How did you get into the industry?
Chuck Wait Tire is an industry leading tire shop located in Mowrystown, Ohio. Mowrystown is a small town with less than 300 residents. The local owner, Chuck Wait, established Chuck Wait Tire in 1983. Being a one-man shop, Chuck sold every tire, pulled in every vehicle and hand jacked it into the air. He mounted every tire and hand wrote every receipt. The store was so small, the waiting room and cash register were located in the bay area and a local pay phone was his only form of communication.
Chuck was born and raised in the tire industry starting when he was only 10 years old in New Market, Ohio. Chuck’s father, Charles Wait Sr., ran a convenience store located in New Market in the 1970’s. Along with the convenience store, he sold tires. Charles Sr. was known in the community for having hard working sons and Chuck stood out. Charles Sr. could always find a way to make money, but he struggled with cash flow and remaining focused. He had customers who drove over an hour to purchase his recap tires and his wife, Sue’s ham salad. The average ticket was around $25 and they were selling over $100,000 worth of tires on a concrete slab in a month’s time during the 1970’s.
Charles Sr.’s three oldest sons were his only employees other than one other tire technician in a 30 day period. Chuck is one of five brothers, three helping in the business, one with special needs and his youngest brother uninvolved. Although business seemed to be booming, profit was not. Chuck was raised in poverty and the business of the convenience/tire store had shortcomings highly affecting the families’ financial situation. It was to the point where the car count was so high the recap manufacturer could hardly keep up. It seemed the harder they worked the outcome only resulted in large debts leaving little to no money to pay Chuck, his mother and his brothers.
Before Charles Sr. found the Lord, he was a member of a rock and roll band and was not stable in the business or for the family. Despite what it appeared, Chuck and his younger two brothers (Randy and Eric) installed tires for thousands of customers only to remain in survival mode. Chuck worked outside all year round in Ohio, 7 days a week without pay beside his two brothers and mother. They were earning their keep by the sweat of their brow. Chuck’s mother, Sue worked as much as 3 waitressing jobs at a time to help the family. The New Market Ohio “locals” can testify that there was no harder working woman than Sue Wait. From running the cash register, stocking shelves, making sandwiches, to cleaning and pumping gas, she did all to keep the store going. Chuck’s work ethic became deeply rooted as he watched his mom struggle to provide for his younger, special needs brother, Troy. The store eventually closed for good in the late 80’s early 90’s.
In 1983, Chuck started his own location where he installed every tire—only this time he was in charge of the finances. Soon, he married his wife Tracy and she only helped take his business to the next level with her advertising skills. He had a huge customer base he had been earning since he was 10 years old and he operated his business the right way. The goals of his store were never small. For example, at such a young age he knew that he wanted to provide for his mother who had spent her whole life working harder than most men. Every aspect of business, he had already learned the hard way. What started out as a one bay shop with dirt floors and old jacks, is now a 6 bay, booming shop with all the latest and greatest equipment and an industry leading showroom. He eventually named his creation Chuck Wait Tire in 1983 because locally everyone already said they purchase their tires from “Chuck Wait” instead of an actual business name.
To date, Chuck Wait Tire does well over 3 million dollars of revenue in gross sales out of a town of less than 300 people. In 2010, he welcomed his business partner and daughter, Mariah Wait Davis into the business. Together, they are projected to have a record year in 2019. Chuck Wait Tire also offers automotive services. The average customer passes 6-10 tire and automotive repair shops to do business with them. In one recent day, they had customers from 4 different states.
Chuck promotes and sells American made tires including Cooper and Goodyear. He is also a Michelin dealer. His latest award was being recognized at the Cooper Medallion dealer meeting as an emerald dealer, selling over 9,000 American Made Cooper Tires. But more than that, Chuck has been providing for his deserving mother and recently with the help of his wife, Tracy purchased and remodeled a home for his special needs brother.
Through the years, he has won many tire industry awards including awards from Bridgestone/Firestone. He has won many dealer trips and awards with TireStarz financing (CFNA AutoPass). Tirestarz filmed a documentary about him and Mariah (his daughter, business partner) being their number one dealer several times. His documentary was played at a tire conference, where he received a standing ovation from the crowd in Las Vegas.
His most recent accomplishment includes being one of the highest volume dealers with Acima financing (formerly known as Simple Finance).
What’s New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?
Chuck Wait Tire’s latest improvements the past 5 years-
A. We are an Emerald Treadmaxx dealer, selling and promoting American made tires, such as: Cooper, Goodyear and Michelin.
B. We are the first in the nation offering 2 Free alignments with four American Made tires. (1 at time of purchase + 1 in 30K miles)
C. We are a TSN dealer, being able to offer the Goodyear rebate forms to customer’s all year round. We also offer the Goodyear credit card, doubling the rebate when consumers chose to use it.
D. A mastered and signature “torque process” performed on every vehicle that has lug nuts removed. We hand torque two times in the bay area. The car is then test drove for a quarter mile and hand torqued again in front of the customer. We have two sperate technicians involved in the torque process for every vehicle. We torque to factory specifications listed on the customers door panel or owner’s manual.
