ChipsAway Franchisee Case Study

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,” says Scott. “Obviously I was looking at vehicle-related franchise 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 franchise information including a franchise prospectus, and then spent time doing my own franchise research, looking at the internet and scouring franchise directory sites – on which I found nothing but good feedback.”

Scott then attended a franchise open day at the ChipsAway Automotive Care head office, during which attendees saw a repair being carried out. They were shown how the franchise business model worked, and how to build an automotive care franchise 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,” says Scott.

Although Scott had excellent hands-on knowledge, he lacked business acumen and marketing skills. ChipsAway provided him with a franchise business mentor, and some initial franchise 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 franchise territory area he was to cover.

“The idea of the weekend was to meet people, seek out potential customers and raise awareness of my services,” says Scott. “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,” says Scott. “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,” he says. “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 Franchise Centres 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 franchise career choice.”

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