Optic-Kleer is one of the largest independent windscreen repair-only companies in the UK. It offers high-quality repairs to private and corporate customers, and has a well-deserved reputation for excellence of customer service. The repairs are normally at no cost to the customer (subject to insurance cover). Moreover, our quality service has been recognised by many insurance companies and they often refer customers to us.
With franchisees all over the UK, Optic-Kleer is truly at the head of an incredible industry, where the work constantly regenerates itself.
Optic-Kleer is an established franchise and is celebrating its 25th year. Optic-Kleer operates throughout the UK and has just under 40 franchisees, all of which are independently owned. To continue the growth of the business and to complete its national coverage, Optic-Kleer is planning to bring on board a further 20 franchisees over the next 12 months. Territories are available all across the UK; in particular Optic-Kleer is looking to expand its presence in the north-west.
Prior to the launch of your own franchise, you will participate in our initial training programme which takes place at the head office in Boston, Lincolnshire. This is where you will learn how to repair a chip/crack in a windscreen. In addition to the initial training you will have mentoring with one of our experienced technicians who will help you turn the workshop training into reality with real earnings and actual hands-on repairs on real customers’ cars. Not only are you given hands-on training on how to repair windscreens, we help set up the business for you including your company and VAT registration. We will provide half board accommodation, so you can arrive with no expenses and leave with a fully functional business. Optic-Kleer has an established market which means you will earn from day one.
Optic-Kleer franchisees work mainly from supermarket and various DIY hardware store carparks. The bookings for this are made through head office with the respective supermarket. Franchisees are able to book several weeks in advance so their work plan can be managed effectively. An online diary is shown on the Optic-Kleer website for all franchisees. Franchisees also now have a choice of being “on call” in their area. Normally a franchisee will book a particular supermarket for a week at a time. Franchisees also receive direct enquiries from our website or telephone. Customers can now receive reminders to go and have their windscreen chip repaired by a certain franchisee on a particular day. These can be arranged with the customer directly.
I have now been an Optic-Kleer franchisee since early 2015.
How did you first here about Optic-Kleer?
“I first heard about Optic-Kleer when I bumped into an ex-manager of mine who I used to work with years ago. He was actually working in a carpark, at a store just down the road from where I was working. Someone told me he was down there, so I went down there and had a little chat, hung around with him for a few hours and found out about the Optic-Kleer brand. It wasn’t until things progressed where I was working, I thought to myself it’s time for a change. I then went back and had another chat with my ex-manager. Things escalated quite quickly.”
How did Optic-Kleer get you up and running?
“Basically I made initial contact through the website. David Overton then got in contact with me. We had a few chats, and I chatted to my ex-manager some more. I came and did a visit and spent a few hours with David, going through how the brand works, basically how we get up and running. Going self-employed was a big step and he explained how being self-employed with Optic-Kleer works and the freedom you get with it.”
Did you come and visit?
“We came up for our first visit with David on the Sunday. We spent three or four hours with him, he showed us what he did, what the operators do, how it all works. He told us about the potential money you could earn from doing it and the freedom you get with it.”
How was your training?
“The training was very enjoyable. I came up and spent four days here. We went over the aspects of the paperwork, the actual training, where we broke lots of screens and repaired them. The whole team made me feel very welcome and it was very easy.”
How did you find setting up your business for the first time?
“Setting up my own business was actually quite straightforward. I found it fairly easy and I had the backing of Optic-Kleer. The accountants that Optic-Kleer recommended to me came down and did a visit. We went through everything. The accountant talked me through my whole financial situation and how it was going to work. He went through a step-by-step process of how to set up, what to expect and what are the stages of setting up the VAT side of it. It was all quite straightforward and very easy.”
Did you earn from day one?
“My first day out, I was actually quite surprised. I actually phoned David on my way home and asked him, ‘what have you done to me?’ I remember those words clearly. It was supposed to be a relaxed, easy job and I had an absolute ballistic day.
"Non-stop enquiries, did repairs galore and came away and couldn’t believe the amount of income I turned over on my first day. It really was a case of jumping in at the deep end, but I just enjoyed the day, out there. It was nice to be my own free man.”
