Snap-On Tools Named Franchise of the Year Finalist
Peter Harris, who operates the Snap-on Tools franchise, based in Rowlands Castle, Hants, is celebrating being named as one of the top performers in an industry worth over £9 billion a year to the UK economy after reaching the final of the 2005 BFA Franchisee of the Year Awards, backed by HSBC Bank and Express Newspapers.
Now Mr Harris is hoping to go on to scoop the top Franchisee of the Year title and HSBC’s £5,000 winner’s cheque at the awards dinner in Birmingham on 6 October. The second and third-placed franchisees will receive cheques from HSBC for £3,000 and £2,000 respectively.
Peter Harris left school at 16 and took up an apprenticeship in a garage restoring vintage cars. He later moved to Rover and, when BMW took over, his future seemed set.
But Peter had always wanted his own business. When BMW pulled out of Rover he saw his career looking increasingly uncertain and took a life-changing plunge, purchasing a franchise from Snap-on Tools, the market leader in professional tools and equipment.
He had, in fact, originally approached Snap-on when he finished his apprenticeship but was told that at 21 he was too young. Nearly a decade later Peter had the experience and the commitment to make the business work and he and his wife, Tracey, have never looked back.
The market has changed significantly in recent years and car repairs now involve the ability to work with extremely complex computer-controlled engines. Mr Harris’ training combined with the research and development capabilities of his franchisor mean that he can offer his customers the modern diagnostics equipment needed to fix today’s cars as well as the regular software updates required for each new vehicle model.
According to the panel which selected him, Mr Harris’ success is equally due to the attributes that every successful franchisee needs: tenacity, good humour, unwavering focus on his customers and the willingness to work very hard. With the help of four employees, Peter and Tracey Harris expect the current year turnover to exceed £750,000.
The judging panel, led by Sir Bernard Ingham, President of the BFA, was looking for franchisees whose businesses have outperformed competitors and excelled at ‘Managing Change’ – the theme for this year’s competition.
“Peter Harris deserves recognition of his success. HSBC has supported many franchising success stories over the last 20 years and recognises the valuable contribution franchisees, such as Snap-on Tools, make to the UK economy,” said Cathryn Hayes, head of franchising for HSBC Bank.