Sara & Kevin Bickford Worked at Firestone for 10 years and bought the Fox River Tire & Auto
Richie & Leslie Zimmerman from Lafayette, LA, MSO, grew to three stores and sold to strategic buyer MONRO Inc.
Dennis McCarron started his career Bridgestone/Firestone working in various sales and management level positions prior to leading the national retail management training programs. Most recently, Dennis was the Executive Director of Dealer Strategic Planning Inc. (DSP 20 Group), providing coaching and consulting services to its members.
With over 25 years of experience in the tire & automotive industry, Dennis is a seasoned professional with vast tire and auto service industry experience. He is also a featured columnist for Modern Tire Dealer, “Business Insights”
Dennis continues to teach workshops around North America to tire dealers from financial acumen to behavioral selling and leadership and coaching skills. Hear Dennis’s previous episodes HERE.
Joel Zaleski started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers before joining Monro, Inc. as the Vice President of Acquisitions and Operations Support, responsible for leading the company’s acquisition strategy and supporting the operations of Monro’s nearly 1,200 auto service and tire locations. During his time at Monro, Joel oversaw the company’s commercial and wholesale operations, as well as various corporate support functions including, pricing, customer service, facilities, and training.
Joel’s experience in leading the acquisition strategy at the tire and automotive service industry’s largest strategic buyer, Monro, Inc., gives him the credibility and expertise to represent sellers during the sale process.
Joel is a CPA and member of the International Business Brokers Association. Listen to Joel’s previous episodes HERE.
Key Talking Points:
Kevin and Sarah BickfordWorked for Firestone for 10 years
Bought the Fox River Tire & Auto
Richie and Leslie ZimmermanOwned and Sold 3 Shops to Dennis McCarron
Richie now has his Residential Contractor License to build Log Homes
Leslie is opening a boutique Fitness GymLeslie “Operate your business like it’s your last day”
Advice when wanting to buy a businessHave a good real estate attorney as part of the transactionHave a good relationship with your local bank
Importance of the SBA relationship
Challenges new owners face with existing staffLittle changes can seem HUGE
The power of a new trash can
Sell your business when it’s at its healthiestAdvice to the industry to be at your pinnacle20 Group
Align yourself with the best of the best in the industry
Maximize your profit margin
Education and making yourself better
Joel ZaleskiOpportunities in deals with buyers and sellers
Evaluation of the business for buyers
Buy up market share
Run your business everyday like you are going thru an auditKeep it in tip top shape
The hard work will payoff
Expect the unexpected
Be prepared, do it now
Dennis McCarronRun the business like you are owners
Don’t buy a business to buy a job
Successful owners run a business, not buy a job
Learn from people that are smarter than youYou don’t always want to be the smartest person in the room
Be ok with not knowing something and asking how to do it
The value set in hiring good peopleInheriting staff is a challenge when buying a business
A crew that can drive your culture and trust they will do that
Letting staff members go is just part of the process, a pruning process
Hard labor, really trying at times, but it’s worth it at the end of the day
Be patient with own learning curveInvest time in finding great staff
Find people you can partner with and learn from
Figure out when you need help with
Understand your margins to be profitable
Rewards are significant
Hindsight is always so clear
Rewards are all worth while
Align yourself with the right people
Education is important
Take care of your employees
Expect the unexpected
Stay green and growing so you can be ready and ripe!
If you’re looking to sell, use your professionals
Use a broker and real estate attorney
Talk to the people that do that part of the business for a living
Know your numbers on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis
Know what your profitability is
Address small issues when they come up so they don’t become big issues in the future
Is it too late to start making that change to improve the business?
A special thanks to Sara & Kevin Bickford, Richie & Leslie Zimmerman, Dennis McCarron, and Joel Zaleski for their contribution to the aftermarket.
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