As a man-in-a-van style operation, business has certainly looked different for Snap-on Tool’s national network over the last few months. However, thanks to a combination of support from the franchisor and an impressive level of innovation from franchisees, the majority of the brand’s 400-strong UK network are once again behind the wheels of their iconic mobile tool stores. And some, have some impressive stories to tell!
“There’s no denying that things have been tough,” says Lisa Law, National Franchise Manager. “But we now have over 370 of our franchisees back out on the road, serving their customers and producing some incredible sales figures. During lockdown, and now, on the way out, franchisees really have risen to the challenge; overcoming barriers, thinking outside the box and modifying all aspects of their sales and marketing. I’m very proud to work alongside such a dedicated and positive network.”
Steve Hunt, who runs his franchise in High Wycombe, has been back providing an in-person service to his customers for a little over three weeks. Whilst in lockdown, social media novice, Steve, made excellent use of WhatsApp Broadcast to top up his sales. In fact, he had two of his best sales days of 2020 whilst his van was off the road. Delighted though he is to be back seeing his customers face-to-face, Steve says he plans to continue to use social media, which many Snap-on franchisees have come to affectionately call their ‘online assistant’ to drive his business forwards.
“Since being back on the road I’ve had some stonking weeks! I’m almost back to where I was before this all started. I spent the first couple of weeks of lockdown keeping in touch with my customers, not pushing any stock, just being a friendly voice, running competitions and generally keeping relationships going. I did one or two non-contact deliveries for essential customers but what really made the difference was using WhatsApp Broadcasting. I’m going to continue to use it every day now. I had two of my best days this year during lockdown. It’s fantastic to be back seeing my customers face-to-face though, there’s no substitute for that really – I’ve missed the banter and camaraderie.”
Fellow franchisee, Dan Morley, runs two Snap-on mobile stores with his assistants in Blackpool. In his first week back out on the road, he made record personal sales. During lockdown, Dan turned to social media, and the brand’s bespoke online payment systems, to keep customers engaged. Now, with the ongoing support from Snap-on, he’s working to keep those all-important sales flowing as restrictions continue to ease.
“To keep the momentum going, I tried to think outside the box. My main tools were Facebook and our in-house system, PDQ Pay, which manages automatic repayments for customers at times and dates that suit them best – it worked wonders. Staying in contact with customers digitally really eased things when we did go back out to the garages. And it meant that everyone was up to date with payments.
“I’ve actually found that customers have a lot of money to spend and we’ve hit the ground running on the way out of lockdown. I even picked up a limited edition, anniversary tool station, got it on the van and sold it within four days – a very healthy profit in my pocket! Snap-on supported me in the process of bringing my second van back from furlough with sound guidance – yet another benefit of being part of the franchise.”
Whether they’ve been in business for less than 12 months or more than 20 years, Snap-on franchisees have shown a remarkable resilience during the pandemic. Classified as a critical business, the brand, which is celebrating its 100th year, has continued to provide an essential service to key workers, emergency services and the military. For more information about Snap-on Tools, visit www.snaponfranchise.co.uk