RTS is looking for Contributors

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I started Retail Tires Solutions a few years ago as a place to post solutions and best practices for Independent Tire Dealers that I supported in the Western States.  I felt then (and still do) - that there really wasn't many good resources for tire dealers to get practical information and support. Shout Out! I am looking for new contributors to share best practices, insights, inspiration, new products or anything that would provide the RTS Community with some "Good Stuff" to help Independent Tire and Service Dealers. What does "Good Stuff" look like? Best Practices Business Philosophy Customer Success Stories Grass Root Marketing Ideas Why you do what you do ... How you built you business Or anything else that would provide guidance to fellow Independent Tire and Service Dealers. What's in it for YOU? On an average month, this blog site gets a few thousand page reads.  You could become famous ;-) or more likely, your contribution could provide the inspiration for … [Read more...]

Announcing Tire Dealer Support Services

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Its been a couple of years in the making, but TireDealerSupport.com has officially launched.  Tire Dealer Support is billed as "Home Office Support" for the Independent Tire and Service Dealer. Why TDS? Over the past six years, I had the opportunity  to work with hundreds of Independent Tire and Service Dealers.  I learned a lot!  Especially how hard an Independent Tire Dealer  has to work to compete and win in today's extremely competitive tire and service industry. Having worked most of my career for a national retailer, I know first hand what a huge advantage  it is to be able to focus all of your attention on taking care of customers and running  your daily operations. I think Home office support is a pretty big deal! Tire Dealer Support was founded to level the playing field. To help dealers focus on generating revenue and growing rather then wasting time shopping for support services and meeting with vendors. Ultimately - Retail Tire Support will  provide the … [Read more...]

Workers’ Comp Cost Rising – With Limited Options?

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Over the past few years, I have worked with Gary Chavez, a contributor to RTS to provide a workers comp solution exclusively for the Independent Tire and Service Dealer. Today, I am really excited to announce the availability of a highly competitive Workers' Compensation Solution exclusively for the Independent Tire and Service Dealer. What makes TDS Workers' Compensations Solution different is that the product not only saves you money, but the products are tailored to suit the unique needs of the Tire and Service Industry.  TDS Workers' Compensation Products come with flexible payment options and can be coupled with your payroll and benefit programs to give further significant savings. Click Here to request a Free No Obligation Workers' Comp Quote Now! Tire Dealer Support Workers' Compensation Solution Includes: Affordable, pay-as-you-go workers’ comp coverage (no down payment) Stable rates year-to-year No audit premiums or other surprises 24/7 injury hotline for … [Read more...]

People

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People - It really is all about People. Yes we fix cars and trucks - install tires and wheels. But in the end,  its about People solving Peoples problems working with People. A few question to ask yoursleves as we prepare to start another day as automotive tire and service professionals. Do my people know what is expected every day? Do they understand their role? Do my people have goals? Do my people have the tools (training) to meet expectations? Do I keep score every day? Track important stuff like (Customers Serviced, Sales, Service Sales, Payroll, COGS .. etc) Do I provide regular (daily) feedback to my people? These are basic questions that mean everything to the success of your business, but easily overlooked. Need Help? Here are a few articles to get you going in the right direction. Five Qualities of Remarkable Bosses Keeping Score in Retail Tire & Service Retail Tire and Service Tracking Tools As always - Im here to  help!  Contact me … [Read more...]

NEW Tire Dealer Support Savings Card Program

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Retain - Recapture & Acquire ... More Customers  Over the past few years, I have worked with industry leaders in saving card programs for New Car Dealers, to provide a custom savings card solution for Independent Tire and Service Dealers. Today, I am really excited to announce the availability of the Tire Dealer Support Savings Card Program. The TDS Savings Card Program will change the way you market to your customers forever!  It very well may be the only marketing program you need going forward! One of the most difficult problems associated with offering marketing programs to Independents, is the reality that there are so many different POS systems being utilized by tire dealers and almost as many single store operators. Marketing programs that have the ability to Retain, Recapture and Acquire customers in addition to measuring return on investment (across many platforms) can be fairly expensive to the average tire and service dealer.  That was until now! The … [Read more...]

Why its a good Idea to Offer an Inspection to Every Customer

I live in Arizona where there is no requirement to have an annual  safety inspection performed on passenger and light truck vehicles.  According to Info.com only 26 States now require regular inspections of automobiles "to rid the highways of dangerous vehicles with bald tires, wobbly suspensions, smoke-filled exhausts, and defective brakes and lights."  You can find that list of States here. If I owned a Tire and Service business in a State that doesn't require regular safety inspections, I'm not sure that I would need another reason to recommend a full mechanical inspection on every one of my customers vehicles at least once a year.  I would charge for that inspection as well. If you do need another reason to offer (sell) inspections to every customer, here is another one!  It has to do with identifying customers that are interested in having a safety inspection performed on their vehicle.  Believe it or not, there are lots of customers that are interested in having a safety … [Read more...]

The Post-it Note Philosophy for Improving Customer Satisfaction

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I read an interesting article over at Smashing Magazine entitled: Taking a Customer from Like to Love: the UX of Long-Term relationships.  Give it a read when you get a chance!  What struck me most about this article; was the mention of a survey, conducted by the Rockerfeller Corporation that answered the question, why customers leave one company for a competitor.  The top answer:  Customer's believe that you don't care about them.  WOW! 68% of the  customers that leave you for a competitor feel that you don't care about them?   Why there may be many reasons for a customer to feel that they don't matter, here is way to improve YOUR PEOPLES perception of  YOUR CUSTOMERS.  Yes especially the $9.99 oil change customer ;-).  Its called the "Post-it Note Philosophy" What is the Post it Note Philosophy you ask? Work with your people to imagine that every customer that walks into your store has a imaginary pack of Post-it Notes on their forehead.  The first couple of notes may have $20 … [Read more...]

Retail Trends – Every Time Discount for Using Preferred Customer Card

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Here is a picture I snapped yesterday at my local Lowes Home Improvement Store.  It Seems that Lowes is also promoting their in store credit card as a "Preferred Customer Card" by offering a 5% discount off everyday prices for Lowes Credit Card Holders - "everyday". I don't know about you, but I just replaced my Home Depot Credit Card with my new Lowes "Preferred Discount Card". Are you using a Preferred Customer Card to attract and retain your customers?       … [Read more...]

Car Dealers Get More Aggressive – They Want your Customers!

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I took this picture while traveling through Duluth, MN a few weeks ago.  This Car Dealer leaves little doubt, as to what he is trying to communicate to his prospective customers. "I want YOUR oil change & tire business."  More and More car dealers, as well as tire & service shops are willing to give away oil changes and sacrifice tire margin for customer growth and increased service sales.  Let me ask you ... what's your strategy to compete against this car dealer? … [Read more...]

Updated Service Estimate

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I am posting an updated Service Repair Estimate.  This estimate follows MAP guidelines for recommending Tire and Service Work to your customers.  A detailed Vehicle Inspection Form as well as a well organized Service Estimate Form are invaluable tools to any Successful Independent Tire and Service Dealer. You can download the revised Service Estimate Form here: Service Estimate Form   You can also revisit the Inspection Form post and download a copy of  the Inspection Form mentioned in this post here.     … [Read more...]