Snap-on Tools Australia’s long-serving franchisee Chris Edwards talks about his 30 years in the automotive industry providing tools and equipment solutions from workshop to workshop.
When Snap-on opened its franchise model in Australia in the late 1980s, a Western Australian mechanic by the name of Chris Edwards was one of the first to embrace Snap-on Tools in his own garage.
Chris understood the outstanding quality and was using them daily. He was thrilled at the idea of a salesperson coming directly to his business, appreciative of the time savings involved and the importance of a one-on-one relationship.
Before long, Chris was ready to begin his own franchise and began researching an opportunity in Bunbury, an hour-anda- half from his current home in Perth. Chris and his wife made the move in 1991 and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I was a mechanic who was using the product. I was in the trade, and I was genuinely excited by Snap-on Tools. I’d always been interested in sales and in selling a quality product. It was something I believed in, and I think that made taking the step into working for myself quite logical, really,” explained Chris.
“Tools have always appealed to me. It’s why a Snap-on franchise just seemed like a natural fit. I knew small business would be something of a challenge, but I was a young bloke with blind enthusiasm, and I was quick to discount the people who said I’d go broke.”
In fact, quite the opposite has been true for Chris in his journey as a Snap-on franchisee. His business smarts have seen him become a member of the prized Snapon Million Dollar Club, a select group of franchisees bringing in a turnover of more than $1m per annum.
Chris says that although technology has had a major impact on the industry, his day-to-day routine of visiting mechanics at their place of work is still a proven method of doing business.
Through COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, Chris’ business remained open, proving not only essential to his customers, but also financially resilient for him as a franchisee.
“Even in this environment, there’s no doubt that providing the right tools for a mechanic to do their job is essential. The automotive repair industry is an essential service. Things are always advancing and adapting, and as a former mechanic, I know how important it is that you move with the times. The guys and girls I sell to know that as well,” he continued.
“For me personally, I’ve seen a lot of change in 30 years. Automation has changed a lot of product lines over time and there’s a much higher demand for electronic and diagnostic tools now than there has been in the past.
“It’s also changed the way the business operates, which is great. It gives me more time to talk to the customer, and as we all know, customer service is critical to the success of any business.”
As a franchisee, Chris says the support from Snap-on has been of invaluable assistance in helping him adapt and grow his business. The programs offered and the training and support provided helps Chris stay ahead of the latest developments, giving his customers the most up-to-date information possible to assist with their investment.
“I’ve been visiting many of the same businesses for 30 years now and those customers are still buying tools from me, growing their tool kits, and updating their tools as technology changes,” detailed Chris.
“The one thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the support Snap-on offers. They’re just great. They move with the times and they’re always there to help. I wouldn’t be doing this for as long as I have if that kind of support wasn’t available. It makes a massive difference in helping you sell a product. That’s what’s made it easy for me,” he concluded.
Snap-on is a leading developer and manufacturer of tool and equipment solutions providing premium tools for professional tool users across Australia and has a reputation for outstanding quality. Its unique franchise model transports its impressive tool range direct from workshop to workshop, customer to customer, day-in day-out via dedicated franchisees, just like Chris Edwards.
Snap-on began in 1920 in the U.S. and today is one of the longest-running, most successful franchises in the world. Getting involved is simple and satisfying for anyone wanting their own business. It’s never too late to give it a go.
Find out more about a Snap-on franchise opportunity near you, start your discovery tour and visit www.snaponfranchise.com.au