I have been an Optic-Kleer franchisee since 2015.
How did you first hear about Optic-Kleer?
“I first heard of Optic-Kleer literally by seeing an operator in a supermarket car park. I approached him, as a customer. It was someone I had already employed in a previous job. I got chatting to him then chatted to David Overton, reference becoming a franchisee. David told me about everything. I arranged a meeting, where I came to head office and we had a very relaxed chat about how the operation ran and we decided to go from there.”
So how do you feel now that you run your own business?
“As you said, it is my own business and although I’m working for Optic-Kleer, as a franchisee, I am basically in charge of my own destiny. If I go to work I earn money if I don’t, I don’t. I have generally found that the harder I work at it, the easier it becomes. Opening my first pay packet after working my first month with Optic-Kleer, I was really surprised. I got out of it what I put in to it.”
Do you remember your first customer?
“My first customer came and I was very nervous. The training kicked in and I had no problems and got the job done. The repair was really good and the customer was really happy with the service.”
Have you had experience in the glass industry before?
“Yes, I have worked for two of the major glass companies for approximately 20 years. I know the industry inside out and what I saw with Optic-Kleer, I thought that it was definitely for me.”
Did you need any experience?
“The actual job itself is really easy. When you come to David he will show you all the tools of the trade and give you very in depth training, so you don’t have to have any previous experience to be able to do it.”
Was it important to you that Optic-Kleer that was a member of the bfa?
“Very much so. Obviously you want to be accredited to something and we want to be separated from any other competitors. Being part of the British Franchise Association was key to me.”
Do you find every day is different?
“Yes, every day you meet different customers which is the great thing about the job. You meet different people, different ways of life and it makes it a very enjoyable job. I tend to spend a week at a certain site, so you do tend to meet the same people who come and say hello.”
Has running your business given you great rewards?
“The financial rewards have made me very stable and I am more confident in what I do, when meeting the public.”
I have been an Optic-Kleer franchisee since 2011.
How did you hear about Optic-Kleer?
“Through my brother-in-law actually, he had his windscreen repaired, by a technician down in Dorset. He told me about it and thought it was a great opportunity and we should look into it, so we did.”
What were your next steps?
“The next steps we took were to have a meeting with the director, David Overton. We had a couple of meetings with him and moved things forward quite quickly.”
How did you find the transition from leaving your old job?
“I was in a position where I wasn’t very happy what I was doing, the transition to Optic-Kleer was great for me because it was the opportunity I needed at the right time and it just fell perfect for me.”
What was training like?
“The training was really well setup, we were given accommodation the night before and arrived nice and fresh on the Monday morning. The initial day of training was quite relaxed, it was enjoyable, it was exciting because it was something new. I was really impressed and enjoying it. We learnt an awful lot. We learnt about the kit and the industry. David was very helpful and knowledgeable because he had been there and done it himself. So it was a very enjoyable experience.”
Did talking to David help?
“David Overton was great, because he started as a franchisee himself, worked his way up to operations manager, and then has obviously become director and now owns the company. His knowledge was invaluable in letting us know how things work. Becoming a franchisee was a real buzz for me, because I always wanted to own my own business. Becoming a franchisee would give me the opportunity to run my own business, and that is very much the way I looked at it. Although I have the safety of the umbrella of an organisation, I felt like I was about to embark on my own business, which was fantastic.”
How did you feel when you had your first customer?
“Obviously your first customer is a bit nerve wracking, but I was confident in using the equipment and quite able to do the repairs. Because I had the support of David with me on the first day, that too was invaluable. He put me at my ease and we went through the process, everything I was taught in the training room, and everything just went from there. We had a very successful day, I think we did 10 repairs on my first day, which was wonderful.”
Do you get much support from Optic- Kleer?
“The girls in the office are unbelievable. They sort absolutely everything out for you, they are always available on the telephone, if you have got any queries. And the way they process all the guys’ transactions, I don’t know how they do it. It’s very efficient and they have never let me down in terms of any admin errors or anything.”