Director of Franchise Systems Tom Kasbohm has been with the Snap-on Tools franchise for over 20 years. He rose through the ranks from franchisee to become a corporate executive with the company. In this Face of Franchising interview, Tom tells about the roles he’s held with the company, and how the company goes about onboarding franchisees.
What is your franchise industry background? How long have you been with Snap-on?
Over the last 24 years, I have had the pleasure of working interdependently with Snap-on Tools franchisees and management to deliver Snap-on value to our customers. I started with Snap-on Tools as a Credit Manager, and about a year later I fulfilled my dream of business ownership by purchasing a Snap-on Tools franchise. I enjoyed being the franchise owner and delivering Snap-on tools directly to the customer. However, my passion has always been building and developing teams. So, in 1996 I accepted a franchise management role with Snap-on Tools. My teams and responsibilities have continued to expand and my current role is Director of Franchise Systems where I am responsible for strengthening the franchise system throughout North America.
Can you briefly describe Snap-on for those who aren’t familiar?
Snap-on was founded on innovation, and innovative products continue to contribute to our growth. In 1920, the original Snap-on interchangeable socket set was invented for the emerging vehicle repair industry of the day. Shortly thereafter, Snap-on pioneered mobile tool distribution, calling on automotive mechanics at their place of work.
How long does the start-up process typically take for a new franchisee?
We want to ensure that our prospective franchisee has all of the information and time they need to determine if our franchise is a good fit for them. In addition, we want to have sufficient time to determine if the candidate is a good fit to be licensed to service our customers. The prospective franchisee and our franchise team typically take 30-90 days to complete their due diligence through our interactive discovery process. However, the start-up time varies by individual candidate.
What is a common mistake you see with first-time franchisees, and how can they avoid making it?
Underestimating the time commitment needed to be the owner and operator of your own business. A good franchise system has the brand recognition and programs to help you get your business started, but it still requires hard work, dedication and time to learn the business. We require candidates to spend a day with a franchisee to observe the business and understand the time commitment involved.
Snap-on Tools Mobile Store
What kind of support should an incoming franchisee expect from Snap-on as a franchisor during the start-up period?
Before operation of the franchise, we have the new franchisee attend New Franchise Training. This is a week of classroom training by one of our Franchise Training Managers designed to familiarize the new franchisee with the Snap-on Tools program. We follow that up with a minimum of three weeks field training conducted by members of our franchise performance team. Snap-on Tools franchisees have the opportunity to attend monthly product meetings, annual franchise development classes and our annual Snap-on Tools franchise conference. In addition, the franchisee has the ability to contact Snap-on Tools management or our customer care center when additional assistance is required.
Is there an ideal Snap-on franchisee?
Our franchisees are all unique individuals with unique personalities and ambitions. However, they all have a knack for building relationships based on quality customer service and a passion to provide solutions.
What is the outlook for Snap-on in 2015?
Snap-on continues to make investments in our runways for growth, including enhancing the franchise network to reach more vehicle repair technicians. These investments are paying off as key franchisee metrics have continued to be favorable and satisfaction levels are among the best we’ve seen.
A steady stream of successful new product launches also continues to pay dividends. Our array of innovative new products, coupled with robust financing programs through Snap-on Credit, enables our franchisees to engage even more of their technician customers and potentially capture more of their spending for productivity solutions.
For more details on the costs of ownership for a Snap-on Tools franchise, please visit its investment page.