40-year-old Steve Handrick, from Chippenham, is a Snap-on man with a plan. With a decade as a franchisee with the world’s leading tool brand already under his belt, his dream is to build an empire for himself and his new wife to enjoy, well into their retirement. With the wheels already in motion, Steve won’t settle until his plan becomes a reality – and he owes much of his success to his unwavering belief in the brand.
“It’s like I wake up in the morning and just go into Snap-on mode! Whether I’m thinking about what orders I have for that day, what route I’m on for the morning, or plans for the following week, I very rarely wake up in the morning without thinking about the day ahead. I think that’s a great indication of how much I love what I do and my passion for Snap-on – it’s a way of life. I’m looking forward to spending the next however many years growing my business and it all started over ten years ago. I don’t know where the time has gone!”
Time hasn’t always passed so quickly for the former engineer. He started an apprenticeship with BMW, at their UK Manufacturing Plant, and spent another 14 years with the global brand. But, in 2006, a debilitating motorbike accident left Steve housebound, with little to occupy his days as his shattered ankle healed.
“Due to the nature of my work, I couldn’t step foot – literally! – on site until my injuries had fully healed, meaning I was off work for close to nine months. Do you know what you do, when you’re stuck at home, with limited mobility and a whole lot of time on your hands? You start to think about what you’re doing with your life, and what your priorities are. It was then that I realised – I wanted to be my own boss.”
With this newly found desire to build a better future for himself, Steve began looking around for business opportunities. It was then that his thoughts turned to Snap-on. Despite his background in the motor industry, Steve had surprisingly little experience with the brand, but knew a fair bit about the franchise opportunity. After speaking with the head office team, who explained the opportunity in its entirety, Steve was sure that Snap-on was right for him.
“I’d obviously heard of Snap-on – who hasn’t? A friend of mine worked in the support team, and a neighbour had made a real success of his own Snap-on franchise so, perhaps unlike most, I felt I knew more about the franchise than the tools themselves!
“I bought my franchise in January 2008 and I just couldn’t wait to get out on the road – I wanted in on the action! I’d spent a year getting to grips with the brand, the product, and the way Snap-on do things, and I felt confident in my ability to succeed. I went along for my franchisee training, which was the assurance that I needed that I was ready to go for it. The training was incredible – you honestly couldn’t fault it. I’ll never forget how much fun I had – it was hard work, but I really enjoyed it.”
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 18 days with you over the next five months, and then, provide ongoing support for life!
Steve says his first year on the road is still his proudest, even ten years down the line. Having ranked in the top 40 biggest earners in those initial months, he was awarded and recognised by his peers at his very first Snap-on conference.
“I worked my socks off from the outset, so being congratulated by established franchisees was a real high point for me. It gave me determination to continue and capitalise on my initial success. Over the years, I’ve dealt with some real peaks and troughs with the business, but I do everything with my customers in mind and constantly keep an eye on the bottom line.”
Ten years on, Steve’s success is unquestionable. Having recently married the love of his life, Suzanne, he is a proud husband, a keen traveller, a property owner – the couple own three houses between them, including their five-bedroom home in Chippenham – and the owner of two “crazy” springer spaniels, Lily and Daisy.
Professionally speaking, Steve’s master plan is well underway. With his second mobile store now on the road, Steve’s assistant, Scott, supports him in serving the many customers of Devizes, in Wiltshire. Steve’s sights are now set on retirement – but not in the way you might think!
“I know a lot of people go into franchising with early retirement in mind but I’m going to keep going until I fall out of love with what I do – who knows when I’ll retire! One thing’s for sure, though, I’ll stop the second that I feel I can take a step back. My long-term plan is to build an empire of four of five territories, which I’ll manage remotely. It’s a win-win scenario – still doing what I love, but around a schedule that suits me.
“That’s, by far, the best thing about being a Snap-on franchisee – the flexibility it allows. Had I still been working for BMW, I’d probably still be on the same wage, doing the same job, with the same team. Snap-on isn’t a 9-5 – I can sometimes work twelve-hour days – but you can customise your work patterns to fit around your life, and there’s never a dull moment! Snap-on isn’t for everyone, but it works for me – I’m a Snap-on man through and through.”
Before discovering Snap-on, Steve found himself growing exceedingly frustrated and limited in his career. Sound familiar? Call us on 01536 413986 or fill our our contact form to find out more about the Snap-on franchise opportunity.