He’s Snap-on Tool’s most successful multi-unit franchisee, with turnover of more than $1m each year, and fifteen awards to prove it. Here Brad Watts shares the secret to his success.
Before buying my first Snap-on Tools truck 17 years ago, I started my career as a diesel fitter repairing heavy vehicles in the mines in Queensland. It was this relentless pursuit of a challenge that eventually led me to investing in a franchise with Snap-on Tools – one of Australia’s most successful mobile franchise operations. The iconic American brand was expanding into the Australian market and offering attractive opportunities for those looking to join. And with my love of tools, it was a match made in heaven.
Starting my own business with Snap-on was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. But it isn’t for everyone. The key to running a successful franchise business lies in your personal philosophy and approach.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that buying a franchise business means buying a job. If it was a job you would have a boss. But it’s a business and you’re the boss, so success and failure are largely dependent on you.
I can’t just credit the success of the business to my tenacity and determination, but also my relentless search for the right team. Here are some of my top tips for finding the right people for a high performing team.
1. Don’t hire for the sake of it
In the past, if I had a truck that was without a driver, I would have rushed to hire someone, because it would have been better than having a truck not operating. But now, unless the potential employee is the absolute right fit, I’ll let the truck sit there. If you choose the wrong person for the job, the wheels will definitely fall off.
The key to creating a team that performs well and helps your business grow, is to really understand your business needs and the needs of your customers, and hire accordingly. It sounds straightforward, but it’s easy to get distracted.
2. Keep your team motivated with goals and incentives
I set clear goals and KPIs for everyone. If my staff know how they’re being measured and what’s expected of them then they can plan how they’re going to make it work. When they reach the goal, it gives them a sense of achievement which can be a great motivation.
Incentives are another way I motivate my team. For me, it’s been a big part of getting the guys to work towards a common goal, because they know there’s something worthwhile at the end. Last year I offered a trip overseas for them and their families if they met all their goals. I ended up taking eight of us on holidays, so I think it’s working!
3. Be flexible
Something that comes hand in hand when managing a team, is dealing with bits and pieces that crop, like kids getting sick, family issues or even something as simple as a flat tyre. I always make sure I’m as understanding as possible and don’t get caught-up in the moment! I listen to my staff and see the bigger picture.
4. Be involved
Even though I don’t necessarily operate my own truck anymore, I used to. This means I know what the guys are going through and can relate. If they come to me with an issue, I generally know exactly what they mean and can work with them to make a solution. The key is staying involved in your business – your leadership has to visible and constant.