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  #1  
Old 03-24-2005, 01:36 PM
Jim Jim is offline
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Default Matco,Mac Tools, Snap-On???

Does anyone have an opinion on any of these companies?
I'm researching these companies regarding starting a full time home based business selling tools out of truck for one of these companies.
Matco and Mac have no franchise fees or on going royalties, and Snap-On is 5k, with 50 bucks a month royalty. From what I have collected so far is Matco has the largest margins of the 3. Has exclusive territories and provides researched business leads, right down to where the business wants the truck parked.
.
.
After talking to the Matco rep, what's the catch? It can't possibly be as easy as they try to make it sound.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2005, 04:02 PM
omarborrego omarborrego is offline
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Jim, I am a franchise consultant and unfortunatly I do not represent the three companies you are looking into. What I can offer up in advice is to contact some existing reps that are doing...what you are looking to do? For example, if you were going to buy a McDonalds you would contact existing McDonalds franchisees to get a insiders point of view of owning the business. When doing this type of research ask the individual if they like what they are doing? Ask, if they had the chance to do it all over again would they? Ask, if they would recommend this type of work to a family member? Ask them how much money they are making? Ask them what their ROI is? Some people may not give you all this information, but you will be amazed with how much some people will reveal. It sounds like what you need is validation about this business opportunity.

When buying a franchise you would be presented with a UFOC (Uniform Franchise Offering Circular). Consider the UFOC the prospectus into buying a franchise. What you want is the equivalent for the companies you are considering. Most of the time with this UFOC they will have a list of existing franchisees. Those are the people you want to contact. A red flag should go up if the company will not give you any names to use as validation. I hope this helps. Keep us posted.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2005, 12:12 AM
Jim Jim is offline
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Why thank you very much for the reply. I've been thinking tonight at work about my next move and my truck needs some warranty work done, so while there I was going to do some polite investigating....I was also thinking to myself,"when in the heck was the last time i've seen one of these tool trucks?". Sure does seem forever, but i'm going to be on the look out big-time for them.

I guess I have another question regarding the UFOC, which I do know about but certainly appreciate you mentioning. At what point in the process is it time to ask to be presented with an UFOC? At first telephone contact with the representive? During the first face to face meeting?

Thanks Much
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Old 03-25-2005, 08:31 AM
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pete pete is offline
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I see those trucks every day. But I have been auto related businesses for years and maybe I just notice them more than you. I can assure you that every car dealership, tire store, muffler shop, etc. in the country gets visited by at least one of them every week.

Like any other business, a lot depends on you. Some of them have a very high turnover, others have guys who have been with them for years. While I have never dealt with them personally, I can tell you a few things I know about them.

One is that they seem to "re-allocate" territories as one dealer begins making too much money. They will take from two adjoining dealers and create a new territory to bring in a new guy. So, they will never let you be too successful. Unless you are out in the "country", where it's just too difficult to split a territory. I know of one "country" Snap-on guy who has a big Kenworth, rather than the normal stepvan. In his case, he's certainly not hiding his money.

The other thing is that most of what you sell is "on account" to mechanics, who have a tendency to move around. Virtually all of these guys are on a $ 20 a week, or $ 25 a week plan and if they pack up and move, you're holding the tab.

Over the years, I've seen a lot come and go. I've also seen some guys out there week to week for 20 years. I'd guess it has more to do with personality than the tools or prices. If you can relate to the mechanaics, you should do just fine.
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:24 AM
omarborrego omarborrego is offline
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Jim, I think Pete answered your question about how often tool trucks are seen out there. In regards to the UFOC, it varies from franchise to franchise. The FTC mandates that they give one to you at least 10 days before money is exchanged. I have some franchises that will send it out before they speak with a prospective franchisee. I have other franchises that require a little more leg work to measure your desire to become part of their organization. By leg work, I mean they will have you complete a financial questionairre and profile form. There is no harm in asking. I'd bring it up now. Once you get it then you bump your research into high gear. Take the UFOC to a Franchise Attorney and CPA. These two souorces will be costly, but they will be a 2nd and 3rd pair of eyes on the organization you are looking to join. Keep in mind that these two sources will always find something of caution for you. Take that info. Weigh the Pros and Cons. Then you'll be one step closer.
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2005, 07:01 PM
BigP BigP is offline
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You have a great question. You must do your research before going forward with any of these companies. There are 10 important factors you should consider before going with any franchise. You should consider all of these factors for each company you are considering:

1. Interview Franchisees
2. Visit the Headquarters
3. Analyze the Financial Stability of the Franchisor
4. Talk to Executive Management
5. Talk to the last three franchises that completed training.
6. Operating Support
7. Quality Name Recognition
8. The Industry
9. Size of the Franchisor
10. The Application Process

For more info, check out: http://franchise.innovativeblogs.com...g-a-franchise/

Good luck with your search and I hope you find success with whatever you decide. Stop by and let us know...
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2005, 02:01 PM
blg blg is offline
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Default UFOC's

Does anyone have suggestions on how I could obtain a copy of Matco's UFOC (or any other distributor franchisor for that matter)?

