Mobile Car Valeting franchise...an alternative to a stressful life

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Eddie Mulrooney
Sligo
MCV (Mobile Car Valeting)

Why I chose franchising

I chose franchising as it offered me an alternative to the stressful life of management, with the headaches, targets and budgets, and upper managers with no people skills. With franchising I could put all my efforts into something that was for me and which also gave job satisfaction.

What I did before taking up a franchise

I worked as a regional manager dealing with over 5 shops. My job was well paid with company car and yearly bonus. I have also spent time in the catering trade, been a Cash & Carry manager, sales developer, publican for a while as well some other jobs that kept the wolf from the door during the long hard times in the 80’s.

How I raised the finance

All the money was raised through the Bank of Ireland (BOI). I found them to be most helpful, but having cash flow projections and a good credit rating did push along the application process.

The training and support I receive from my franchisor

Initial training was undertaken in the UK. Having had no experience of valeting cars, I found this very tiring. But the motivation to succeed surpassed all that. The support from the franchisor has been excellent, always someone available to answer the phone and the trivial questions that I may have. They have always made me feel like an important person in the network.

The challenges I have faced

Getting established as a reputable company and achieving repeat business was probably the biggest hurdle. Persistence is the key, you have to keep trying, and if you are as good as you say you are, work will find you. You should however do some advertising as brand recognition is very important.

My advice to someone thinking of buying their first franchise

Look carefully at all the options. Check out plenty of franchises and ask plenty of questions. Talking to established franchisees is a useful source of information as they will be honest and open. Pick a franchise opportunity that you feel suits you. One that suits your character may not necessarily be the big money earner. It’s worth noting also that not everyone is cut out to be self-employed. There are pitfalls - VAT returns, franchisee fee, bank loans, and wages, just to mention a few. It is important that you always seek good advice.

My plans for the future

Having purchased the Master Franchise for Southern Ireland, my intention is to have MCV recognised as the Irish leader in car valeting. I want to be recognised as big a player in the Irish franchise industry as much as Spar or McDonalds. 30 to 35 franchises is the objective over the next 5 years, and with 5/6 already established this should be a reachable target.