Wendel Burt, co-founder of Burt Brothers Tire & Service, attributes his success in the tire industry to two words: hard work. It’s that simple, yet also challenging and complicated, when you’re the one that’s the owner, service advisor, trainer, technician, HR department and… should we go on? We know other tire dealers out there get the grit it takes to start your own tire business.
Wendel first dipped his toe in the tire business in the 1970s working as a technician at a Goodyear store. By the early ’80s, he worked his way up into management and was recruited by another independent tire dealer to be an area sales manager. Yet, he knew he could make a living in the business and wanted to set out on his own.
So, when Wendel Burt and his brother, Ron, started Burt Brothers Tire & Service in 1991, they set out to sell one tire per day and stay committed to the business. Thanks to that, their business has blossomed into a 14-location dealership in the Greater Salt Lake City, Utah area, and the second generation has taken the helm. In fact, under the leadership of Wendel’s sons Jake, Jason and Jeremy, and Ron’s sons, Cory and Brandon, the business was named the winner of Tire Review’s prestigious 2021 Top Shop Award.
In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, Wendel and his son, Jake, delve into how the first generation was able to pass down the passion for the business to the second generation and why Wendel says tire dealers need to constantly evolve their business in a competitive tire retail landscape.
- How Burt Brothers’ relationship with Bridgestone actually started out of the Firestone recall in 2000 [1:25]
- Wendel describes his start in the industry and he and his brother, Ron, learned “the meaning of hard work” quickly by vowing their dedication to the business’ success [3:05]
- Wendel and Jake share the business advice Johnny g has taught them over the years in their partnership with Bridgestone [5:10]
- Jake explains how he, his two brothers and two cousins divvy up ownership roles within the business today [7:01]
- How Wendel and Ron prepared their sons to take over the business [9:20]
- Burt Brothers’ business today and what Jake and his second-generation partners changed when they look over the business [12:00]
- Wendel explains why it’s dangerous for a tire business to “stay the same” and how a business can automatically grow if it gives room for employees to grow [17:38]
- Why Burt Brothers shaves tires for customers and how it’s become a competitive advantage for the independent tire dealer [19:00]
- Jake details the biggest challenge in the business today and how he and his partners are working to solve it [21:08]
- Why Burt Brothers is investing in RoboTire, tire-changing robots, and how Burt Brothers plans to use the technology in their “shop of the future.” [22:41]