Snap on no-mechanic franchisee

Not a mechanic? Snap-on helps you succeed in your own business

Sarah Stowe

Did you know you don’t need to be a mechanic to succeed as a Snap-on Tools franchisee? The iconic mobile tool retailer provides excellent support to give franchisees from all walks of life the best chance for success.

Andrew Li, the national recruitment manager for Australia and New Zealand, explains.

“Mechanical knowledge is important, and we welcome experienced mechanics to our network. However we have people with backgrounds from IT to men’s clothing retail proving successful franchisees.

“Our Rookie of the Year last year came with sales experience. It is not imperative to understand the tools and how they work before you start as a franchisee.”

Snap-on franchisees with no mechanical experience can succeed

Rather, says Andrew, franchisees need to appreciate relationship building and enjoy providing solutions for the mechanic customers.

“Most technicians know what they want for a job, they can name the tool; our franchisees can use our custom software to look it up, and confidently talk about the features and benefits.”

A comprehensive 10-day training program in the US kicks off a franchisee’s tenure. It introduces them to the systems and custom software they will use on a day-to-day basis.

Once franchisees start their business, a specialist franchise development manager accompanies them on the truck for an initial period, plus speciality training is provided in diagnostics and tool storage.

“Whatever happens during the day, the franchise development manager is there to help. As they progress through this period the manager will critique the franchisee and suggest ways to improve their performance,” explains Andrew.

Follow the Snap-on system

The franchise development manager lessens their involvement over time to give franchisees the wings to fly, he says.

A few months later, Snap-on conducts a ‘flight check’ to ensure the franchisee is still aligned with the business processes.

A sales development manager is assigned to each franchisee and they visit each franchisee quarterly to ensure good habits are retained as the franchisee gets busier in their business.

“It is about getting back to the foundations. While it’s simplistic, if a franchisee puts in the effort from Monday to Friday and follows the system, they will likely do well,” says Andrew.

“If you look at the list of calls a franchisee attends, so much is the same, week on week: the customers, the technicians, the cars, the tools and the truck. The only unknown is how well a franchisee follows the program. At Snap-on demographics do not dictate success,” he says.

“We provide stops and technicians, so we ensure they have the right mix of customers,” Andrew explains. “We can also provide funding to all our prospective franchisees entering the business. This gives them every opportunity to succeed.”

Customer service underpins Snap-on franchisee success

Dynamic franchisees help boost their success by listening to and understanding their customers.

“Knowing how their business is developing, what their family is doing, helps build relationships. Franchisees dovetail the Snap-on products and services to the customer’s needs now and help them plan for the future.

“For example, they might ask a customer ‘how many clients do you want to service? That means you’ll need so many wheel hoists’,” says Andrew.

The business that started as a man in a truck back in the early 20th century is now a vastly-different business – even from what it was five years ago, says Andrew.

“Today our business is not just about one owner, one business. Of course, that’s important and we have lots of single-unit franchisees. Many franchisees start happy to be self-reliant, with no employees. Then they realise how they can grow with an assistant and a second truck.

“Before a franchisee can expand to a multi-unit we stipulate there has to be always one additional assistant, no matter the number of trucks, so each unit can be successful.”

Franchisees with multiple trucks and employees are free to focus on other aspects of the business and take advantage of those opportunities.

Multiple layers of support help franchisees grow their business

“We can guide franchisees’ growth and give them a roadmap,” says Andrew.

Snap-on’s volume of work has significantly increased, and that favours multi-unit franchisees who can optimise their potential.

Franchisees have ample opportunities to learn best practice from successful peers at monthly Saturday sales meetings and the two annual conferences.

There is also specialised support from the Snap-on team for frontline assistance including diagnostic experts to help franchisees find customer solutions.

The multi-level support ensures franchisees have all the business tools at their disposal to drive success.

However, the overarching key to success remains customer relationships, says Andrew.

“A franchisee can say ‘I’m going to come back next week and check the tool is what you needed’. If there’s a problem with a warranty the franchisee can take care of that. Our chrome hand tools for instance have a lifetime warranty. We’ll give you a new one if it chips.

“We have premium products, but we also have excellent customer relationships. And that’s something anyone with the right attitude can learn, and use to succeed as a Snap-on franchisee,” says Andrew.