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Within 11 years, Andy Darby has grown his business from being a man and a van into a highly successful multi-vehicle operation spanning three territories, with a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (fixed-base workshop) and a team of trained technicians providing high quality automotive paintwork repairs to an ever growing customer base.
When he left the Royal Engineers in 2000, Andy was looking for a practical, hands-on business with high earnings potential and a long-term opportunity to grow.
Thanks to ChipsAway, Andy has achieved his ambitions – he has a great lifestyle, drives a sports car and estimates his ‘take home’ earnings are around three times more than his salary would have been had he stayed in the Army.
“Opening a ChipsAway CarCare Centre represented a substantial investment for me,” he explains. “However, I knew I could count on absolute support from ChipsAway and I was confident that there was plenty of opportunity to secure new customers and grow. All this – and more – has been confirmed during my time as a franchise owner.”
Andy says that a year on from launching his ChipsAway CarCare Centre, he has been delighted with the way his business has developed.
“Now I can process many more vehicles during the day and undertake larger repairs, so turnover has jumped substantially,” he beams. “Of course, I have more overheads too, but the underlying trend is certainly onwards and upwards!”
For Andy, it was important to maintain the mobile ChipsAway service too – as some customers really value the convenience of having repairs done at their home or place of work. Accordingly, two of Andy’s employees work from ChipsAway vehicles and, between them, Andy and his team currently repair around 75 cars a week.
His plan over time is to build a larger team of technicians to enable him to gradually spend less time physically working on repairs and more on marketing and business development.
The business has gone from strength to strength and demand is accelerating thanks to increased investment in marketing by the franchisor, including a successful national TV advertising campaign.
Repair leads to the network have increased by over 60 per cent over the past two years and, with further extensive marketing activity scheduled, this looks set to continue. It is this support that has helped franchise owners like Andy grow their businesses and, since joining ChipsAway, Andy says he has never looked back!
“I really enjoyed being a soldier, but I have no regrets whatsoever about investing in my own business,” he states. “I certainly chose the best franchise and have been very happy with my decision to expand and open a ChipsAway CarCare Centre. Being my own boss is great, the rewards are there if you’re prepared to work hard and the satisfaction of seeing your business become increasingly successful is absolutely fantastic!”
Andy concludes: “I’m very happy with the way my business has grown. I always planned to build it steadily and feel proud that I’ve managed to enjoy an excellent lifestyle, while still being able to afford to re-invest fairly substantially in developing a successful management franchise.”
ChipsAway is one of the most successful automotive franchises in the UK with over 300 specialists operating nationwide and a network of Master Franchisors overseas. Franchise owners operate from liveried vehicles customised into fully equipped mobile workshops and CarCare Centres providing make high quality ‘on-the-spot’ repairs to minor car bodywork damage, quickly and cost-effectively.
Written by Melissa Davies-Lawrence