Tony Kendrew arrived at Mac Tools after 12 years’ experience as a self-employed tools dealer – with personal insight into how important the Mac brand would be for his business.
“I did 10 years at a different tool franchise and then a couple of years as an independent,” he says. “Being independent was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, because there’s no brand behind you. I had 11 different suppliers, it got so complicated.
“Cold calling as an independent doesn’t go down so well in the garages, but when you turn up in a Mac van the doors are already open.”
More than just a number
Having seen it all in more than a decade on the road, Tony’s enjoying the Mac difference in his new business.
He says: “My previous franchise became expensive to run, and the tool prices too. They were so focused on the numbers. Here, I’m happy with all of it. Mac treat you with respect, the tools are good, they’re reasonably priced and the guys in garages love them.
“I’ve got competitors in my area, but it doesn’t bother me at all, I know how good the Mac stuff is and I know I can sell it well. It’s been going really well.”
The freedom of life on the road is a far cry from Tony’s previous career, where he worked for major multinational companies.
He explains: “I spent 25 years in the corporate world before I got my first franchise, working for some huge brands here and overseas, including time in Singapore. But in that world, they own you once you get to a certain level, a certain salary. The pressure is phenomenal.”
As with many other Mac Men and Women, it was a desire for a better balance that drew him to franchising in the first place and away from his corporate career.
“I enjoyed it but we didn’t have kids then,” he says. “My business now is much better for the family lifestyle. It’s flexible, I can take the kids to school when I want to. It really works for us.”
That family feel is there every day for Tony, who is happy to have support from his wife behind the scenes. "It fits with our family life really well,” he says.
“I don’t intend doing anything else. I’m 55 and if it keeps going like this, it will see me into a great retirement when the time comes.”