Owners of Revive! East Anglia Nathan Holmes, Adam Holmes and Andrew Blackhurst beat off stiff competition from over 20 other finalists including McDonald’s and O2 to win the Customer Service of the Year Award and be named Franchisee of the Year 2016 at the prestigious bfa HSBC Franchisee Awards. The overall winner is chosen from the finalists of the six award categories.
Nathan Holmes started Revive! Cambridge in 2007. He’d been working as a utility meter reader and was ready for a change. It was time for him to be his own boss and as a car enthusiast the Revive! opportunity seemed to be the perfect choice. After training at head office he took to the road and picked up dealership business in the very first week.
Looking to expand Revive! Cambridge further in 2012, ambitious Nathan offered Andy and Adam the opportunity to buy into the business.
Andy was his first employee and Adam Holmes a long-time friend. Although Adam and Nathan share the same surname and live in the same village they aren’t actually related, but they enjoy the fun when new customers and suppliers who haven’t yet met them in person try to work out their relationship. “I’ve even been asked if Adam is my son!” laughed Nathan.
Said Andy: “Working in the business I believed in what we were doing and could see for myself there was huge potential for growth. I knew Nathan very well and was confident in his ambition to expand the business. I didn’t have to think very long before deciding to take up the chance to own part of this exciting franchise.
“I was fortunate in being able to borrow the necessary finance from my Mum and Dad and become a business owner at just 26.”
For Adam it was a choice between climbing the promotion ladder at British Gas or taking advantage of the redundancy scheme on offer at the company.
He explained: “Although I was enjoying working at British Gas, the option of redundancy was on the table so I took it.
“I started as an apprentice and had worked my way up to being a technical manager. I am sure my own future with British Gas would have been good, but I decided I didn’t want to work under the constant threat of redundancy,” he said.
“The opportunity to be part of Revive! Cambridge and help grow a business in which we were in charge of our own destiny really appealed.”
Unlike many other mobile automotive franchises, the Revive! model is designed to help franchisees build a multi-van business working on the business not in it. With their sights set firmly on expansion over the trio went on to buy a further four neighbouring Revive! territories to create Revive! East Anglia and opened a static workshop within the EMG Group dealership’s Cambridge site in 2015.
Today the business that general manager Nathan Holmes set up as one man and van employs 19 people and operates 11 mobile vans. The directors have clearly defined roles and work together to plan future growth. Andy is technical director whilst Adam looks after business development and the mobile operation.
Standing still isn’t an option – they have ambitious plans to double the size of the business by 2020.
Said Nathan: “When I first set up the franchise I had ambitions to build a bigger business and now all those years later I am very proud of the successful, award winning business we have become. We have built a great team here and the fact that we won the bfa HSBC Customer Service award is all down to teamwork. We all share a commitment to striving for excellence and as a result our customer retention rate is 95%.
“The support we have received from Revive! head office and the quality of training we have been able to access as part of the network have played a big part in helping us get to where we are now. Revive! is a fantastic brand and we’re proud to be part of it.”