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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Install Systems - the Path to Growth

Host Hattie Bryant says that at Tires Plus the rubber meets the road  with a new paradigm of service and systems to match.

Key Question:


Put systems in place. This is where franchises really excel. McDonald's is probably the best known example. If you were dropped blindfolded into a McDonald's anywhere in the world, there's a good chance you would know exactly where you were. Food, décor, preparation and cooking processes – even how often the restrooms are cleaned – are exactly the same in any McDonald's franchise. 

Q: What is the advantage to a business owner of being a franchisee?

A: People decide to own their own businesses for a variety of reasons. Certain reasons, such as "being your own boss" and having your compensation directly related to your own success, are just as true for a franchisee as they are for the traditional business owner. The benefit of the franchise is that the processes of your business are very narrowly defined both in operations and administration. Generally, franchises are purchased for a flat fee which may even be financed by the franchiser. For a continuing fee, generally based on revenues, the franchisee is provided with manuals and training on running the business. Certain expenses such as advertising and insurance are paid on a collective basis from the franchise fee.

Think about it

If you have always wanted to be a business owner, but you don't have an idea of the kind of business you would like to own, consider the various franchises who are looking to expand their companies. If you already own a business, what systems do you have now that need to be improved?

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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Install Systems - the Path to Growth

In the studio:

HATTIE: Tom and Don had the right idea at the right time. The idea was to clean up a dirty business. Back in 1976 when they started, getting your tires changed was greasy. But at their Tires Plus stores, children played in clean areas designed for them while their moms sipped free Cappuccino.

Second, this partnership was made in heaven. The two have great respect for each other and they were never ever equal partners. We've heard this before, a fifty-fifty relationship is nearly impossible. From the beginning Tom owned slightly more than 50%. The leadership style he developed was inclusive. But when a decision had to be made, it was clear who would make it and who would have to be responsible for it.

Third, all of the systems and the way to teach the systems were fine-tuned and improved continuously.

And finally, all of the leadership at Tires Plus left the old top down, autocratic my way or the highway style, and became coaches to the people they had carefully recruited. All easier said then done. But Tom and Don proved it's possible.

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