Reaping the rewards of hard work with Mac Tools

Posted: 03/05/2017 11:19:38

Nigel_Hammond.pngBefore Nigel became a part of the Mac Tools family of franchisees he was a national accounts manager for a large scale trailer manufacturer. In that role, he was responsible for 30 distributors and 40 key accounts across the south of England. However, all that time on the road servicing those accounts meant many nights away from home. “I was constantly travelling, averaging three nights a week away in a hotel,” explains Nigel. “This was taking its toll and I wanted a role where I had a better work-life balance, ideally working for myself if possible.”
This search for a career that would give him a better quality of life led Nigel to consider taking on a franchise. “I was looking at several potential jobs and businesses, and after many long discussions with my wife, we felt that Mac Tools offered the best opportunity. I was keen to work for myself but with the backing that an international operation like Mac Tools offers, it was an easy decision to make.”
His decision to join Mac Tools as a franchise holder was immediately rewarded as he was able to spend every night at home with his family. The benefits of becoming a Mac Man are far greater than that for Nigel though. “It’s also fun running your own business and making your own commercial decisions rather than doing so for someone else in their business,” he says with a laugh.
Having been a national accounts manager before he joined Mac Tools, Nigel was used to spending time on the road and meeting different people on a daily basis. These were skills which stood him in good stead when he first got behind the wheel of his Mac Tools van. He has other experience which he has brought to his new venture, as he says, “I have a fairly good understanding of accounts and this helped with the initial business planning as well as managing the costs and growth of my franchise. Working for large corporate entities in the past has also helped me to understand some of the constraints that the Mac Team have to work within and I think this helps me to be a better franchisee.”
Solid business skills, like those Nigel has, are certainly an advantage for anyone starting a Mac Tools franchise, but there are other areas where people’s experience or previous careers can be helpful as Nigel himself is keen to acknowledge. “When I first left college I was an apprentice mechanic, this led to me qualifying as a plant machinery mechanic and then becoming workshop controller. Having a good knowledge of tools certainly helps when it comes to selling them. When I’m talking to technicians in workshops I not only understand their needs, but also the challenges they face on a daily basis. Having that little extra bit of knowledge can make the difference when it comes to getting the sale.” 
Having a great skillset and a workshop background no doubt helps when first going on the road as a Mac Man but, as Nigel points out, because Mac Tools operates as a franchise programme there is always support there when it’s needed. “The support Mac Tools provides is excellent.
“After the initial training, I had a sales manager with me on the road for the first two weeks which was fantastic and Mac Tools still offers this, so if you’re at all unsure about anything when you first start, you’ve got the support you need right there. The Mac Tools team has a route planned for your workshop visits, so from day one you set off and do the job rather than sitting there with your head in your hands wondering what to do first.
“It’s still a big challenge going solo for the first time, but the sales guys are always on hand to offer help and support,” Nigel adds reassuringly.
Having now been on the road for over five years, Nigel has plenty of experience that he is willing to share with those considering joining the Mac family. His first offering is a word of caution. “Do not go into a franchise thinking this is an easy ‘get rich quick’ scenario. A Mac Tools franchise is a way of life but it is hard work too. Having said that, you get out what you put in. The harder you work the greater the rewards. I say it’s a way of life as the hours on the road, backed by the additional hours spent working on the business back at home mean it’s not a 9-5 style job - you really do live the experience.”
Nigel may initially make it sound like hard work, but for him, operating the franchise has brought great results. When asked what the best thing about being a Mac Tools franchisee is, he doesn’t hesitate before answering, “Working for myself and running all aspects of my own business.” He then goes on to elaborate on how his hard work has paid off. “I’ve seen my sales grow over the last five years and I’ve increased my customer base from a healthy number of referrals as well as my own efforts.”
It is not just personal rewards that Nigel is now reaping either, as he says, “I was voted onto the Mac Tools Franchise Council which I feel helps me give something back to Mac Tools as well as helping to shape the future for all franchisees.”
Nigel’s election to the Mac Tools Franchise Council was no doubt helped not only by his own hard work but also by Mac Tools’ recognition of his dedication which has seen him win two gold and two silver franchisee awards.
To get a better idea of what needs to be done to make a success of being a Mac Man, Nigel talks about a typical day. “I begin quite early and check my emails while having my breakfast. It’s then a case of getting out on the road around 8:00, ready to make my first garage visit by 8:30. At each workshop I visit I demonstrate the new tools while ensuring any concerns are dealt with. I have a set route that I follow each day, which ensures I can offer a regular, reliable and professional tool service.
“I tend to take a short lunch break and use that time between garage visits to check my emails and catch up with any calls. Then it’s back on the road - even then I’m always looking for any potential new accounts along the route.
“It isn’t just about selling tools when I’m out visiting technicians and mechanics as I promote tool boxes and workshop equipment as well as hand tools. I also carry out credit checks for higher value capital items when necessary and I have to manage customers’ expectations if they fail to meet the criteria.”
Once he has finished all of his garage visits, Nigel still has work to do, including checking in any deliveries from Mac Tools, restocking his van and preparing any warranty returns. After five years this part of the day is now simply another part of the job.
Nigel is aware that it sounds like he works long hours and accepts this, but he goes on to say, “Having been involved with Mac Tools for over five years, I can honestly say that if I knew then what I know now, I would still have become a franchisee. I believe Mac Tools wants us to succeed with our franchises and it does what it can to help. However, at the end of the day, it’s down to each individual to make a success of their own business. All the necessary support, training and tools you need are provided, so you really do have a great opportunity,” he concludes.

If you are ready to take the driver’s seat with Mac Tools and join this thriving network of franchisees, please click here for more information.

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