Female franchisee takes the driver’s seat

Posted: 15/04/2014 16:44:07

Kate Kent became the second female Mac Tools franchisee to join the team and has been the proud owner of her Colchester territory since September 2013. Having previously worked as a nursery and teaching assistant in a local primary school, Kate had no previous experience in the industry, but that was no deterrent!

Kate’s fiancé, Adrian Griggs, was already a Mac Man and Kate caught the Mac Tools bug whilst helping him out on his van and had left her previous job in order to look for a new challenge.

“My fiancé, Adrian, was a Master Tech at Citroen and he used to buy from Mac Tools. Adrian decided to become a Mac Tools franchisee which I fully supported him through. I enjoyed helping out so much, I then decided to join Mac Tools myself.” 
“I love being part of Mac Tools, it feels like one big family and everyone’s passion for the business really shines through – it’s infectious. Initially, the training was the most terrifying thing I’d ever done, I was taken way past my comfort zone in every way but it helped my confidence to grow so much. The support from the team was great, it made a challenging situation so much easier. You leave the training really believing in yourself and it really helped my character to develop in a huge way.”
“To leave my comfort zone and enter into a male-dominated environment was an emotional journey but one that I am immensely proud of. I feel I have grown as a person, before I was shy with little self-belief, now I am confident and believe in myself. Anything is achievable with hard work and determination.”
“I chose franchising because I think having the backing of a global company with all their experience is much less risky than setting up on your own. It’s also an advantage to trade under a well-known name. I chose Mac Tools because they are passionate about their products and the passion for the business is infectious, it took me about 12 months to decide to buy my franchise because I wanted to see how successful Adrian was throughout his first year in business. I would definitely buy my franchise again because the business plan is realistic and easily achievable. The back-up and support is second-to-none and it’s great to be part of the Mac family.”
“For my training, I spent two weeks away at Sheffield headquarters and then two weeks with a Regional Franchise Manager (RFM) on the road. We’re also provided with monthly reviews and assistance at the end of the phone whenever it is needed. The support from Mac Tools doesn’t stop with the initial training - the ongoing support is fantastic. I had support on the road with me for two weeks and the franchise team, customer services and other franchisees are always on the other end of the phone if you ever need any help. Everyone’s got time to help and no-one thinks your question is too silly!”
Being one of the only two female franchisees in a male-dominated environment could make for an uncomfortable experience, but Kate has found it quite the opposite.

I haven’t found it odd at all, even though I thought it would be when I walked into my first automotive repair shop. Prior to joining Mac Tools I was a teaching assistant in a local primary school specialising in maths intervention and I didn’t even know the difference between a flat head screwdriver and a Phillips – it just goes to show you’re never too old to learn. I think I get a better reception as being a woman in this business is a novelty to my customers; sometimes they even make me a cup of tea!

“I would advise anyone looking at buying a Mac Tools franchise to speak to existing franchisees and to spend a few days shadowing them to really get a feel for what it will be like first hand.”
“My best achievement to date has been beating Adrian in one week’s sales. I’m very competitive so it was a good moment for me! For the future, I plan to continue building my business and I hope to earn the opportunity to attend the USA Tool Fair.”

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