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Effective and Desirable

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2014 was a hell of a year, wasn’t it? The ups and downs were familiar from past years, but there was also a growing sense of optimism pervading the country and our industry in particular. A positive feel in the business – and in people’s wallets – for the first time in quite a few years.

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It is a sweet, sweet thing.

Those positive vibes weren’t just about the economy or increased tire sales. The last year-plus has been extra busy for the Tire Review Team…new people, new assignments, new systems, new ideas, new accomplishments. Many of these things manifested themselves in major products like the Tire Review Tire Industry Benchmarking Study, our first Platinum Performers Awards, and the inaugural State of the Industry special issue.

“Tire Review will deliver leadership to help guide independent entrepreneurial businesses through the challenges of winning and maintaining a profitable independent business, and the foresight and creativity necessary to be a highly effective, desirable link in the B2B chain.”

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Our website was upgraded and updated, and the well-read daily World Tire Report e-newsletter was enhanced. We began making upgrades to our respected Top Shop Award program (the entry period for the ninth year opens with this issue). And the all-new bi-weekly Better Business Insights e-newsletter launched late last year.

2015 will bring even more, starting right here with the magazine you’re reading right now.

The look, feel and content changes you see are the result of detailed discussions held over the last 18 months with dealers and business partners about what really matters to them, about the type and depth of information they want to see, about how they want to be reached, about how they can best engage with Tire Review today and tomorrow, and – most importantly – how Tire Review can best help them meet their goals now and into the future.

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“Engaging” and “enlightening.” “Meaningful,” “insightful” and “impactful.” Those words resonated from dozens of encounters at every level of the industry, and core to our focus:

“Tire Review will deliver leadership to help guide independent entrepreneurial businesses through the challenges of winning and maintaining a profitable independent business, and the foresight and creativity necessary to be a highly effective, desirable link in the B2B chain.”

Even as Tire Review readers and partners overwhelmingly continue to support B2B magazines, they also expect more than the same old-same old. They want continuing education – for themselves and their teams – on the latest sales, marketing and product technologies and techniques that are proven to improve business. They seek help navigating the complexities of running a small business. They want help understanding the nuances of market segments, and that of the shifting desires of customers.

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We all want sustainable success for our futures, and key to that is a vibrant and vigorous independent distribution channel that remains the primary conduit of products and services between makers/marketers and end-users.

Over the coming months you will see greater emphasis on key business concerns, including regular columns by well-respected and highly experienced professionals. Experts like Roger McManus, author of the best selling “Entrepreneurial Insanity,” and Darrell Rowe, who led the education program for Bridgestone Americas’  store operations.

And you will see deeper coverage of tires and tire-related matters, including TPMS and new products.

I encourage you to devour each issue, share it with your teams and take full advantage of everything we offer, from this paper magazine, to our outstanding research, to our array of online and digital resources.

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Most importantly, we want you to continue providing us feedback. Keep us on the right path, and help us continue providing the information you want.
Speaking of the Top Shop Awards, the 2015 entry period is now open, and will run through June 5, 2015. Now in its ninth year, the industry-leading Top Shop Awards program seeks to honor the “best of the best” independent tire dealers in North America – including the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Program information and online entry forms are now available exclusively at the Top Shop Awards website at tirereview.com/topshop. I urge every reader to take five minutes and enter this outstanding recognition program.

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The Tire Review Top Shop Awards spotlight independent retail, commercial or wholesale dealers that epitomize the attributes and values stressed in every issue of Tire Review: exemplary customer service and retention, training and education, merchandising and promotion, professional standards and conduct, innovation, appearance, business management, community involvement, business growth, achievement and innovation.

Past winners are a literal who’s who of top tire dealers, including 2014 winner Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service in Hermitage, Pa., 2013 winner Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair in Phoenix; 2012 winner Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.; 2011 winner Virginia Tire & Auto Service in Fairfax, Va.; 2010 winner Tires, Tires, Tires in Sioux Falls, S.D.; 2008 winner Atlantic Tire & Service in Cary, N.C.; and 2007 inaugural winner Gatto’s Tires & Auto Service, headquartered in Melbourne, Fla.

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You can nominate your own business, or ask others to enter your dealership. The entry process couldn’t be easier: All you need to do is provide basic information about the dealership being nominated and write a short (300-word maximum) essay explaining why that dealership should be chosen as North America’s Top Shop.

Every participant, not just the Winners or Finalists, tell us how important the honor is to the industry and how grateful they are that there is a program that recognizes the success and accomplishments of dealers of all sizes and types.

We hope to see your name on an entry form soon!

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