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Last Update: Wednesday June 23, 2021

Key Idea: Offer Selection, Speed and Price

Taking care of customers and employees is as important as the product you choose to sell.

Key Question:


Offer selection, speed and price. Tires Plus offers a wide variety of quality tires and outstanding customer service. This is part of their "guest" concept, treating customers as their welcomed guests. As the number of stores has increased, so, too, does the purchasing power of the business. Larger purchase orders generally mean better pricing from the manufacturer. Tom and Don have passed some of these savings on to their customers to ensure that their pricing is favorable. Better pricing, combined with a large selection and fast service, make a win-win-win for the customer.

Q:  Why does Tom tell his new store managers that they won't be successful if their focus is on making money?

Tom's not opposed to making money and he certainly recognizes that his teammates want to make money. His point is that if you take care of business by taking care of your customers, the money will come. If you focus on making money, then you'll lose sight of the real value in the business, the customer relationships. People buy a lot of tires. At Tires Plus, the team makes the experience as positive as possible. Customers remember this, and the next time they need tires they think first of Tires Plus.

Think about it

What's your focus in your business? And just as importantly, how do you communicate this focus to your employees? Do your teammates understand how to make money in your business?

Clip from: Tires Plus with Tom Gegax and Don Gullet

Minneapolis: In 1978, Tom Gegax and his partner Don Gullet, bought a few gas stations and opened for business. By 1998, they had 150 tire stores with 2,000 employees generating $200 million in annual sales.

That's a good story unto itself, however, in this episode of the show, we learn from a master entrepreneur about the meaning and value of life. Tom Gegax is pulling and pushing us up the ladder. When they sold this business, he became an author. His third book, The Big Book About Small Business  builds on his first two,  By the Seat of Your Pants: The No-Nonsense Business Survival Guide, and Winning in the Game of Life.

The first editorial title for Tom's book was The Enlightened Executive. And with all these self-help books and continuous improvement cycles within our lives, enlightenment is actually breaking out all over.

Tom Gegax was a founder, the Head Coach, as well as Chairman and CEO.  In 1999 they were being courted for acquisition.  In 2000 Bridgestone/Firestone sealed the deal to buy 100% of the company.

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Gegax Management & Tires Plus

Tom Gegax, founder

Gegax Management Systems
PO Box 16323
Minneapolis, MN 55416

Visit our web site:

Office: 612-920-5114

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Offer Selection, Speed and Price

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Tires Plus had some strategic, competitive advantages. First, it secured distributorships for seven major tire lines and several private brand lines which guarantees wide selection.

Next, they delivered speed. Customer guests were in and out within 30 to 60 minutes. Also, they had clean, modern stores.

This system is spelled out in the operations manual they called 'The Playbook,' and there is extensive employee education provided through Tires Plus University.

TOM: (addressing his teammates) I heard many of you talk about money and wanting to make money. And that's great. I think we deserve material abundance. But, I think that needs to be the by-product. If it's the focus -- we want money, money, money -- that doesn't work.

What does work is we talk about taking care of our guests, being good with our teammates and taking care of them, helping them. And then when that occurs you're taking care of guests and you're helping teammates. If your product and services are priced fairly and our compensation plans are correct then you're byproduct will be you'll make money. But don't try to make money. It doesn't work so well.

Selling sometimes gets a bad rap. Selling is communicating. It is the ability to communicate with guests about what their needs are and whether or not we can fill those needs in a proper way. People sense your purpose. If your purpose really is a greater good, and by the way material abundance is one of those, as I said byproducts of that. It can't be the primary reason, but if you're there and teammates feel you're serving them and caring about them, then they'll perform better.

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