There’s a common misconception that being the “boss’ kid” means you get a free pass. Brad McKissick knows this isn’t the case.
“It’s sometimes hard, working for your dad, but it pays off,” he says.
Growing up in the business, McKissick jokes that he was fired several times early in his career.
“I got fired a whole bunch of times as a teenager, but it’s all good now,” he laughs.
“It was just a father/son thing. He was rougher on me than anybody else just because I was his son, and I can see that as a dad. I have two kids of my own, and I expect more out of them.”
McKissick started in the tire industry in 1985 washing blue off of white wall tires. When his father, Barry, started Hometown Tire & Automotive in 1990, McKissick joined the family business. Today, McKissick runs the 10-bay tire dealership located in Monroe, Ga., but he jokes his father is still the boss.
“I still call it his, but he calls it mine,” he says. “Dad retired about 4-5 years ago, and I kind of took over. Dad still comes in midmorning, usually about an hour or so after we open, and he’ll usually leave in the afternoon, so I still call him boss.”
Throughout his career, McKissick has worked every job in the tire dealership. And while he enjoyed working on cars in the back of the shop and passing his knowledge on to the next generation, today McKissick prefers to deal with customers.
“I love being able to help people. I love being able to fill the needs of the people, and I love being able to create those relationships with people in my community. To me, it’s not about tires. It’s about people. Just being able to help somebody is something I’ve always enjoyed in life,” he says.
McKissick is very involved in the community he serves.
Not only does the dealership give back to local charities, the shop also hosts a customer appreciation event each year. The customer appreciation event typically involves a cookout, bounce houses, and a special guest. The dealership also hosts a special sale during the event, McKissick says.
Showing appreciation isn’t limited to customers; McKissick also makes sure to show his employees gratitude as well. McKissick has taken his crew deep-sea fishing, to Monster Jam, go-karting, and more.
“I can’t stress enough how important the crew is. The boss can be the boss, but without the crew, he’s a joke. He’s nothing,” McKissick says.
In addition to employee appreciation events, the crew has bonded through daily prayer. Every morning at 7:30 a.m. everything is put on pause and those who want to participate in the prayer get together.
“The whole shop just stops, and we sit down and just talk about what’s on our heart. One of us or myself will pray over us, and we’ll get up and go back to work,” McKissick shares. “It creates unity in the shop. I think unity’s very important. If we can’t come together as one, we can’t work together. That has probably been one of the biggest factors of change in my shop that I’ve ever done, as far as getting the guys on the same page and coming to common ground.”
People are why McKissick loves the tire industry, and that sentiment extends to his crew, too.
“Everything’s great, and I’m just blessed to be here, to tell you the truth. I have a good crew. We have a good, solid business. It could change tomorrow, but as of today, it’s planted here in Monroe.” TR