When Iain Wallis first met Revive! managing director Mark Llewellyn on the rugby pitch in 2006 he could never imagine that just 13 years later he would become top performer in the UK’s leading SMART repair network.
Iain was between jobs when fellow rugby club member Mark offered him the opportunity to train as a SMART repair technician at Revive!’s own training academy in Rugby. He was ‘a natural’ and quickly rose through the ranks at the academy to become training manager.
He joined Revive! Northampton as a technician and then business partner, taking sole ownership of the franchise just last year after buying out the previous owner.
With four technicians, three vans and a specialist wheel van on the road, Iain’s business is now one of the network’s top territories. He is a member of Revive!’s Accelerated Growth Programme, a business development mentoring scheme devised exclusively for Revive!’s most successful owners.
But it hasn’t always been plain sailing. Iain’s biggest challenge was changing his mindset from being a technician to a business owner.
He explained : “I knew when taking over the business that I didn’t want to stand still, I wanted to keep growing and move the business forward.
When I was in partnership with the previous owner he took a lot of the admin roles. I soon realised that I needed to adapt things into a way they would work for me and that I would have to spend more time looking at this.
I’ve taken a step back from being a technician to focus on driving sales and profit and it’s worked so far.
It’s shocked me with how many things I can find to fill my day, I’ve still got a list of to do things. It’s not like I’m sitting around idle it’s been a bit of an eye opener in that respect!”
Support from Revive! head office has helped give Iain the confidence he needed to step up to those challenges. Revive! has its own field-based business development managers who pay regular visits to the franchisees. Running alongside this ongoing support is a suite of business growth workshops which aim to boost franchisees sales, marketing and management skills.
Said Iain: “Having monthly meetings with Steve from the business development team helps me to keep my eye on the ball and make sure I am doing what I said I was going to do. It’s always good to have someone there to give you a little nudge and that’s been really helpful.
Likewise with head office. The services they provide for me help free up my time to look at business growth and driving sales and profit. As for the workshops, I have attended most of them and always come away with something that is useful. After a recent sales workshop I put a couple of action points into practice and low and behold they worked! We’re now getting more work out of certain dealerships that I probably wasn’t maxing before.”
If it hadn’t been for that chance meeting at the rugby club Iain’s life would have been completely different. He has built a business for himself and his family, and taken charge of his own future.
He sums up his franchising experience as: “What I enjoy most about running my own business is the autotomy and the independence. It gives me flexibility in my work life. I am able to drop off and pick up the kids from school if I need to. At the same time it’s there 24/7 for me. I am always thinking about it but I feel quite energised and excited as I can see the potential.
In that sense it’s really satisfying being a business owner.”