The former graphic artist was looking for a practical, hands-on business backed by a franchise.
39 year old Michelle Clark first became a ChipsAway franchisee in 2004. The former graphic artist was looking for a practical, hands-on business backed by a franchise that would provide the expertise and support she needed to be successful.
Her partner Anatol Poyer-Sleeman was so impressed by Michelle’s positive experience with the UK’s leading automotive paintwork repair specialist that a short time later he left his career in the police force to join her. Together, they have spent the last eight years building one of the top performing franchises in the ChipsAway network.
Today they operate a substantial management franchise, encompassing five territories, two fully equipped mobile workshops, a ChipsAway CarCare Centre (fixed base workshop) and a team of six employees.
While Anatol manages the CarCare Centre, Michelle continues to be mobile-based in a ChipsAway vehicle, taking the service out to customers. She enjoys the variety and says that being a woman in a predominantly male marketplace has, if anything, been a huge advantage.
"Oddly enough, being a woman really opens doors – female customers often feel more comfortable dealing with another woman and as for the men, there’s no ego contest going on – sometimes there’s a novelty factor, but once people realise that I really know what I’m doing, then it’s just accepted that I’m like any other professional. It’s a question of building relationships and trust – sometimes women are particularly good at that."
Michelle concludes, "It’s a great market to be in, with terrific potential to build a successful, sustainable business. ChipsAway has provided a great lifestyle and given us more control over our lives. We work hard, but we are also reaping the rewards - and we still get a tremendous buzz from what we do."
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