By Dave Flaherty
While 2020 was a year that changed the world as we know it, it also marked a century of business for one of the most iconic brands the business world has ever seen.
Snap-on Tools celebrated its 100th year in 2020; although, the company’s director of franchise systems, Tom Kasbohm, said the COVID-19 pandemic tempered fully recognizing that accomplishment.
“We have had virtual internal celebrations within our organization, but we have not had that capstone 100th event,” he said.
However, the company has invited all its franchisees to join a huge celebration scheduled at Disney World in August this year.
Snap-on Tools was founded in Milwaukee, Wisc. in 1920, first manufacturing and marketing sockets to “snap on” five interchangeable handles. The company’s slogan was “5 do the work of 50.”
“We were formed with an innovative idea, and we’ve continued to not only innovate with our products, but also with how we take them to market.”
According to Kasbohm, most of its clients are technicians who need to purchase their own tools.
“It’s a relationship built on trust and confidence in our products,” he said. “It’s a symbiotic relationship between the technicians who need the tools to do the work they do, and the franchisee who relies on that group of technicians.”
So, how exactly do the brand’s franchisees find their way into this ‘symbiotic’ relationship?
Finding the right fit
Kasbohm said the company receives many referrals from active franchisees about candidates who are interested in joining the team. Snap-on Tools has a comprehensive seven-step process of welcoming franchisees into the fold.
After learning the ins and outs of what it means to be a franchisee and speaking with Snap-on Franchise Managers, potential franchisees will “shadow” or ride-along with an active franchisee to get hands-on experience of what to expect.
Snap-on Tools franchises are seen almost everywhere in their communities driving their ‘showrooms on wheels.’
If the candidate and Snap-on agree the candidate is a good fit, the candidate moves forward with their financing and other steps in the final process.
A helping hand
Once a franchisee becomes a Snap-on Tools franchise business owner, they have a wide range of support and resources at their fingertips to make the journey a smooth one.
“Our affiliate Snap-on Credit may finance the mobile store they are purchasing and may finance their product purchase. We have exceptional onboarding and training in a class-type setting (this has been modified over the past year due to the risks of COVID-19),” said Kasbohm.
A member of the company’s team spends the first three weeks with franchisees to ensure a smooth start, and training opportunities are available year-after-year.
“Training is something that is ongoing,” he added.
Snap-on Tools has an armada of specialists and managers who can help franchisees with most anything related to the franchise business, by offering best practices guidance on business plans, products and promotions. They also have customer care representatives available to assist with logistic issues.
A familiar face in the community
According to Kasbohm, Snap-on franchisees are very well known in their communities.
“It’s an iconic brand. They are seen driving their ‘showroom on wheels’ everywhere in the community, calling on the businesses and professionals who make and fix things that are vital to us, primarily vehicles,” he said.
While each franchisee oversees their own respective outreach programs in their local area, Kasbohm highlighted a company-wide membership with the International Franchise Association and Canadian Franchise Association. Also, Snap-on offers discounts to franchisees who are honorably discharged veterans.
Kasbohm shared the story of Randy Roebuck, who has been a franchisee with Snap-on Tools for 17 years, and whose son Dakota just followed in his father’s footsteps. Roebuck told Kasbohm that, for him, during the pandemic “it comes down to service and servicing those doing the critical tasks.”
“My customers continue to work, I could not let them down, and I kept working as well,” Roebuck had commented. “It’s a crazy world and crazy times. He keeps it focused on the product and finding solutions,” said Kasbohm.
Looking to the future
With 100 years of business under its belt, Snap-on Tools is already well established, but Kasbohm said, “We’re always finding additional opportunities. For the most part, in North America, about 98 per cent of all technicians are called on by a Snap-on franchisee. Our mission is really to be the most valuable productivity solution provider in the world,” he said.
As for what sets Snap-on Tools apart from its competition, Kasbohm said “it comes down to our innovative tradition, experience, and the company’s reputation for high quality products. We have a long legacy of innovation and design.”