After 11 years in the army, Andy was concerned about the transition from military to owning his own business. Although it seemed daunting, by following the tried-and-tested ChipsAway business model and taking advantage of the available training and support, Andy had a smooth transition. He was able to expand his business quickly and has now built up a multi-van operation and team of employees to serve his three territories.
“Whilst I had been very self-assured in the army, I knew that running a business was going to be a completely different challenge” Andy said. “I felt franchising was the best way for me to tap into the experience and knowledge I needed. Right from the start you're part of something much bigger and can enjoy the benefits that brings. You also benefit from the years of experience and expertise that a strong brand has. Overall, it's a huge ‘leg up’ for business starters.
“I have always been passionate about cars and motorbikes, so ChipsAway seemed like a business that I would enjoy running, even if things got tough. ChipsAway offered everything that I wanted - a great product, excellent training and support along with the potential to grow and expand. It was also important to me to get out and start earning from the moment I finished training and with Chipsaway I was able to do that.”
As part of their training, new franchisees spend an initial 4 weeks learning the repair process, they are also mentored on a one-to-one basis by experienced franchisees. The initial course is then followed up 3 months later by a further week of more in-depth dent repair techniques. Furthermore, there is also a sales and marketing module which provides a good grounding on selling and running your business.
“The training I received was very much hands on from day one.” Explains Andy. “It enabled me to become proficient in a short period of time - the constant feedback and support from the instructors really helped. I really enjoyed my time training and I left feeling a lot more confident, particularly when it came to the sales and marketing side of running the business.”
Following training and launch, ongoing access to business support, technical assistance as well as strong central marketing support is available whenever needed.
So, 15 years down the line, Andy Darby’s business is flourishing and his life has never been better: “I’m more financially secure than I’ve ever been and I’m able to do more of the things I enjoy. The biggest challenge has been getting the right staff and keeping up with demand, as the business has grown both in terms of volume and the services offered.”
I really enjoyed being a soldier, but I have no regrets whatsoever about investing in my own business. 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. Everything has worked out and if it didn’t, it taught me a valuable lesson!
The rewards are there if you're prepared to work hard and the satisfaction of seeing your business become increasingly successful is absolutely fantastic!"