Chris King has played a large role in growing Tire Town from one established tire shop to eight locations, all in less than 10 years.
With little to no retail or tire experience, having previously worked in real estate, King worked with Tire Town owner Lanier Alford to integrate a stronger structure within his existing business in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“I was basically trying to build a foundation under an existing house and it was a very educational experience,” says King. “I got to understand what we were selling, how we were selling, and who we were selling to. I also started to learn about other companies and how they were using technology, then I brought that back to Tire Town.”
King used computer knowledge he had gained at a tech firm after leaving the military to implement a computer and software system within Tire Town. Immediately after King installed the system and implemented some new marketing techniques, the store saw an increase in sales and revenue, which was an indicator he was doing something right.
He also got all of Tire Town’s employees TIA certified and says the training, combined with the new software system, created a team of more empowered employees. With the one store improved, King suggested expansion to Alford and they’ve never looked back.
“Whenever you can paint the picture for something that’s not there and you can see the invisible, and get other people to see it too, suddenly you’re making that invisible vision become a tangible creation,” King says. “Right now for me, it’s about mentoring people and developing the people around me, to watch them be successful. Now that’s rewarding to me.”
King strives to make a difference every day no matter what he’s doing, including helping customers.
“I’ll be the first one to tell someone when they come in and want to buy tires or whatever if they really need them or not,” says King. “I’m not here to take people’s money. I want to be able to sleep at night knowing I made a difference and helped a customer instead of just taking their money and not fixing the issues.”
Fun Fact: King’s two young children have taken up tennis and, although King is not very good at it, he says he aspires to perhaps win a game against them one day.