Tonys Tool Hire was founded in Pongola, back in 2006. The very first tools were a lawnmower Andries took from his own garage, and a 200 litre mixer he bought from Turner & Morris. With four branches now in the northern KZN region (Pongola, Piet Retief, Dundee & Newcastle), Andries says he is well positioned and ready to take on the big names in the industry.
The secret of any tool hire undertaking, like in any other business, is to be a trustworthy supplier. In our case it is not about an expiry date on a bottle of milk, but the condition of tools rented to your customers. To be a half an hour away from town, and to experience a breakdown on a mixer or a poker, is a whole day lost to the client, as well as financial implications if the job has to be done all over. To open a new rental shop with brand new and presentable machines is easy Andries says, but two years down the line when aging – wear and tear has crept in, that’s when the challenges begin. You must be prepared to renew and plough back in terms of capital investment. Other than vehicles, tools have no second hand value – so you cannot trade them in on a new fleet of equipment, which eventually leads to old and unreliable pieces of equipment on our floors. You must have the courage and the means to pull the plug on those old tools, and sell them as scrap to the metal dealers.
With this philosophy, any tool renting company can make it work, given the customer security checks are in place.
The Tony's family have the following quotes (gathered over the years) that constantly remind them of the importance of good business practice, customer service and relations.
- If GOD is your partner, make your plans large.
- If you don’t grow, you grow smaller.
- A customer is not always right, but he is never wrong!
- There are now traffic jams along THE EXTRA MILE!
- The hardest thing about milking cows is that they never stay milked. Problems never stop, but people can stop problems.
- You are as good as the people you hire.
- All men like to think that they can do it alone, but a real man knows there’s no substitute for support, encouragement and a pit crew.
- If you‘re slinging mud, you are losing ground.
- Hearing what we have done right is valuable. Hearing what we have done wrong is priceless.
- Make a customer a friend, not a sale.
- A customer you keep, is one customer you do not have to find.
- If a customer has to ask you for it, you haven’t been thinking far enough ahead.
Tony's Tool Hire and its owners, as was mentioned in the opening paragraph, are considering opening their next outlet as a “Franchise” model. An entrepreneur from Kroonstad was the first to knock on our door, and we are quite willing/anxious to endeavour this opportunity. We will update our website, once our dreams have materialized.