The story is all too common: The owners of a family-owned tire dealership are forced to sell out because the next generation doesn't want to take over the operation.
The reasons aren't too hard to understand. Many young people today view working in the retail and commercial tire business as too hard and too dirty-no place to spend one's professional career.
So it's nice to hear about a younger person, age 30, who returned to his family's retail tire dealership after opting out of what many Generation Xers and Yers would view as a coveted and glamorous job-that of a New York corporate lawyer pulling down six figures annually.
Crazy? Maybe to some. But not so far-fetched for those who understand and appreciate the opportunities and advantages a career in the tire industry offers.
As Todd Oretsky, vice president of seven-outlet Gold Coast Tire & Auto Centers in Coconut Creek, Fla., explains in this issue of Tire Business, a tire dealership is a ``real business.'' It's competitive and offers a chance to make a nice profit, if, as he put it, ``you run it right.''
With many dealerships suffering from a revolving employee door where few workers are interested in claiming a stake and building some personal equity in the business, it's refreshing to learn about someone from another profession who's found the tire business to actually be an exciting place to work.
In explaining his decision to return to his family's dealership and join his brother, Josh, and father, Lloyd, who is looking to slow down, Mr. Oretsky recalled several 3 a.m. phone calls he had while working on his last deal as a corporate lawyer.
``When you're thinking about your life and (you're) ready to settle down and have a family, the life of a corporate lawyer at the level I was at isn't very fun, regardless of the kind of money you make as a partner,'' he explained. ``...(T)here's a good life in the tire business, it's a good career for a lot of people.''
That's the kind of story every dealer should share with employees and family members, especially those who might be eyeing a job in another field. The grass isn't necessarily greener.
The reality is, working in a tire dealership is no different than any other business. Yes, it's hard work. Sometimes it's dirty. But it also can be a rewarding career for those willing to work and learn.
That's a point Mr. Oretsky hopes to get across to his employees-by offering to reimburse them for training, as long as they stay on for at least a year-and by providing opportunities for advancement.
``We want everyone to be here for a long time,'' he said. ``We treat them right, and we expect them to treat us right.''
Common sense advice from a former corporate attorney turned tire dealer.