As one part of a two-man tire operation, Terry Wilson and his brother, Matt, run their business by the golden rule: Treat others how you want to be treated.
For the duo and co-owners of Wilson Tire, that’s translated to more business and higher profits at Wilson Tire, the shop the brothers opened just four months ago. In fact, they’re just a month or two away from reaching their sales goals for the year.
“We live in a city with 3,400 people, but we attract people from 300-plus miles away,” Terry Wilson says. “People send their mothers and wives here to make sure they’re taken care of. Treat people like family was one thing I was always told because if you go someplace else, you would want them to treat your family how you expect them to.”
Before opening the shop with his brother, Terry lived in Tennessee and worked for a Valvoline Instant Oil Change. In 2013, he moved back to Kansas, where he, Matt and their third brother starting selling tires out of their brother’s used car lot. Each year, the business blossomed, Terry said.
Finally, the duo split from their brother and transitioned into their own shop. Terry takes care of the books, getting vendors lined up and still does tire installation on a daily basis. Matt stays more on the tire side of things and handles the social media and marketing.
Fun Fact: Terry’s personal motto is, “Climbing the ladder of success is not done with your hands in your pockets. You gotta get your hands dirty. It’s not going to be easy.”
But when a customer comes in, it’s either Terry or Matt who talks them through the tire selection, installation process and bills them out at the end of the day.
While tire sizes continually change and the industry evolves, Terry said one aspect he loves about the job is learning each day and making customers feel good about their auto care.
“When you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m a true believer in that. When you get to know different people, they trust you with putting their family’s life in your hands to stay safe on the road. People feel good when they come and go, and that gives you a rewarding feeling.”
To stay current, Terry and Matt read trade publications and take different classes and seminars their vendors or tire manufacturers offer. Doing that, Terry says, helps them focus on their goal: building a new, multi-bay location with more employees and tons of available storage and inventory to handle even more business.
“We want to give the city something big,” Terry says, “something they don’t have around here. We want to expand but still keep that small-town frame of mind.”