The Franchise Chatter Blog’s List of 29 Things Every Prospective Franchisee Needs to Know Before Investing in a Matco Tools Franchise in 2011
Matco Tools Franchise Business Model
1. Matco Tools is one of the leading players in the mobile tool franchise market. Matco sells a complete line of automotive equipment to professional users through its franchisee distributors, who take the product directly to customers at their place of business.
2. Matco’s product line consists of 13,000 products, including hand tools, power tools, diagnostics, tool storage, heavy-duty tools, shop-equipment, to name a few.
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3. Franchisees make regular sales and service calls to customers in their territory in a custom designed Matco Tools truck. The Matco truck is a mobile showroom, warehouse, and office all rolled into one. This unique distribution system helps franchise owners reduce business costs and establish personal relationships with each of their customers, who are pre-identified and qualified by Matco.
4. Each Matco franchisee has his own exclusive territory identified by the District Business Manager through surveys and customer interviews — the exact size of which varies depending on the number of potential customers in the area.
5. Every franchise owner receives a protected “List of Calls,” which contains at least 325 potential customer names and contact information. This helps eliminate time-consuming cold calls, while increasing productivity and sales.
6. The most unique aspect of this business model is that the franchisee pays no initial franchise fee, no ongoing royalty fees, and no ongoing advertising fees. In this franchise model, Matco Tools makes money solely from the sales of their products.
Matco Tools Franchise History and Growth
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7. Matco Tools was founded in 1946 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 250 company and a key player in numerous industries, including tools and environmental process and controls.
8. Matco distributors operate in all 50 states, as well as in Canada and Puerto Rico.
Matco Tools Franchise Discovery Day
9. All prospective franchisees are invited to attend a Discovery Day at Matco’s corporate headquarters in Stow, Ohio, before making their final decision.
10. Prospective franchise owners have the opportunity to meet members of the different departments, including: Credit/Finance, Training, Technical Services, Customer Service, Marketing, and more. All meetings are private, one-on-one sessions with Matco team members.
11. All prospective distributors — especially those who cannot travel to Ohio to attend a Discovery Day — are encouraged to call current and former Matco franchise owners, schedule on-truck orientation rides with a couple different Matco franchisees, attend district sales meetings, and seek advice from qualified advisors.
Matco Tools Franchisee Training
12. All new Matco distributors take the Matco Tools New Distributor Training Program, an 8-week program comprised of several phases. This comprehensive training consists of both hands-on field training and interactive classroom instruction.
13. Preparation Week (1 week) – After signing all business documents, new franchisees will ride with an experienced Matco franchise owner, be assigned to a designated Regional Trainer or District Manager, receive their “List of Calls,” and begin making initial sales contacts to pre-identified potential customers.
14. Classroom Training at Corporate Headquarters (9 Days) – New franchisees receive nine days of interactive classroom training at the Matco Tools corporate headquarters. These classes consist of computer simulations, computer-based training, role-playing, and class discussions. A full-sized Matco Tools truck located inside the corporate headquarters is used to facilitate real world customer interaction simulations.
15. Initial Field Training (5 days – conducted Monday through Friday) – New franchise owners will be directly assisted by their Regional Trainer or District Manager to learn about every aspect of the business, including customer relations, inventory management, financial management, sales and collections, among others.
16. Field Training (10 days – conducted Monday through Friday) – The District Manager gives franchise owners one-on-one training on the daily and weekly requirements of the business, including sales effectiveness, collection techniques, and route management.
17. Refresher Course (scheduled six weeks after the start of business) – This training serves as a refresher course on all aspects of the Matco franchise business.
18. Ongoing Training – All Matco franchisees can take advantage of additional training in the form of in-field diagnostic training, district and regional sales meetings, newsletters, seminars, on-truck demonstrations, and online continuous training through Matco University.
Matco Tools Franchisee Support
19. Matco helps franchise owners provide customer support — available 16 hours a day — by assisting with daily business activity and product questions, warranty claims support and administration, shipment tracking, and special order assistance. Matco also provides technical support and helps tackle troubleshooting questions.
20. Matco rolls out hundreds of new and exclusive products annually, educates the franchisee on these new product introductions, and markets these products through a national promo flyer program. Franchise owners receive new products as soon as they are released and have the opportunity to introduce these to their customers first.
21. Each Matco distributor is equipped with the Matco Distributor Business System. This proprietary software helps franchisees keep track of sales, special orders, inventory levels, customer account balances, daily and monthly reports, and much more.
22. All franchise owners are invited to attend the annual Matco National Business Conference & Tools Expo, where they can attend training seminars, see new products, receive discounts on special products, and meet with other franchisees to share information and best practices.
Matco Tools Marketing Assistance for Franchisees
23. Matco Tools sends out national flyers and email blasts 13 times per year, and also sends out special promotional flyers to technicians. The company helps distributors boost sales through special toolbox promotions and rewards programs for technicians.
24. Matco has a strong Internet presence through its website, an online catalog of all its products, and social media (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).
25. In addition, the company spends for motorsports sponsorships and national trade advertising (TV and magazines), and reaches out to various media organizations to introduce new products and promotions.
26. Matco supplies its franchisees with yearly and supplemental catalogs and price lists, as well as truck signs and merchandising to highlight new products and competitive advantages.
Matco Tools Franchise Cost
27. As mentioned previously, the Matco Tools franchise system is unique for having no initial franchise fee, no ongoing royalty fees, no ongoing advertising fees, and no expensive real estate costs.
28. Typically, a prospective franchisee needs $20,000 to $30,000 in start-up capital to start his or her own Matco franchise business — the exact amount will vary depending on personal budget needs, amount financed, and equipment needs.
29. Prospective franchisees have a variety of options (based on their credit history) to finance the initial investment. Some of these options are: financing through Matco Tools, commercial banks, credit unions, savings and loan institutions, and loans guaranteed through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Others may choose to utilize their 401K funds.
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