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TOUCH UP GUYS
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That’s the experience of a new Touch Up Guys franchisee one year on
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Touch Up Guys franchisees come from all backgrounds
Tom Williamson, Touch Up Guys was featured in Franchise New Zealand last year
Last year, Tom Williamson was featured in Franchise New Zealand magazine as a brand new franchisee with Touch Up Guys. 12 months on, we asked him how it had gone. His smile is an answer in itself.
‘It’s been a great year,’ says Tom. ‘It’s been everything I hoped and everything I expected. I’m taking home far more money than I ever did as a sales and service rep and I’ve no regrets at all!’
Just 30, Tom spent nearly ten years as a panelbeater before doing an IT course and joining a software company for a change. ‘But it wasn’t really me,’ he admits, ‘so after a year I decided I’d like to try something different. I’d heard about Touch Up Guys and it attracted me on many levels. I could be my own boss, build my own business and use some of my old skills. I also felt it would push me and help me learn a lot more as a result. After a year of operation, I’m very glad I chose a franchised business over starting on my own. Knowing what I do now, I can see starting on my own would have been too daunting.’
Founded 25 years ago and in New Zealand since 1993, Touch Up Guys is a mobile service that repairs stone chips, scratches, bumper scuffs and other damage to vehicles of all types. Franchisees also offer buffing and polishing, while some repair kerb-scuffed alloy wheels, too. The franchise offers the maximum convenience to customers by fixing a car while it is at their home or workplace. The service is particularly popular with car dealerships, with cars being repaired on the yard and therefore always available to show to customers.
Like all franchisees, Tom spent three weeks training on the Gold Coast, an experience he describes as ‘invaluable. It’s a very thorough training and despite my previous knowledge I’m really glad I did. I was frightened I’d forget things, but the whole process is fantastic and it’s all in the manual for later. Once I got back, Martin Smith, the local master franchisee for Touch Up Guys in New Zealand, spent two weeks with me in my West Auckland territory until I was comfortable.’
From the very beginning, Tom had no shortage of work. ‘The excellent Touch Up Guys website generates leads from day one, although you still need to put in the legwork on your own patch. Up to 60 percent of my work is in car yards with the rest coming from everywhere! The reputation of the franchise opens many doors in the trade, and there have been a lot of word-of-mouth referrals along the lines of “You did my uncle’s car last month...” I’ve also set up a Facebook page which is generating leads quite effectively, and all these leads turn into profitable work.’
In addition to enjoying running his own business, Tom has found his new Touch Up Guys franchise has worked to benefit family life, too. ‘My wife Melissa has a part-time teaching job and I’ve found it quite easy to schedule work round school activities for our two children. Because I’m my own boss these days, I can be flexible and block out time if the children need it, so I’ve been able to spend far more time at home with them, too – that’s a real bonus of the business!’
Although Tom has panelbeating experience, it’s certainly not required, says Martin. ‘Our franchisees come from all backgrounds and there are both male and female Touch Up Guys. All you need is to have a good eye for colour and be a bit of a perfectionist. Liking cars helps, of course.
‘Franchisees’ mobile workshops carry everything they need to do a near-perfect job, and all are shortly to be equipped with a spectrophotometer that photographs and analyses the colour of any vehicle, then uses software which searches the whole paint database to match the colour precisely. It’s revolutionary technology which will greatly decrease the time taken matching colours and mean a much quicker turnaround for jobs – with a corresponding increase in profitability.’
A complete package, including exclusive territory, marketing support, equipment, training and van costs between $88,000 and $120,000 +gst depending on van leasing options. ‘As Tom has found out this year, there is growing demand for our services and we have opportunities available for immediate start all over the country – and especially in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Napier and New Plymouth. If you think you fit the bill, I want to hear from you.’
Tom Williamson is glad he made the call. ‘A year ago, we’d let out the house to fund our new business and had gone to live in the country. It was a big decision, but we’ve never regretted it. Now we have our own successful business, more family time and a better lifestyle. Touch Up Guys was the right choice.’
This advertorial is taken from Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 25 Issue 4
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.