What does it take to find success as an independent tire dealer these days? One simple but frequently overlooked way of finding out is to consult prospering dealers as to how they're achieving desired results. It's no disgrace to seek the advice of a respected colleague. After all, who understands the challenges of running an independent tire dealership better than another tire dealer?
And what could possibly be wrong with adopting ideas and strategies that have worked for other tire dealers?
Consider the experience of Ned Edwards of Star Tire Co. in Dallas, whose story is detailed on page 1.
While struggling to survive the stormy economic climate of the 1980s, Mr. Edwards sought advice from Barry Steinberg of Direct Tire Sales in Watertown, Mass., some 1,800 miles away.
Despite the difficult times, Mr. Steinberg's extraordinary success in operating the single-outlet New England tire dealership had earned him national recognition and attention from the news media.
So Mr. Edwards phoned up Mr. Steinberg with a list of questions. He credits Mr. Steinberg's comments and suggestions with helping redirect the Dallas-based dealership's marketing focus from low price to one based on providing outstanding customer service.
As a result, Direct Tire Sales now commands a higher price for its products and services.
The Dallas company also has borrowed other ideas used by successful tire operations. Example: greeting customers at their cars rather than waiting for them to enter the store-a practice pioneered by Les Schwab Tire Stores in the Northwest.
Mr. Edwards now has an employee profit sharing program and conducts periodic staff meetings to remind everyone of the company's customer-service mission.
There's never a shortage of advice as to how dealers should run their businesses-much of it from those who've never walked in the tire dealer's shoes.
Why not seek the advice of real experts? Men and women whose knowledge and abilities have been demonstrated in the marketplace-your fellow tire dealers!