Many of our readers have asked the question, what does it take to be a successful tool franchise owner? To get an answer, we talked to a number of different drivers from different companies and pooled together some information to give you and idea of what it takes and what it is like.
We’re lucky to be surrounded by a large number of automotive repair shops, which naturally brings in a variety of tool dealers. We almost think of them as the Big Four — Matco, Snap-on, Mac and Cornwell (in no particular order), but there are also a fair number of independent dealers wheeling around who appear to be just as successful.
One of the most resounding topics is dependability. As a tool truck driver, your customers depend on you to be there every week. Technicians make buying decisions based on the features, price and quality of tools, but they’re also only going to buy from a dealer who is dependable.
Tool truck drivers work long hours, 12-hour days not being uncommon. It takes a true dedication and love of the industry. A tool truck driver has to show up at all their shops, every week and on a very routine schedule.
Communication is also a key point, and it is equally important for tool truck drivers to let their customers know when they are not going to be there. It adds to a dependable reputation and builds rapport with customers.
Many tool franchise owners come from strong backgrounds in repair at some type of shop, so they already have a fairly expansive knowledge of tools. Some of the them, however, do not have this type of background, but simply like tools and the interaction with people.
If a technician needs a tool, most likely someone makes it. They depend on their tool truck driver to find these tools for them. After all, that is what they are supposed to do, right?
The tool truck driver who only wants to sell what is on his or her truck is not going to be the most successful. They have to be willing to go the extra mile for their customer by utilizing all of the avenues at their disposal to find what their customer needs.
The tool truck driver who proves that they work hard for their customer is always going to be successful.
The strongest focus is on dependability, honesty and hard work, but there is still much more to the equation.
A tool franchise is a serious business, and there is no getting around the bookkeeping end of it. Not only is there record keeping, but banking, ordering, returns, warranties, truck maintenance and a lot of organization.
All of the tool companies expect the best from their distributors. You have to keep your truck and equipment in good condition and presentable to reflect a positive image for the company.
As serious as it all is, the tool truck drivers we talk to all love what they do. They work hard and work long hours, but it is very rewarding to them.
Since it is their own business, they answer to themselves and they can have fun with it too. They all come up with ideas for different types of contests and fun competitions on their trucks to engage their customers and put a unique spin on their business.
Tool companies will tell you, “it’s not the route, it’s the person behind the wheel.”
If you think you are that person, the tool companies would love to hear from you and coming from people who love tools, we can certainly understand why many of our readers decide to take this path.