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Start your engines

Written by Lucy Archer on Tuesday, 06 December 2022. Posted in Interviews

There’s no such thing as a ‘man in a van’ for global tool giant, Snap-on. Its core belief is that support equals success, as National Franchise Manager, Lisa Law, explains…

Start your engines

With a surprisingly low entry point, Snap-on franchisees get a whole lot of bang for their buck. As well as the obvious training programmes, brand awareness and, in Snap-on’s case, colossal support structure, franchisees become a part of a 360-degree product and service business. “Globally, the brand invests millions into research and development in order to manufacture, innovate and supply the best tools on the market,” explains Lisa Law. “This end-to-end involvement means that we are, quite literally, the experts in our field and our franchise network has access to the skills, knowledge and passion of a global team. One that is driven to push the envelope, week in, week out. The resulting level of hands-on support is by far one of the greatest strengths of our business.”

More recently, under the guidance of Law and her team, the first year of a Snap-on franchisee’s journey has been reshaped to take the ‘never in business by yourself’ ethos to a whole new level. And the results are staggering. 
“We’re an incredibly agile business, which surprises a lot of people. Many assume that our size and hundred plus years’ heritage mean we’d be slow to adapt but in fact, the opposite is true. In response to restrictions in 2020, which meant franchisees could no longer fly to the US to train, we overhauled our onboarding process. We invested over £100,000 in our own dedicated training school at our UK Head Offices which includes an internal mock-up of the inside of one of our custom-built stores, POS training equipment and dedicated Diagnostic training. This has proven so powerful that all UK franchisees will now train here.

This, plus the introduction of a new ten-week starter programme, demonstrates the brand’s commitment to continual improvement. The programme includes dedicated training and sales techniques each week, designed to help new franchisees put their training into practice and quickly build their customer base The proof is in the pudding as they say. New franchisees, affectionately referred to as ‘Rookies’, are now outperforming the rest of the network by six percent and Rookies who launched in 2020 by a whopping ten percent. It’s at this point that even strong support systems would begin to peter out, says Law. But not at Snap-on. 

“Every franchisee is assigned to a regional Business Manager and a dedicated Sales Developer. A Sales Developer has a group of around sixteen franchisees, so although we have a big network, we can keep it personal whilst offering highly intensive support. Sales Developers are a franchisee’s go-to person. They help identify ways to maximise a franchisee’s sales potential. They ride on trucks four days a week with their dedicated group of franchisees, whether they have been in business six weeks, three years or thirty years. Whatever their goal is, our Sales Developers are there to help franchisees to achieve it.”

Longevity certainly is something that’s common in the network, as is building an empire. Over a quarter of the 400-strong UK network have expanded into multiple territories or employ Sales Assistants in their businesses. With this much success, is there room for more ‘wannabe’ Snap-on superstars? There will always been room for the right people, confirms Law.

“As well as pockets of available locations, and the areas that become obtainable through the natural processes of retirement and resale, we have a dedicated team who are continually developing new territories. The people who make exceptional franchisees don’t necessarily come from an automotive background. As with most franchises, one of the many advantages of Snap-on is the way in which franchisees can leverage their transferrable skills to build an incredibly profitable and rewarding business. For us, that looks like a passion for selling, fantastic communication and customer relationship skills and genuine self-motivation. Aside from that, if you’re dedicated and willing to put in some serious effort, we can give you the tools you need to achieve your dreams.”

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About the Author

Lucy Archer

Lucy Archer

Lucy is the co-founder of specialist franchise PR agency, Rev PR and has over a decade of experience in franchising. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the Public Relations and Communications Association and holds Qualified Franchise Professional status with the bfa. From home-grown start up brands to international giants, Lucy has supported franchisors and franchisees alike, helping them to leverage the crucial pillars of trust, credibility and storytelling for growth.

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