Revive! expert paint technician Kiri Chiakli provides an insight into a typical working day
Kiri Chiakli spent seven years as an aircraft technician in the RAF before setting up his own business providing a mobile service repairing minor paintwork damage on cars.
Revive! operates the largest accredited SMART repair network in the UK and offers its mobile service to car dealers, fleet management companies and the general public. Kiri took up the Revive! franchise for Kings Lynn and the surrounding area approximately two years ago and his business has gone from strength to strength.
What Franchise spoke to him to find out what a typical day entails.
07.30: stock check and order retrieval
The first thing I do in the morning is check out the met office app on my phone to see what the weather is going to be like. As my work takes place outdoors, I need to be ready for whatever the British weather can bring. I then go to my van and do a quick stock check, knowing that if I need anything I can place an order online with Revive!’s approved paint supplier, who will deliver the next day.
At the same time, I check my emails to see how many jobs have come in from head office. Revive! has a strong national account programme and I receive a number of jobs each week that need to be booked in, so a check of my emails allows me to schedule calls for later on in the day.
08.30: first job
I get to my first job of the day at a customer’s house and set up for work. The customer has a 12-month-old Audi with a scuffed bumper. He had taken it to his local Audi approved dealer where he bought the car and they recommended me, as I also work regularly for them preparing their used cars for sale. While I check the damage, I also notice he has kerbed his alloy wheel and we agree that I will also repair that.
While I am working, I take a couple of calls from customers - one has come across the Revive! website and the other has been referred by a friend. I work all the time wearing a Bluetooth headset so, with the exception of when I am spraying, I can take calls straight away and avoid any chance of losing a customer.
I find out what type of damage needs repairing and provide quotes over the phone, recording the information in my diary. One customer asks me to book him in later in the week and the other says he wants to shop around and call me back. I’m confident with the reputation we are growing he will call me back. Let’s hope so, anyway.
11.00: payment time
I complete the work on the Audi and the customer signs my invoice to confirm he is happy with the work and pays me. I move on to the next appointment.
11.15: dealer visit
I arrive at a large car dealer for a regular Tuesday afternoon’s work. I am met by the used car salesman who has a list of four jobs he wants me to do - two standard bumper scuffs, a kerbed alloy and a polish. The met office app has warned of rain from 2pm onwards, so knowing I am still going to be working then, I crank up the awning on the side of my van to offer extra protection if the rain starts when I am in the middle of a job.
Again, I take a few calls and provide quotes. The customer from this morning who wanted to shop around also calls me back. Good news - he says he has received a slightly better quote from a local independent mobile repairer and asks if I will negotiate. I agree to come down a little, but explain that I am an expert paint technician accredited by the IMI Award scheme [Institute of Motor Industry] and that a Revive! repair comes with a lifetime ownership guarantee. He likes the guarantee and we book him in for a repair on Friday.
16.30: emergency call
I start to pack up for a reasonably early finish, when my phone rings again. The Audi dealer who regularly recommends me has an emergency job. They have sold a car that’s going out tomorrow and the customer has asked if they can get the parking sensors colour coded to match the bumper. I nip round to the dealer and pick up the sensors - I will repair them that evening in my garage after the kids have gone to bed and will drop them round early the next morning.
17.30: family time
I get home and make sure my paperwork is in order, check my emails and send a few replies. Then it’s family time.
One of the great things about this business is the variety of work that comes in. Every day seems to be different and every job has a slight nuance to it. I also like the fact I can control my destiny - sales started slowly but steadily, but now I have built my own reputation based on technical excellence and outstanding customer service.
This year my best month was in excess of £7,200 and I am proud that I have worked hard and created this myself. Working for yourself is not for everyone, as there are different pressures, but the opportunity to grow a significant business with Revive! is something that is exciting for me, as the business has continued to grow even through the recession.