Emma Courtney tells ACM all about her experience as a woman in franchising.
Snap-on is an iconic brand within the automotive industry, but relatively unknown is that Snap-on also offers an attractive franchise opportunity for anyone with the right attitude who wants to step up towards becoming a franchise owner.
New franchisee Emma Courtney is a proud Kamilaroi and Bigambul woman born in St George QLD. A qualified Heavy Diesel Fitter and a mother, Emma provided insight into her experience transitioning from being a qualified diesel mechanic and her journey towards becoming a Snap-on franchisee.
Why did you want to become a Snap-on Franchisee?
During my trade I was around cars and trucks and this grew my love for Snap-on and high-quality tools. I had a local Snapon franchisee that would visit my workshop and he initially spoke to me and made me aware of this opportunity. I wasn’t looking at starting my own business, but this was a business opportunity that would allow me to become my own boss, manage my own time and still do something that I am passionate about.
Since becoming a Snap-on Franchisee it has given me a sense of pride of being able to say I’m the director of my own company, it really has given me a sense of achievement.
What research did you do before becoming a Snap-on Franchisee?
I already knew a lot about the brand – I’ve been a loyal Snap-on customer since starting in my trade because it is a wellknown brand and they have a reputation for being the best tools in the world. I even got a Snap-on tattoo 4 years ago and upgraded to a 72” Masters Rollcab before joining Snap-on. So I already had faith in the quality of their tools and service.
I was familiar with the tooling through my exposure during my trade. So my research was more on the business operation side. What really appealed to me the most was Snap-on’s transparency and I spoke with other franchisee’s and people inside the business who gave me a lot of information and insight.
They gave me information about demonstrating the product, how to keep up to date with product information and understanding all the promotions. And this helped give me a lot more confidence that I was making a good decision.
What makes Snap-on a good investment for potential franchisees?
When I joined Snap-on was celebrating their 100 year anniversary, and I realised that this business has beaten everything thrown at the company over the last century and survived when a lot of other businesses haven’t.
The good thing with Snap-on is that because the brand strength is so strong, when you turn up at a workshop and technicians step onboard – you know they are looking for high-quality tools. So this makes finding customers easy, as long as I turn up each week and provide quality service; then half my job is done.
The best part is that I have customers tell me that the Snap-on truck turning up to their workshop is the favourite part of their week. Even when I was on the tools, I use to always look forward to when the Snapon truck would arrive. It shows how much people love the brand and they make it a stable business to be involved in.
Also the relationship between the franchisee and franchisor really surprised me because they really care about your success. Compared to other franchise systems you don’t have to pay royalties or national advertising. All the marketing, advertising and promotions are done, you don’t need to cold call – everything is ready so you can run a very successful business.
What training and support was provided to you?
When I joined I received a lot training – we did role plays, product demonstrations and the Snap-on trainers provided training on the features and benefits of the tools.
You can always learn about the tools, however being involved in the industry and being a qualified diesel mechanic allowed me to excel faster, so it all felt like second nature.
Importantly, I have the support from the whole Snap-on team. The diagnostic sales team will come with me to visit customers and I know I can call anyone from the sales team or any other franchisee at any time.
The team at Snap-on is always checking to see how I am going. If I have a good week they call and you get recognition, and if I have a slower week then my dedicated Sales Development Manager will call me to see how I am going. It really is comforting to know that support is only a phone call away.
What has it been like since starting and what are your business goals?
The first couple of weeks were exhausting mentally, but in a good way. It was a lot of groundwork, but it was worth it. My customer base was very supportive and receptive, so this made it easier.
I also now have a few female apprentices that I look after, it’s been great to be able to mentor them and to be able to show them a career path by showing them I can be both a successful businesswoman and a mother.
My long-term goal is to have two Snap-on trucks and to become a multifranchise operator, then I would like to hire another female that is ready to get into a Snap-on franchise.
What advice do you have for anyone considering a Snap-on franchise?
At first it was really daunting, but I’m really glad that I made the jump. It is rewarding being able to help customers.
Snap-on have been doing it for 100 years. So follow their advice, processes and build good routines. I believe it is important to keep the truck well merchandised, well stocked and to take pride in your personal presentation. It is important to look and be professional because you are in front of customers and at their places of work, so you need to respect that.
The advice I would have for anyone considering joining Snap-on is to go on a ride-along and talk to a franchisee to get a feel for the business. The key to your success is your attitude. You have to be 100 per cent committed and turn up everyday to help customers.
To find out more about the Snap-on franchise opportunity and how to get yourself started visit snaponfranchise.com.au