A business built on hard work

When utility reader Nathan Holmes decided that he needed a bigger challenge in his career, he chose to invest in a franchise that would enable him to earn an increased income and work with his passion for cars – Revive! bodywork repair franchise ticked all the right boxes

Nathan had been reading domestic gas and electricity meters in Cambridge for almost four years when he decided he needed to do something different. He recalls: “I liked the idea of being out and about working on cars. The reasonable cost in comparison to their (Revive!’s) Competition and generally the feel of what was going on at head office really appealed to me.” However, running his own business has presented Nathan with both difficult obstacles and significant rewards: “It is very hard at times but I knew that starting my own business wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.

“In the early days, I received all the support I needed – technical, sales and admin. As you do it for longer, you rely on head office for this support less and less. Now that we have approached six vans, one static workshop and seven members of staff, we look for a different kind of support with national account work, health and safety and employment advice.”

The Revive! business model suited both Nathan’s ambition and his desire to work in the automotive industry, which, subsequently, is one of the driving forces behind his success. He says: “Our initial business plan was to operate five vans doing around £350,000 per year gross turnover, now with seven members of staff we are heading towards £500,000 gross.” In August 2012, Nathan enjoyed a terrific month when he smashed the company record for monthly sales, by carrying out £41,400 worth of automotive bodywork repairs in just 30 days.

Nathan adds: “Its certainly not a business that you can set up and walk away from or commit half heartedly to, so its not particularly given me much free time. However, financially, it can be very rewarding if run in the correct way.”

Currently for Nathan, more of his working week is spent at his desk rather than on the road: “My days of being out in my van all the time are well and truly over. A business of this size takes a huge amount of time to manage, so a lot of my time is now spent in this office at our Cambridge site, where we have full booth facilities and two full time technicians.

“I still like to keep my hand in so I put in at least 20 hours per week conducting repairs either in our workshop or out in one of the vans assisting the team. My time is spent managing the diary, quoting and booking in repairs, conducting site visits at our many franchised dealership sites and doing general staff management.”

Nathan has built up a successful business in Cambridge through hard work and determination. He concludes: “You need to be fully committed, prepared to work long hours and your fingers to the bone. You need to be someone who will just not give up.”