Cheers! Former Pub Landlord Becomes Award-winning Mac Man


Mac Tools

In the UK
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“I have a future that I control. For the first time in my life I’m solely in control of my own destiny.”

Mac Tools Franchise

It might not seem an obvious career move going from pulling pints to selling tools, but Nick Cobb had a plan in mind and no doubt that a little personality would go a long way in his new business.

“I’d been running pubs for 20 years and it was time to do something different,” he says. “Friends offered me a couple of different roles, but I really didn’t want to work for anybody else. I wanted to be in control.

“After the pubs and other jobs I’d had, I didn’t see much of a problem in going into Mac where I’d be dealing with and meeting people all the time.

“Yes, it was a huge career change, but as long as you’ve got faith and confidence in the products you’re selling and a bit of personality, it’s not difficult to be a great Mac Man or Lady. You’ve got massive amounts of support behind you, they’re phenomenal at supporting you. Everything from marketing to products, it’s all there.

“If you’ve got the personality to get out there, this is a wonderful business to run. It was hard of course, and it can be lonely. But there’s a lot of people you can call on and you learn from any mistakes you make. There’s a model there to guide you as you find your feet, and it does that well.”

Aim high

It hasn’t taken Nick long to prove how right he was. After a spectacular first year which saw him rank in the top 20 in sales out of all UK franchisees, he was named Mac’s Rookie of the Year, winning a trip for two to the USA.

He says: “Winning was great, Mac took us over to the States and wined and dined us, treated us like royalty. It was a real highlight, I’ve never been to the US before.

“When I started the business, I jokingly said to Steve, the training manager, that I was going to win Rookie of the Year! My attitude has always been that second place is the first-place loser. When I go into something I do it the whole way, so I had my eye on the award from the beginning. I wanted to prove that I was the best new start and great at what I do. You’ve got to have ambition.

“You always hear about the things that are wrong, it’s rare for people to say you’ve done a good job. So to win an award was amazing.”

Business benefits Nick’s clear about the impact the business has had on his life.

“I have a future that I control. I control my day every day and I can choose to work as hard as I want to. I got Top 20 in sales last year in my first year, and this year I want to consolidate myself in the Top 10. I’m on track to do that so far, and it would be a great achievement. Then I want to get into the Top 5. That’s my driving force. I don’t want bronze, I want gold!

“For the first time in my life I’m solely in control of my own destiny. That sounds dramatic, but I was always chasing the next thing before, always trying to reinvent the wheel. A Wetherspoon’s opened just up the road from me when I was in the pub trade, how do you compete with that?

“This model works. Techs will always buy tools, and that’s not changing with the hybrid and electric cars coming in, that’s just another market for us to tap into. New mechanics come into the trade every single year.

They’re starting their careers, they want to buy tools, and they need more as they progress. If I can catch them early and look after them, they’ll be mine for life. I’ve got techs that will only buy from me because I’ve looked after them so well.

“It might seem daunting going into garages for the first time, but for me it wasn’t like that. I’m a quick learner and I knew I’d soak up the products and what they do. I now know tonnes of stuff that I didn’t know 18 months ago – I might not be able to do the mechanic’s work, but I know the tool they need to do it!”

Despite his outstanding success, there are some things Nick remembers fondly from his pub days.

“I do miss watching the football whenever I want and having beer on tap!”

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