When it’s Time to Hang it Up

What does Mick Jagger, Rickey Henderson, Jerry Rice, Brett Favre and Chris Chelios have in common?  Give up? – YES!  All were (are) legends in their respective professions and – YES – neither appeared to have a well thought out  exit strategy.   One could even argue, all stayed in the “game” a bit too long.

What is a Exit Strategy?

Wikipedia has a pretty good definition:  “An exit strategy is a means of leaving one’s current situation, either after a predetermined objective has been achieved, or as a strategy to mitigate failure.[1][2][3] An organisation or individual without an exit strategy may be in a quagmire. At worst, an exit strategy will save face; at best, an exit strategy will peg a withdrawal to the achievement of an objective worth more than the cost of continued involvement.”

Why you should have an Exit Strategy?

As much as you would not like to admit it, you can’t keep doing what you are doing forever.  No one in the history of man has been able to pull that off 😉  The Tire and Service Business has changed – some may say that it has changed significantly.  It’s continues to become more difficult for small independents to compete with large chains. FACT: If your not currently doing full service,  your days are numbered.  Some dealers deny the obvious and ignore the signs of the past 15 years, others have changed course, accepted the new reality and are thriving as a result.

There are many Independent Tire and Service Owners that should have exited a long time ago (you know who you are).   Who (quite frankly) have lost their “zeal” for the Tire Business. Life is short, there are lots of other things to see and do before time is up (pardon the philosophical angle).  There is no reason to be doing something you aren’t passionate about anymore.  Especially when you have a business you can leverage to go do what you want to do.

Why No Exit Strategy?

Let face it, when most of us got into the tire business, the last thing we were thinking about was retirement, or as I like to call it, transition.  So we don’t plan for it.  Then twenty years flys by, we think (hope) our kids will want to take over (almost never happens), then we look to our number two (assistant manager).  People – there is a reason why your number 2 has been your number 2 for twenty years.

Selling your business to your number two will almost always result in you having to take back the business.  I have seen it happen too many times.

Solutions – Solutions – Solutions

    • Do nothing – Yes – just keep doing what you are doing.  Just be prepared to work your butt off until … you get the picture.
    • Sell to an investor (with no automotive experience) – If you self fund, you most likely won’t get paid. If you value you legacy, you most certainly will not like the direction the business you built takes with the new ownership.
    • Sell to your number 2 (see above).
    • Sell to someone that has been successful running automotive tire and service centers. Unless you have great books, be prepared to sell you business for a lot less then its worth.
    • Hire someone like memy partners and I will do a complete evaluation of your business and provide you with actionable solutions to optimize your exit.

Examples of our Solutions to Include:

  • Working with my partners and I –  to significantly improve the profitability of your business, thereby increasing the value of your store.
  • Working a buy sell agreement with your number two, with me managing the transition and results.
  • Having us find an equity partner to transition your business too. We would insure performance.
  • Sell your business to my organization. We would then find a suitable equity partner to transition location too.

Tire Dealer Support is a one stop shop for Tire Dealer Exit Strategies.  Want to talk further, You can contact me here.

Good Selling!


About Patrick Murphy

I have spent the past eighteen years producing, coaching and mentoring retail teams. The past six have been in support of Independents across Western US. Although, I have worked most of my career in automotive retail, It hasn’t and never will be about “cars and trucks.” What it has been about is the challenge and satisfaction of helping people with all types of backgrounds to realize their potential.
I am very proud that many of my former teammates have gone on to do some pretty terrific things with their life. Several are currently running their own groups and a few have even opened their own businesses.
My assignments with Bridgestone Firestone and TBC Corporation has offered me the opportunity to work in and become familiar with many markets across the country. From my hometown of Philadelphia, to Boston, Arizona, Dallas, New Mexico, Florida and Southern California. Each market has presented its own unique set of challenges, but at the end of the day, it always came down to three things: people, process and execution.