body shop but we work to the same standards and quality. As a consequence we have won a large number of national contracts because with the economic downturn companies have been looking for better solutions for their fleets.
TFM: How has the Revive! accreditation programme helped you to meet your technical standards?
TM: This is a really exciting part of our business. To meet the quality standards that we want to achieve we must train people effectively and then ensure that ongoing work is carried out to the same standards. We believe that technically our current network is much stronger than most of the SMART repairers out there. In our recognised accreditation programme we are looking to move even further ahead and the plans we have will differentiate the professionalism of the Revive! network, in some cases quite notably.
ML: The recognised quality of a Revive! Smart repair is the key factor that separates us from most Smart repairers. Not only do we use the highest quality products but we also train our technicians until they are able to achieve the technical standards we require from their first day. It's quite flattering that some other companies are talking about accreditation of some kind or another. Our remit is to provide a recognised professional qualification and the diligence of the programme means that we don't use unnecessary tools or equipment. Our results speak for themselves.
TFM: Over the past few years Revive! has won a number of awards. Do you believe there are more to come in 2010?
TM: It is nice to be acknowledged for doing well but the key to our success is having our team provide outstanding customer service and outstanding technical work. More important than awards is seeing the network grow and to have customers complement our work and our service. Our accounts do let us know these things - quite unusual in our sector, but this is why our reputation is growing.
ML: Our focus will continue to be on building a professional network of repairers. Our reputation is the most important thing and in a sector that is often full of hype we need to ensure that our network understands the true value of a franchisor who wants to build a professional network rather than a franchisor whose business is recruiting franchise owners.
TFM: How is your reputation for quality franchise support contributing to the growth of your network?
TM: When we see that customers, franchise owners and now even employees see the true value of what Revive! adds to our franchise owner partnership, it is highly rewarding. Our latest recruit Denzil Evans spent seven years working in the business and in his last role as an employee in business development he helped a number of franchise owners progress their franchise - even in the recession. Having seen what they have been able to achieve, Denzil decided it was a good time to take on his own franchise -and while we will miss Denzil in the office we are hugely excited about his opportunity.
ML: I think it is a really good example of the partnership we develop with our franchise owners and a marvellous pat on the back for the business ethos.