Snap on franchisee future

Snap-on Tools the perfect business choice for mining manager

Sarah Stowe

A lifestyle change is a brilliant reason to shift careers and become your own boss. When, like Glenn Cross, you have the security and six-figure income that comes from working in the mining sector, it is a really big leap.

Yet 18 months into his new Snap-on Tools mobile retail franchisee role and Glenn is full of praise for the business he’s bought into.

“When you talk about Snap-on, the brand is the pinnacle of tools; if it weren’t for budget, which is what everyone would choose to work with. Globally it is the tool of choice,” he says.

Buying a Snap-on business was something he and his colleagues would drop into conversation. It was, though, more of an idle thought than a conviction, he says.

But that all changed when Glenn saw a business for sale on social media.

“This was the perfect opportunity for me, in my neighbourhood and with lots of potential customers.”

Shifting from corporate to business ownership

After nearly two decades in mining north of Perth, Glenn was in a leadership role in the city, managing cost and waste reduction for BHP – and getting frustrated with his daily commute.

“I grew up in the country and I’m not used to the city life and all the frustrations of the traffic. Now I am literally a three-minute drive away to work. My territory is out of the city a little bit. My whole patch is at the most 4km by 4km.”

Yet this compact territory is packed with potential. It’s a light industrial area with firms ranging from automotive and marine to mining and heavy machinery. That makes it an ideal customer base for Snap-on’s in-demand premium tool range.

And in researching the area Glenn discovered his territory would get another 80 businesses in a new release of land for industrial sites.

“My background is analytics and insights, so I know how important it is to understand any upcoming developments in the neighbourhood. I did a bit of homework to understand the area’s potential. This has a big pipeline, and I’m planning to grow with it,” he says.

It took three months from spotting the opportunity for Glenn to get behind the wheel of his truck.

Snap-on support and processes

Right from the initial meeting, Snap-on was forthcoming and transparent with information about the business, he says.

“I also had the opportunity to see how other franchisees perform, to meet the team in Sydney, and do ride days with other franchisees.

“I did a ride day with a franchisee Snap-on suggested. Then I chose someone with a similar background and income to me and organised a ride with him. That was cool, and it validated a lot of information. The franchisee had no regrets. That gave me the confidence to go ahead with my big step into business ownership.

“I come from a very structured world where I knew what income I would be earning in 15 years’ time. I don’t have that security now,” he says.

What he does have at his fingertips is a world-class brand and an impressive level of support from the franchisor.

“The team genuinely do want you to succeed. I was honestly a little sceptical about the level of support promised. But once you live it, you really understand that the model works and there is so much support to keep you on track.”

Franchisees have all the admin tools they need to run their business from optimising stock levels through to marketing. A dedicated sales development officer checks on weekly progress.

“The processes in place help you succeed, and honestly, anyone can do this. You just need a willingness to learn and ask questions. And I can access to as much or as little support as I want,” says Glenn.

Building a future with Snap-on

He has a clear growth strategy; to recoup his investment, employ an assistant, and then expand to a second van.

“I’ll also look at expanding into more local areas that aren’t being serviced,” he says.

Glenn’s ambitions for the business are matched by his enjoyment of the new lifestyle, a predominantly Monday to Friday working week with some cleaning and prep over a few hours at the weekend.

He says he is discovering more about his own neighbourhood as he is travelling between clients.

“I’m finding out a lot about the town and the area and getting an insight into my neighbourhood. I’m pretty easy going and for me this is a social business, it is a good way to meet people.

“Everyone’s working on boats, and cars, some customers are doing some innovative work in mining, others are working on exotic cars. It’s really interesting.

My goal is to be the trusted tool guy. Right now I’m fulfilling my commitments, doing the hard yards and along the way I am meeting a lot of cool people.”

As a franchisee you are your own roadblock, he says.

“I know the hard work builds up into solid business foundation and there is no-one to get in the way but me. But I have all the backing I could want from Snap-on,” he says.

“The untold story what goes on behind the scenes is quite incredible. I would recommend Snap-on as a business to family and friends.”