Driving the future

“This is our third time being ranked number one in the EF100, and it’s the second consecutive year. It’s not an exaggeration to tell you that this is a highlight of the year for me – and for Snap-on as a whole."

Driving the future

“This is our third time being ranked number one in the EF100, and it’s the second consecutive year. It’s not an exaggeration to tell you that this is a highlight of the year for me – and for Snap-on as a whole. I could not be prouder of the team here in the UK, and of our incredible franchisees, whose hard work, dedication and love for the brand is what makes us who we are today. Even after more than 100 years, the best is yet to come!” Byron Miltz, UK Managing Director.

One franchisee who has certainly been making waves in 2023 is 29-year-old Luke Henderson. After falling out of love with his previous career less than five years ago, Luke joined Snap-on Tools as a franchisee in 2018 – aged just 25 – with one goal in mind: to build a big business! And he’s certainly succeeded. He’s now the proud owner of a multi-van operation, brought his brother into the business alongside him, is one of the global brand’s top UK performers, and has plans to semi-retire by the age of 45!

“I went straight from school into a garage on an apprenticeship,” says Luke. “I worked my way up, qualifying as an MOT tester, but things didn’t work out and I fell out of love with it. I changed jobs and started working as a Sales Assistant for a Snap-on franchisee. It was just intended to be a stopgap until I worked out what to do with my life. I quickly saw the potential and, to my surprise, found I was good at it! I had a light-bulb moment and realised what I could become. Thanks to this wonderful thing called franchising, it didn’t matter that I didn’t have a fancy business degree or experience running a business. I could still be a success if I worked hard and put my mind to it.

“I knew from day one I wanted to grow a big business. In 2020, I employed my younger brother, Mike, as my Sales Assistant. In June 2022, I expanded and Mike is now running my second territory. I employed a new Sales Assistant, Ryan, in December 2022 and have now taken on a second assistant to support my ongoing growth. My intention is to expand into a third territory in the next 12 months. My projected turnover for this year is £1.06 million – not bad for a lad with no business experience!

“If you’d asked me five years ago where I’d be today, I’d never have guessed. I launched my Snap-on franchise when I was 25. I’m now a multi-unit, award-winning franchisee with a plan in place to semi-retire at 45. Thanks to Snap-on, franchising and my determination to take things to the top, I’m living the dream!”

In recognition of his achievements, Luke was named a Great British Franchisee in the programme’s 2023 awards and shortlisted as a finalist in the British Franchise Association’s ‘Franchisee of the Year’ Awards 2023.

“Luke is an absolute shining example of what makes an exceptional franchisee,” says Snap-on’s National Franchise Manager, Lisa Law. “His performance speaks for itself, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get a mention. His franchise has grown to be a robust and exciting operation with impressive scope for development ahead of him. Only a small percentage of our 400-strong network earn a place in the £10k club – meaning the franchisee has sales of over £10k per week consistently for the year – and Luke has achieved this for two consecutive years. 

“He is a highly motivated and ambitious young man who is well liked and well respected by his peers and the team at head office. Despite his success, he is humble and kind, always willing to share his success with others and happy to help his fellow franchisees replicate some of his winning strategies. The entire Snap-on team believe that Luke thoroughly deserves the titles he’s won recently. He is a great example to others of all that can be achieved with hard work and enthusiasm!”

When asked about his secrets to success, Luke simply says: “Use the tools that are given to you – in my case that’s the best training and support going, and the best products in the market and a franchisor that’s committed to seeing me thrive. And then, put in 100% effort. You get out what you put in!”

“I lead by example and treat every customer and every interaction as though it’s the most important one that day. I maintain a positive attitude and talk openly about my ambitions with my guys for us as a team and the business in general. I believe being proud of what you do makes a big impact on the customer experience and your own life in general. Take the EF100 result – you can bet your life I’m going to be shouting about this from the rooftops to my friends, family and customers… because it matters!”

“Community is also very important to me,” says Luke. “I sponsor my local youth football team and buy new kits and equipment every year. I also sponsor local racing teams and support them by funding new tyres, supplying tools etc. I don’t spend a lot day to day, preferring to invest in my future. But I do spend my money with local businesses because I believe being part of a community is about reinvesting in it.”

Impressive though it is, Luke’s story isn’t without struggle. He sadly lost his mother in 2018 just after launching his first franchise. Since then, he’s channelled his energy to making her, and his family, proud.

“I know my mum would be incredibly proud of me, and I dedicate much of my success to her. Being able to bring my younger brother into the business and supporting him to build his own future is incredibly rewarding. I also know it’s a great comfort for my dad. He gets emotional each time I bring home an award, and I hope to keep doing so for many years to come.”

Looking to the future, before he retires that is, Luke says he would like to see more young people choose franchising as a route to business ownership.

“I’m incredibly proud to be a part of Snap-on. I can’t tell you how it feels for the brand to have been named number one in the UK again, it’s really special for us all. Being a franchisee has been life-changing; I’ve been able to accomplish things I could once have only dreamed of. I hope my success story encourages other young people to go for it too – they’d be mad not to!”

View all the winners in the HSBC Elite Franchise TOP 100 (UK) 2024

Ronnie Dungan
Ronnie Dungan