Pros: customers, method of doing business, support with everything you need like truck, brochures, etc, free/discounted product! benes, 401
Cons: long hours, you may have a great depot mgr or a crummy one, i realize that can really affect the enjoyment of your job.
I have an interesting history with Schwan's. I have worked as an RSR for Schwan's before and plan to return in August. (I'd go back now but I have an issue with my DL and have to wait)
Here is my objective review of Schwan's. And it's different then the one I would've written years ago. I'll tell you about my first experience and the effect it had – more... on my family then I'll tell you - in my opinion - the type of person that I think would be a great fit for Schwan's.
Schwan's is not for everyone. In fact I would go so far to say that only the very few will make this a successful career. But that doesn't mean it's not worth it. When I first worked as an RSR it was 25 years ago when I had two very young children and a new marriage. In fact, I was quite young myself and hadn't been in the work force very long. The very long hours took it's toll on my young family and I missed them terribly. At that age it was hard for me to look down the road and think long term. I could've had a very successful route by now if I had stayed there 25 yrs. (or gone into mgmt) Back in those days there were no cell phones, no gps...none of that! We actually used the blue route books and you had to write directions to the next stop on the back of the previous stops page. Guess what happened when you tore a stop out? You guessed it...the directions would be totally screwed up, lol. I remember MANY nights trying to find a house and couldn't see the address in the dark and I had to get out with a flashlight just to make sure. We also would use cassette tape recorders to record our route. (quite effective really) i.e. "Ok...after you get done with Mrs. Wilson, continue on Main St. and turn right on State Street to.....blah blah blah".
Since that time 25 yrs ago I've learned a lot about myself, had different jobs and was self employed for 18 yrs. Everyone dreams of owning your own business but guess what...unless your Bill Gates only a few very lucky people are really doing well. Sometimes you can work your butt off and it's not enough. Sometimes it takes luck to really make it big. At least big enough to give yourself benes, 401, etc.
ENTER SCHWAN'S! It took me forever to understand this but Schwan's is perfect for the person that wants to own their own business. You HAVE to treat it like your own business. After the base goes away, it's 100% commission folks. But UNLIKE being self employed, you get health insurance, retirement, uniforms, a truck, fuel for the truck, brochures and on and on and on. IT'S THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! I should've returned to them years ago...I've been such a fool. But I think being self employed before coming back will just help me be that much better of an RSR. I know what it's like to feel all alone...no one behind you....no support...it sucks!!! Schwan's is not for the lazy...it's for entrepreneurs plain and simple. It's about the cheapest way to go into business for yourself. That's the way I see it at least. What about earning potential? Read on....
I have a friend in our local depot that made over $70k last year. Does that get you jazzed up at all? It sure does me. He and I are very similar in personalities and work ethic so while I don't expect to walk into whatever route I get and make 70k the first year, I know that it's possible. My friend told me that he could take any route in our county and make it successful. That there were no bad routes, just bad (or maybe lazy is a more accurate term) RSR's. That was good enough for me.
The job itself....Schwan's is really unique. I mean how many home delivery companies/jobs are out there anymore? Remember the days where the iceman, vegetable man, milk man, etc delivered door to door? Yeah, me neither! LOL But I'm telling you there is nothing like driving up a farm road, seeing the dogs barking and all excited and hearing the kids yell "it's the Schwan's man, it's the Schwan's man!" It really is quite nostalgic and I'm an old fashioned guy so that's why I loved the day to day stuff so much. There's nothing like sitting down at the kitchen table and having the dog plop his head in your lap waiting for a pet on his head while you're entering in codes. Treat your customers right, stay on your route, and you'll become part of the family for many customers. Some people say that the whole way Schwan's markets/sells (there's a fancy word for that that I can't think of right now) is outdated and behind the times. I don't buy it...especially after I see what my buddy is doing in sales. People will still buy from the Schwan man...you just have to remember they have to buy you! Be nice! Treat them like royalty! I promise it will be worth it!
That's my review. If you're young and have a young family but you're a go getter? Then dedicate yourself to it and know that in the long run it will better your life and the future of your family. The hours you put in wouldn't be any different then going to grad school or working in other high pay demanding jobs. I'm in my 50's now...kids are grown....I'm single...but still hungry....and I got time on my hands so it's coming at the perfect time. – less