Oil engineer celebrates Scottish start-up success

The Revive! Aberdeen team stand in front of Tom's repair centre

Rapid growth

After achieving rapid growth in his first two years, a former petroleum engineer’s decision to launch a Revive! franchise has paid dividends.

Revive! Aberdeen has been shortlisted for Scottish Start-Up Business of the Year at the FSB Small Business Awards; this comes after the franchise’s revenues surged by 94 per cent from 2021 to 2022.

Franchise owner, Tom Giles, credits the firm’s success to his team’s customer-first approach, and determination to battle with the harsh Scottish winters.

The Canadian expat’s decision to swap a high-flying career in the oil industry in favour of launching a vehicle bodywork repair franchise in Scotland has certainly proven to be a ‘SMART’ decision.

The business generated impressive revenues of over £220,000 in 2022, just one year after launching during the COVID-19 pandemic in March of the previous year. The financial growth of Tom Giles’ SMART (small-to-medium-repair-technique) vehicle repair business caught the attention of the Scotland FSB Small Business Awards judges in the highly-competitive Start-Up Business of the Year category.

Tom commented: “After all our hard work over the last couple of years, it’s an honour to be recognised by the FSB in such a sought-after category, and we’re really looking forward to finding out the judges’ final decisions on 8th March. The recognition only motivates us to grow Revive! Aberdeen further and continue to offer mobile vehicle repairs to the highest standard for Aberdonian motorists.

“Having worked as a petroleum engineer for three decades, little can prepare you for such a significant career change, as well as becoming a business owner. However, after our success during the early stages of the business, the team and I are keen to see just how far we can grow.”

Customer-first approach

With Revive! Aberdeen predominantly operating on a mobile basis, Tom attributes the team’s success to a customer-first approach. Indeed, the team conduct repairs at the customer’s home or place of work – meaning they do not have to take time out of their day to drop their vehicle off and pick it back up from a bodyshop. The team’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, having amassed over 200 TrustPilot reviews with 98 per cent of customers rating their services as Excellent or Good.

The business’ rise to success has been far from been plain sailing – with the Scottish weather, of all things, being a major obstacle during the firm’s first winter in operation. This prompted Tom to act decisively by establishing a ‘rapid repair centre’, situated in the outskirts of the city.

By the time winter came back around the following year, Tom and the team were prepared to fight against the elements by taking the vehicles to the relative cover of the repair centre – enabling the takings in November and December 2022 double, compared to 2021.

Tom concluded: “Having come from Alberta, Canada in 2001 and working on oil rigs for much of my career, I’m no stranger to bad weather – but, believe me, the Scottish winters can often be just as unforgiving.

“We, as a team, have faced many obstacles over the last few years, but we have adapted to weather the storm – in some cases literally!  In spite of the challenges, Aberdeen has been a fantastic place to start a mobile vehicle repair business, as we have been able to serve rural communities across the region who are looking for an alternative to leaving their vehicle at a conventional bodyshop.”

The winners of the FSB Scotland Start-Up Business of the Year 2023 will be announced at a ceremony at the Voco Grand Central Glasgow on Wednesday 8th March 2023.

To learn how you could become an award-winning Revive! business owner, click here.

To find out more about Revive! Aberdeen, click here.