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01 May 2018

FSB Wales Blog - Business of the Month – Scuffed Up

FSB Wales Blog - Business of the Month – Scuffed Up After being made redundant at Christmas for the third time in his career, Tom Maunder and the team at Chips Away Car Care Centre Swansea, were approached by the franchisee to see if they could buy the business  - or at least the assets, as they’d failed to secure a buyer themselves.

Tom’s journey started when he gained a place on a BMW apprenticeship with SMART repair – a new technique at the time. This course also involved a day each week in College Glan Hafren.  His daily commute was already from Llandeilo to Swansea but to get to Glan Hafren this involved a car journey, train and taxi at the other end. 

Tom passed the course with flying colours but was made redundant for the first time just before Christmas, before securing a new job with Renault. However, at Christmas the following year he was made redundant again.  After a year or so of searching for work and spiralling into debt, Tom took any job he could find.  

After seeing an advert in the paper for a new venture opening in Llansamlet, he applied for and secured the role as Principle Paint Sprayer at Chips Away Car Care Centre in Swansea.

For a third time, at Christmas 2016 Tom and his colleagues were told that the franchise was going into liquidation. The staff were asked if they could come up with the funds to take over, but this proved to be impossible.

Refusing to give up, Tom and his family looked to see if they could raise the funds between them. Tom’sFSB Wales Blog - Business of the Month – Scuffed Up parents were semi-retired at this point, and along with Tom’s older brother, the family decided to raise the money and buy the business. 

It wasn't an easy decision, but because Tom had always shown such dedication to hard work and a passion to his industry, the family felt that it was worth the gamble.

Scuffed Up began operating at the beginning of 2017, and the family all pitched in with their knowledge and expertise. The first hurdle to overcome was how to run a business that only Tom knew, but between them, the family are now approaching 18 months of operating the business.

Whilst there have been challenges and many lessons to learn, the business now boasts an apprentice, a part time damage assessor and a company van that has been resprayed and sign written.

The family team are now well known enough that customers come to them on recommendation – both for the skills that Tom has developed and for their excellent customer service.

Scuffed Up recently joined the FSB on recommendation from the Good Garage Scheme in order to access additional support to help their business continue to thrive.

They now look forward – Tom loves self-employment and being part of a local business network.  He feels safe in the knowledge that they have a support network in place and will meet new friends along the way, as they continue to grow their business and become even more widely recognised as a good quality body shop in Swansea.