Paul Bevington is proud to call himself a Snap-on franchisee. He’s worked in sales and had an automotive garage of his own but says it felt as though he’d found his true calling when he launched his Northumberland-based franchise in 2016. Combining his passion for impeccable customer service and his experience of the tool trade, Paul’s franchise is going from strength to strength.
The proof is in the pudding. Just three years in, Paul has three achievements to his name. In 2016, he was named North East Rookie of the Year, in 2017, he ranked third in the UK for sale, finishing 25th in the world. And, just last year, he was again ranked in the top 40 worldwide. But success hasn’t got the better of the proud husband and stepfather.
“I love being a Snap-on man. It suits me down to the ground because it combines all of the separate skills I’ve picked up over my 35 year career. I’ll never take it for granted that I’ve had the opportunity to join the most well-known tool brand in the world. I’m able to build a comfortable living for me and my wife, Diane, and finally have the time to enjoy life too. It’s wonderful to have a second chance at my dream career.”
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 sell the most sought-after tools in the industry and deliver outstanding customer service 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.
Paul’s work experience began long before he’d even left school. He worked for the family business, helping out his mum and dad at their scrapyard in the midlands. Whilst his friends were socialising and studying, Paul was getting a head-start, by learning what it meant to work hard for a good wage.
“It gave me a real taste for the working world. I’m a chatty guy, with a strong work ethic, so my parents putting me to work never really felt like a chore. Working in the scrapyard also sparked a love of mechanics – and Snap-on Tools! – that led me to working in a garage until my early twenties. It was around that time that I splurged on my first ever Snap-on tool. I’ll always remember that day. Little was I to know that, one day, I’d been driving around selling to young mechanics who have saved for their first Snap-on tool!”
The next decade saw Paul navigate his way through the intense world of consumer product sales – selling everything from Autoglym polish, to Granada televisions and, for a short while, mobile phones. But the inconsistent results began to take their toll and Paul found himself reminiscing about his time in the garage.
“I took a leap of faith, you could say, by opening my own automotive garage in Bromsgrove. I was back on familiar ground, dealing with engines, car parts and a packed-out schedule again, but it felt like I’d come home. Being self-employed came with some real perks and, as a self-labelled workaholic, I was reaping the rewards. I decided then and there that I would always strive to work for myself, rather than answering to someone else. I decided to sell the business and really go back to my roots, opening my own breakers yard, which I ran for over a decade. But, in December 2015, I met my lovely wife, Diane, and moved 250 miles to be with her and her daughters in Northumberland. After over 30 years of non-stop working, it did me good to stop and put my happiness first for a change.”
With a new family unit to support Paul busied himself searching for his next career opportunity. Recalling a conversation he’d had with a Snap-on franchisee, he thought to himself now might be the time to give the opportunity some serious thought.
“In all honesty, I don’t know why I hadn’t considered a franchise before. I’m motivated, more than familiar with the brand and had seen other franchisees doing really well for themselves. The benefit of the support from the franchisor really appealed to me too. Ever the businessman, I did my due-diligence and researched the business model in detail but, if anything, it reaffirmed my beliefs that I’d be buying into a second chance at my dream career. I met with the franchise team for my initial interview and was completely blown away by their knowledge and professionalism. I was sold! After funding the initial costs through Snap-on finance, I was on my way to the US for my training.”
Snap-on is 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 ten days of classroom-style training in the US. Afterwards, franchisees visit our UK head office in Kettering to meet the staff who will support them on a daily basis and collect their very own custom-built mobile store! Once out on the road, one-to-one training continues with a dedicated Franchise Developer who rides with franchisees for their first five weeks. As part of a six-month intensive onboarding process, new franchisees receive a further 31 days of on-van support from a Sales Developer and Business Manager over the following five months. That’s 51 contact days in the first six months!
“I think one of the best things about the training and initial contact period is just how well it sets you up for the life of the franchise. I might only be a few years in, but I refer back to those initial training sessions regularly. As a former business owner, without any backing, I like to use the resources available to me as much as possible. I’m always checking back through my notes, sounding off ideas with the other guys in the network and I never miss a regional meeting. That’s the advice I would give to any of the newer guys – don’t be afraid to ask for help. That level of support is crucial in your first few months and out on the road. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”
Now three years in, Paul likes to start his day early, with a cup of coffee and a quick check through the van, before setting off on his day with his beloved dog, Amber, in tow.
“It’s a full-on day, from start to finish, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. If someone were to ask me if I’d do this all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat. I’m very proud of the success I’ve experienced with Snap-on but, for me, it’s more about the positive change in my lifestyle. I live life by my own watch, have more time to spend with family – I see my sisters down in Bromsgrove more now than I did when I lived in the area! – and have a great career to see me through to retirement. What more could I want?”
If, like Paul, you’re interested in changing your life for the better, fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch. Remember, for a limited time, with our Jump Start package, you can launch your own business for less than £12k!