Adam Smith talks about the rapid growth of his franchise and his fit with Revive!, the SMART repair specialist
Back in 2009 Adam Smith and partner Kim Richardson had just returned from Australia and were looking for a business opportunity that could change their life.
Adam had studied as a research chemist at the University of Bristol and then worked in the pharmaceutical industry - where he met Kim - for five years. As they both loved to travel and yearned for some sun, the couple spent a year in Australia, where Adam helped fund the trip by heading up a team of door to door utility salesmen.
He says: “I always had a keen interest in anything automotive and after my experience in Australia I knew I was a good salesman. Kim and I both decided that we wanted to put our skills to use to benefit us, rather than working for someone else.”
Adam researched a number of opportunities and settled on SMART repairs. “When I saw Revive! and how they approach the SMART repair industry, I was impressed,” he says. “Revive! have very strong company values, which help to position them firmly as brand leaders. Their integrity and strong customer service ethos fits well with my own values.”
Revive! offers a mobile service to car owners repairing minor scuffs and scrapes to vehicles - often referred to as SMART repairs. Adam started ‘hands on’ in a van after he had completed one month’s training in SMART repairs at Revive!’s head office.
“I knew I needed to be able to do the repairs myself to fully understand the business, but it was never my intention to stay as a man in a van,” he says.
In Adam’s first full year (2010) his business turned over almost £80,000 (plus VAT) and grew to two vans. His business has now grown to a six-van operation, including a dedicated alloy wheel van.
“Being self employed is no easy ride, but I have certainly enjoyed the last three years and achieved what I set out to achieve,” Adam says. “Sometimes new franchisees looking at Revive! call me to ask whether they should take the plunge. I always say yes - but only if they are sure they have the skills to be successful. Buying a franchise doesn’t guarantee success if you are not the right type of person. But a good franchisor will work hard developing their brand and their processes, allowing you time to concentrate on getting work in your local market.”
And Revive! has certainly done plenty to develop the brand - so much, in fact, that in the 2013 Annual bfa* awards Revive! won the Express Newspapers sponsored ‘Brand Builder of the Year’.
On collecting the award, Terry Mullen, Revive! Operations and Recruitment Director, said: “Revive! have perhaps gone under the radar over the past few years, but our profile has been raised in recent times with the sponsorship of BTCC driver and independent champion Andrew Jordan, as well as some innovative marketing, including being part of the Tesco Clubcard reward scheme.”
Revive! has also been at the forefront of developing a national standard and accreditation for SMART repairers. Managing Director Mark Llewellyn was one of the industry experts who participated in an ‘expert working group’ to develop a set of core competencies against which cosmetic repairers could be assessed. The ‘Cosmetic Repair Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA)’ was introduced to the suite of accreditations administered by the IMI Awards Ltd.
Taking full advantage of this initiative, Adam was one of the first franchise owners to be assessed for this accreditation and can now proudly call himself an ‘Expert Paint Technician’.
Summing up, Terry Mullen says: “Adam is a great fit with Revive! He understands that we are looking for quality people who are serious about outstanding customer service while running a significant business and he knows that Revive! are the professional brand within SMART repairs. We believe that our role is twofold. One, to support our franchisees to achieve their potential and two, to recruit more excellent franchise owners like Adam to grow our network further.”
A Revive! franchise costs £23,500 (plus VAT).