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:31 PM
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Contact them directly and ask for one. Simple enough.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2005, 10:04 AM
jystrebler jystrebler is offline
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Jim it is not as "easy" as they make it sound, but it is that simple.

Any of those three businesses are about SALESMANSHIP and building personal relationships.

It goes like this: you pull the truck up to a garage or body shop where you stop by every 6 months and the employees don't know you and you'll be lucky to sell a screwdriver.

If you find out when payday is, get on good terms with the owner, pull up and know everybody by name, and get to where you've built a relationship with people, they'll buy tools from you.

I've seen it happen.

Salesmanship is the most underrated, yet critical skill any business can have. Even in the era of e-commerce, good salespeople are out there making tons of money.

If you can sell, you can make money. Simple as that. As for tools? I think money can be made by selling them. It's a different type of salesmanship than selling mainframe computers, but any good salesman will do well in life.

As for the UFOC, some franchises make you fill out an application and sign a non-disclosure before you get a UFOC.

I would advise looking at a LOT of franchises, though. It took me 2 years to get comfortable with my choice of franchises. Don't get to settled on any one industry. I'd say look at every franchise that's within your capitalization range. You might be surprised how inexpensive some franchises are (and how expensive others are).
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Old 07-23-2005, 06:55 PM
Mechanic Mechanic is offline
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Default Go MAC?

Jim,

I’m a retired auto/aircraft mechanic in Hampton Roads, Virginia looking to do the same.

Knowing many of the tool distributors – here is my take.

Snap-On builds on their name and charges very high prices. If your territory gets too large, the company will split it down the middle and bring in a new guy so you’ll never get too rich. Also, as pete mentioned about the big Kenworth – it’s all show outside. Inside, it’s lacking what mechanics need the most – tools! Snap-On also sells online at competitive prices from the trucks so that cuts into their sales. The person I know who serviced our shop for years puts in 12 hour days and some weekends to make ends meet. They also have to compete with other distributors as Snap-On doesn’t control territories very well. Its dog eat dog which probably explains why most of the Snap-On guys I’ve dealt with are arrogant SOB’s.

We had a Matco guy who was around for many years but finally retired. Their tools are good quality at affordable prices. He was friendly, knowledgeable, and most important, he was consistent which is why he lasted so long. We haven’t seen one since but from what our retiree told me, Matco doesn’t provide much long term support. Once you’ve bought into the company and signed all the contracts – you’re on your own – do or die.

I’ve got my eye on MAC Tools right now since they’ve got the financial backing of Stanley Inc and appear to be consistently growing. Our MAC Tool guy has been around for years and does well. Their tools are high quality if not better than Snap-Ons but their prices are quite affordable. Also, warranty service has never been an issue.
Like jysterebler says – it’s all about salesmanship!

Two weeks ago, I noted a truck marked “MAC Tools Military” in the restaurant parking lot and decided to hang out to meet the driver. It turns out that he’s new and a company employee who gets paid a generous salary with bonuses and benefits but best of all, the truck is leased with all expenses (gas & maintenance) paid for by MAC. He’s a retired Air Force aircraft mechanic and services military bases and local Government garages but can sell to civilian shops so long as he’s not in another MAC Mans territory. All his prices are at rock bottom and his truck was the best equipped tool truck I’ve seen in years! Yet, he’s one of a handful of employee distributors that MAC is expanding into so you may want to inquire about this. Turns out, there are two MAC Tools Military truck in this area – both employees of MAC.

As for the franchise distributors, MAC provides long term distributor support so they don’t just take your money and feed you to the wolves. They understand that you’re paying their paycheck so included with your truck and tools is two weeks of training in Columbus and a seasoned distributor to ride with you on your first two weeks. Even the employee distributors are there to provide franchise support which is something Snap-On or Matco lack.

This is my perspective from my part of the country but I recommend that you talk to the perspective franchise distributors in your area to get their view. Keep in mind that many franchise distributors get a financial reward for the people they recommend so they may be biased. Best of luck!

Mech
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