46-year-old Kenny Ferguson launched his Snap-on franchise, in Mallusk, Northern Ireland, in June 2014. Four years on, the former mechanic has recently expanded the business, taking on an assistant, a second franchise and a territory covering most of the north coast of Ireland. With his sights set on another expansion before the end of the year, this busy dad has only one regret.
“I wish I’d joined Snap-on 10 years sooner! That’s the one piece of advice I would give to anyone considering joining Snap-on – just got for it. Snap-on isn’t just about the earning potential, or the chance to be part of something big, it’s about the camaraderie with your customers and meeting new people. Although you’ve got your daily routine and regular routes, each day is different. I’m certainly kept on my toes and, for the first time in my career, I’m not stuck in the same old cycle of going to work, putting in the hours and coming home, just to do it all over again the next day. I can hand on heart say I haven’t had that feeling once since I joined Snap-on.”
Kenny’s career hasn’t always been so fulfilling. During school all he ever wanted to do was work with cars and, aged 16, Kenny started an apprenticeship in motor mechanics and automotive engineering. Having realised his dream – or so he thought! – Kenny embarked on a quarter of a century-long career in mechanics.
“I spent two decades with the same private haulage firm, as a mechanic and part time driver. Whilst I enjoyed the work and the odd driving job, I never really worked my way up the career ladder. It was hardly the dream job I’d imagined for myself! I earnt a relatively good wage – enough to support a young daughter – but I would work 18-20 hours a day, 6 days a week. I was spending so much time away from home, that it was no life really, which became clearer as I got older. It was when I was almost at breaking point that I was introduced to Snap-on as a franchising opportunity.”
Snap-on is the world’s number one professional tool brand. We are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the professional technician. Franchisees deliver gold-standard, premium products to technicians up and down the country. Our fantastic business opportunity offers you the chance to be your own boss whilst being supported by an elite team of industry specialists.
It was Kenny’s brother, Alan, who set the wheels in motion. After a year as a Snap-on franchisee himself, Alan quizzed Kenny on whether he had ever considered being a Snap-on man.
“In all honesty, I hadn’t. But I couldn’t tell you why! It all made sense – I had a background in the automotive trade, so I knew and trusted the brand. In fact, I’d only ever bought my tools from Snap-on! I’d always been good with people and I was intrigued by taking on a new challenge and hopefully finally finding that dream career I’d spent close to 30 years waiting for.
“I gave the guys at Snap-on a call and they said they thought I’d be a great addition to the network. Before I knew it, they’d found a vacant territory close to home. Using some savings I already had, topped up with a personal loan from Snap-on, I had funding I needed to launch the business. I signed on the dotted line and within a few weeks was on my way to Dallas for franchisee training.”
Snap-on are one of the only franchisors in the UK able to help our franchisees to fund the purchase of the business. We do this through our in-house bank, Snap-on Finance. This fully-regulated finance house eliminates the need for the high street banks and, after all, who better to invest in your franchise with you than your franchisor?
Training starts with a trip to our UK head office in Kettering. New franchisees meet the staff who will support them on a daily basis and collect their very own custom-built mobile store as they are welcomed into the Snap-on family! Afterwards, new recruits jet off for 10 days of classroom-style training in Dallas in the US. Once back home, training continues with five full weeks of on-van support in your exclusive territory. Your Franchise Developer will continue to teach you the day-to-day fundamentals of running the business. You will then be assigned a Sales Developer who will spend a 18 days with you over the next five months, and then, provide ongoing support for life!
After returning from training, it wasn’t long before Kenny was out on the road and meeting his first customers – in fact, it was only two days!
“The training was so intense, but we were taught everything you could possibly need to know, especially for those first few weeks, so I felt more than prepared for the challenge. I use the word ‘challenge’ for a reason – those first eight or nine weeks were hard, but so worth it. It’s not hard to see why the guys who join stay in the business for 10, 20, 30 years – Snap-on is a way of life.”
For almost four years, Kenny ran his territory with the help of his devoted partner, Cathryne. Now keen to grow the business, Kenny has expanded into a second territory and employed a full time assistant to run the second van.
“In the Spring, I took on my assistant, Michelle, who manages my new territory further north, in Limavady and Ballymena. It means there’s more work to do but I have both Cathryne and Michelle to lend support. Now that I’ve been with Snap-on a few years, I plan to continue with this rate of growth and take on another territory, all being well. That’s what’s so good about being a franchisee – you can take the business as far as you want it to go.”
It wasn’t long before Kenny’s success began to make an impression on his loved ones. After years of missing out on that all-important quality time with his daughter, Kenny could finally commit his evenings and weekends to her and his family – only to then go on and talk to them about franchising with Snap-on too!
“I was so grateful to Snap-on for finally giving me the time back to spend with my daughter and, ironically, I spent it chatting with her and her boyfriend about franchising! Andrew was so intrigued by the idea that he looked into it and, late last year, bought into his very own Snap-on franchise.
“It’s wonderful to see him follow in my footsteps and it makes me very proud. It’s not difficult to see why he wanted a slice of the action for himself. There’s so much success to be had with Snap-on and I think it’s great that he’s starting so young. He stands a real chance of building a profitable and scalable business, which should support him and my daughter for the long term. One thing’s for sure – he’s got a head start on me!”
Fancy a second chance at your dream career? If you’re looking for an opportunity to achieve your personal goals and spend more time with your loved ones, fill out our contact form find out more about the Snap-on franchise opportunity.