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Young, free and successful with Autosheen

Robin Latchham is one of the increasing numbers of young people determined not to fall victim to the challenging employment market, turning instead to self-employment and in particular, franchising

Summary of Operation

Autosheen is a successful mobile specialist vehicle and marine valeting franchise. Autosheen franchise owners operate from a smartly-liveried, fully-equipped Mercedes and provide the ultimate in valeting and surface rectification (auto/marine) services to a huge, under-serviced marketplace. Bespoke quality services are provided using an exclusive range of world-class products especially developed for Autosheen.

Ambitious and hard-working, Robin Latchham, 20, had already worked his way up to Department Manager at the garden centre where he worked previously but, despite enjoying his job, he was unhappy with the level of pay and couldn’t see a clear route up the career ladder.

He decided that the only way to make real money was to work for himself and, as he’d always been passionate about cars, when he started to look round for potential business opportunities, the UK’s longest established and most successful mobile valeting specialist Autosheen seemed the perfect choice.

According to Paul Fennell, Autosheen’s Managing Director, franchising is a great option for young people like Robin, who have passion and enthusiasm, but not a great deal of business experience. What’s more, he adds, the Autosheen franchise offers an affordable package that represents great value for money.

“Autosheen has a 25 year track record,” Paul points out. “There is huge experience here and our parent company Farécla is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of surface finishing products, which means our franchise owners have exclusive access to top quality products. Since we extended our franchise package and launched the new Marine Valeting and Leisure Valeting services, we have seen a strong surge in recruitment – not just among young people like Robin, but across the board.”

Robin had looked at a couple of other automotive-based franchise opportunities in addition to Autosheen, but found himself most impressed by the Autosheen franchise package.

“The open day I attended was very friendly, also when I spoke to established Autosheen franchise owners, I kept getting the same positive story of great support from the franchisor and plenty of opportunity to make money,” he explains.

Since the launch of his business in June, Robin has found himself rushed off his feet. He says he has been constantly busy and is certainly earning more money than before.

“My work diary has been fully booked almost from the word ‘go’,” he confirms. “Autosheen set up a series of meetings with potential customers on my territory, and General Manager Adrian Stiehl came with me over the first few days to support me in making my first few sales. After that, business had continued to roll in as a result of regular leafleting, local advertising and an effective Google adwords campaign, which Autosheen helped me set up.”

Robin adds: “Most gratifying of all, repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations are on the increase, so I already have several regular contracts with local businesses as well as a large number of private clients, so I’m really happy with the way my business is growing.”

Based in Exeter, Robin is keen to extend his services from the core automotive marketplace and tap into the highly lucrative marine and leisure sector but says, as yet, he simply hasn’t had time.

“I’ve been really surprised how quickly my business has taken off,” he says. “Autosheen is proving to be everything I’d hoped for and more. My future plans include investing in a second territory and another vehicle, which means taking on an employee to help me. Obviously it’s early days for me, but I’m really excited about the Tribos national account news – it’s clear that there’s so much potential to build a successful multi-vehicle management franchise over the coming years. I’m delighted that I decided to go into business for myself – and even more delighted that I chose Autosheen!”

Written by Megan Dunmore