Byron Lindsay, 34, became owner of Revive! High Wycombe in 2008. He’d just spent ten years travelling the world in the commercial laundry business and decided it was time to put down some business roots closer to home.
When I left school at the age of 15, I got an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic and spent seven years fixing cars. I then took a year out to go travelling to Australia.
When I got back I landed a job in mechanical engineering installing monorails in laundries. It took me all over the world for the next ten years, to fantastic places like Vancouver, New Zealand and Malaysia.
I’d spend four to five weeks abroad, working seven days a week. It was a great life for a single man, but it’s not good for family life. So when my partner and I decided we wanted to see more of each other, I started to look at alternatives.
I’d been used to supervising teams and had a lot of freedom. I thought it would be hard to go from that to working for someone else who might not have had much experience of life.
I’d read about franchising and had toyed with the idea of going into the mobile tyre fitting or mobile locksmith business. I’d been earning good money and the only way I was going to keep that level of income was to work for myself.
I went to the franchise exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham and that was it. Here was something that offered me the freedom to be my own boss and the support network that comes from being part of a big organization.
I looked at lots of options at the franchise exhibition at the NEC. Revive! just clicked. They seemed to fit everything I was looking for. They weren’t in your face with marketing.
The MD Mark Llewellyn was there and was very impressive. He is the eternal optimist – he’s been there and done that himself and knows what he’s talking about. With someone like that at the top, it makes a big difference to the way you view a company.
They offered good training, solid back-up, a friendly face, and it all seemed to fit.
The training with Revive! was very good – and very real. I know I’d spent seven years in the motor trade, but all I knew was engines - I’d never picked up a spray gun.
We started off in the factory in Rugby, learning the basics for two weeks. Then in the second two weeks we went out on the road for real. It was really comprehensive, with a very patient trainer.
In the fifth week, I came home with an expert from Revive! to help me get things off the ground. It was a Bank Holiday week which didn’t help – everyone was away and we only had four days to play with, but we still made money and picked up some good business.
The recession hasn’t been a problem. The work’s kept coming in and after one year, I’ve just bought my second van and taken on a chap to help me. He’s got experience in a body shop, so he doesn’t need a lot of training.
My plan is to get three vans in five years and see what happens next.
I’d have no hesitation in recommending Revive! to anyone who wants to take on a franchise. I’ve already convinced one person to join the company – I was going to take him on to help me, but he was so impressed in the job interview that he decided to become a franchisor himself.
If you want to go into the Smart Repair business, you’d be hard-pushed to find a better company. It provides good training and great back-up. The Revive! family is good – we meet up once a year. As a franchisee, you’re independent but never alone.
The best bit about being a Revive! owner is when everything goes absolutely perfectly and you over-achieve for a customer. He comes out to look at your work and is totally amazed. I get a real buzz out of that.
There aren’t many low times but the weather can be a bit of a burden. You can’t work in the dark, or the rain.
Not being able to take a holiday is difficult, but that should become easier as the business becomes more established.
If you are serious and want to put in some hard work, go for it. You’ll get out of it what you put it. And it can be fun.
Find out why Byron Lindsey took the plunge to join Revive! and what sparked his desire for a work and lifestyle change.
Ken Allison is an established franchisee who has been running his own Revive! business in Waltham Abbey for over five years.
Adam Smith and his girlfriend, Kim Richardson, set up Revive! Luton in 2008 and have developed the business with 5 vans, employing a team of four repair technicians.
Ashley Kelly, who lives in Yate, is launching his new business this month, Revive! Bristol
Huw James, owner of Revive! Reading didnâ€™t let the rain stop him from achieving his best trading performance to date
Revive! franchisee Adam Smith talks about how after he opened his business in September 2009 he now runs a four van fleet and has recently gained his Cosmetic Repair ATA.
Nathan Holmes, Revive! Cambridge, marked his own personal achievement by smashing the companyâ€™s national record for monthly sales!
AN officer who faces redundancy from the RAF after seven years service has decided to set up a brand new business serving the West Norfolk area repairing minor damage and scuffs on vehicles and alloy wheels.
In a complete change of career direction computer expert Adam McCaig has decided to set up his Revive! business in Slough.
Huw James decided to take a leap of faith and set up his own franchise, after working in procurement and logistics for over 15 years.
Find out what a typical day is like for a Revive! Franchisee - Mark Addison, Revive! Franchisee Doncaster
Russell Hudson, 38, became owner of Revive! West Lincs in 2006. Heâ€™d just spent ten years in the hospitality business, and fancied getting his hands dirty . . . .
Paul Brimelow, 29, became owner of Revive! Crawley in 2008 at the beginning of the credit crunch. Heâ€™d just spent five years as an estate agent.
Richard Williamson, the latest franchisee to join the Revive! Smart Repair Franchise provides a diary of what his first week was like as him as the boss of his very own automotive franchise.
Dan Normanton's journey from Revive! employee to Owner of the Year has seen him build a substantial business despite having no previous experience
The fact that head office does the accounts and administration for me is really helpful. Also Revive! has a national website where I get a lot of my leads from.Dan Normanton
Having worked with the Revive! team for a little time now, it is great to know that there is always someone at the end of the phone to help with technical support or just general advice of how to continue developing my business.
Revive are the first full member of the British Franchise Association in their industry sector.
Revive! are the first company in the Smart Repair sector to implement the use of Water Based paints ahead of legislation that will restrict the use of environmentally damaging solvent based paints.
The Revive! Directors have many years experience in the Smart Repair sector and two of the Directors run their own highly successful Revive! franchises.