Scott Ratcliffe-McClelland explains how being a ChipsAway Franchisee gave him an excellent launch into the world of work.
Leaving university at the height of the recession in 2009 was hardly an ideal start for Scott Ratcliffe McClelland. Armed with his BA in vehicle design, Scott’s initial plan had been to approach Landrover for his first position, but with huge layoffs, this idea had to be shelved.
It was Scott’s father who suggested he went into business for himself, which subsequently led to a visit to a franchising show at the NEC.
"I’d not got much idea about what to expect. Obviously I was looking at vehicle-related opportunities, and there were several at this particular show. Although they were all interesting, ChipsAway really stood out for me partly due to how engaging I found Tim the CEO, and partly because the stand was hugely professional. I took away some information, and then spent time doing my own research, looking at the internet and scouring forums – on which I found nothing but good feedback."
Scott then attended an open day at head office, during which attendees saw a repair being carried out. They were shown how the business model worked, and how to build a business from there.
"Looking back, it was all very professional. Every question was answered, and I made the decision after the open day, to join."
Although Scott had excellent hands-on knowledge, he lacked business acumen and marketing skills. ChipsAway provided him with a business mentor, and some initial marketing training, which included social media, advertising, basic accounts management and how to advertise to maximum effect.
And then came his launch weekend at Morrisons in West Bridgford, the geographical area he was to cover.
"The idea of the weekend was to meet people, seek out potential customers and raise awareness of my services. We were really busy – we estimated £15,000 worth of business, which resulted in a 50% conversion rate. It was a great start!"
Of course, any business takes time to build, and Scott had factored this into his future plans – allowing a couple of years to allow regular advertising, and word of mouth to take effect. And today – 5 years after launching his business, he’s delighted with the way things are running.
"I’m very busy, with a regular repeat client base. I earn much better money than I would in a ‘regular’ job, plus I’m in charge of my own time and how I run things."
In fact, Scott currently has bookings in the diary for 6 weeks in advance, such is the demand for his services!
"I don’t want to expand at the moment. I’m as busy as I need to be right now, but maybe in the future I may run several mobile vehicles, plus a static CarCare Centre so customers can have a choice of whether they want to drop in, or be visited. But for now, being a mobile operator is offering me everything I need it to. ChipsAway was definitely an excellent career choice."
ChipsAway franchisee Hussein Hussein began his ChipsAway journey in 8 years ago.
Ian Moyle joined the ChipsAway network five years ago and he couldn't be happier with how things are going!
Chris Spencer began his journey with ChipsAway in the summer of 2015 and just six months into his business he is hitting quarterly targets more in line with a second year of trading.
High flying ChipsAway franchisee Paul Fabian has built an impressive management franchise business.
Michelle Clark was looking for a practical, hands-on business backed by expertise and support and started with ChipsAway in 2004.
Geography graduate Stuart Yorston little suspected that straight out of university he would be running his own highly successful ChipsAway business.
Steve and Anne Martin decided to change direction completely in 2009 and invested in a ChipsAway franchise.
Paul Clift joined ChipsAway three years ago and within twelve months his son Robert joined him.
Ryan Lythe is still amazed by the runaway success of his ChipsAway business.
I’m absolutely thrilled with the way my business is going. I wanted something flexible, that was not massively expensive and which had the potential for growth. ChipsAway fit the bill and has proved to be everything I’d hoped for. ‘It does what it says on the tin’, and if you follow the business model you can’t go wrong!Andy Cornell, franchisee since 2011
I could see the flexibility of ChipsAway’s business model would work for me. Working for myself as a franchisee is a world away from my life before.Neil Dobson, franchisee since 2013
Fantastic earnings potential - Many franchisees achieving in excess of £80,000 pa, some turning over £300,000 pa
Brand Leader - ChipsAway is the UK's leading minor automotive paintwork repair brand