E. Our location is equipped with a no credit check finance center. We offer no credit check financing to every customer. Through experience and trial and errors we have these programs mastered. We have over a 90% approval rate! Our Facebook advertising of these programs is top notch and award winning. We have a model of the order we use the financing. We try every potential customer on Acima first. If a customer is denied on Acima, we as the merchant call Acima at 1-801-297-1980 (the number to acima application processing) to see if we can get the decision overturned. Nearly 1 out of 4 denials are from typographical errors, the customer accidentally submitting incorrect information on the application (for example: submitting the ACH number of their checking account instead of the account number or the wrong routing number), or previous lease history. We can get these denials over turned and continue the lease with Acima. In the event that we can not get the lease over turned, we immediately try Tempoe financing and so forth.
Acima (no credit check)
Tempoe (no credit check)
Easy pay (does run your credit but lenient)
F. Our bathroom- We have made our customer bathroom extremely cozy and down home. We offer complimentary samples of bath and body works hand lotion to all customers. We have a baby changing station that is equipped with extra diapers and wipes for those in a pinch. We strive to have a family-oriented bathroom. We also clean and disinfect our bathroom on a daily basis- sometimes twice per day!
G. Going over and above- On the sales counter, we have free mints and lollipop suckers. We also have a charging station for customer’s devices while they wait. In the showroom, we also have a children’s table and chairs with small toys and coloring books to entertain the children of our customer’s while they wait. We offer free guest Wi-Fi and we have a tool box coffee station bar-equipped with free coffee, cups, sugar and creamer.
H. No appointment needed at any time for new tires! We heavily advertise no appointment needed for all new tires installs. We have multiple options in the top 25 sizes in stock and ready to install. In the B and C sizes, we have at least one set in all varying sizes. On one recent day, we went the entire sales day with our phone lines being down and grossed 17K in daily sales. We highly believe due to our no appointment needed business philosophy and efforts in advertising it the past 5 years, we can remain busy on days of technical difficulties beyond our control.
I. Our Signature Facebook giveaways and promotions. At Chuck Wait Tire, we learned long ago not to depend on “Facebook likes” to grow your business. We maximize every promotion by purchasing an item valued between $100-$500 dollars and promoting to give it away to one lucky customer who “shares” our post. By focusing on “shares” as opposed to likes, not only can one potential tire buyer see our posts, but all of their friends can gain access to it as well as it will appear in the newsfeed of the person who shared it. We spend on average $120 a day with Facebook Ads. We are maximizing the number of consumers we reach by giving away a very cool item to one lucky person who shares our post. This is considered a win-win because consumers love the chance to win something of value and we love spreading the word about our sales. Typically the promotions are for 30 days.
Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?
1. Our financing program is our largest opportunity moving forward. The partnership with Acima Credit is a phenomenal in advertising to repeat customers.
The use of opened credit lines: Acima Credit now allows consumers to use the rest of their opened credit lines without having to pay off the first initial lease for only $50+tax down. For example, if you are approved for $1,000 in January and you only spend $500 of it—you can come back any time after that purchase and spend the additional $500.
The Acima credit email schedule: Acima Credit sends out emails to all of your customers who have been approved or used Acima in the past. They customize the email to include your store name and try to drive those customers back to your door to complete another transaction with you. This helps tremendously.
The Direct mailers: Once per year, Acima Credit helps put together direct mailers to send to your potential customers saying they are pre-approved! This is a great promotion that drives sales!
The Acima Credit online portal: It is always evolving and becoming better. You can text the application link right to your customers smart phone. Moving forward, customers who have the same phone number from their previous application, the information is saved in the portal, making getting approved that much easier. A six-digit code is sent to their smart phone, once the code is entered on the portal, within 1 minute that customer is approved.
Acima Credit merchant fee’s: for customers who pay with the application fee with a credit or debit card, there are no merchant fee’s for processing leases with Acima Credit. There are also no monthly or yearly fee’s to have the program. It’s all free.
2. Additional kick back money:
With growth and social media, we are able to link up with more wheel companies and parts places. With ATD wheels, if we sell over 50 sets of wheels per year, we get a 5% kickback at the end of the year.
Kendall Oil- With increased car count, we could potentially get a kick back from our oil company at the end of each year.
3. Advertising on Google:
As a company, we have yet to advertise on Google. We do see a huge opportunity using this platform and look forward to growth moving forward utilizing these advertising efforts.
Challenges moving forward:
- Understanding and utilizing Google Ads to the same capacity as Facebook Ads.
- Training a new sales employee to the Chuck Wait Tire standards.
- Hitting all sales goals for maximum kick back payouts from all vendors.
- Attempting to get Google ratings from a 4.9 to a 5 star review (345 reviews)
What is your Goal for the Business Moving Forward?
To have gross sales exceeding 4 million for our single location in 2020.
To increase google reviews from a 4.9 to a 5 star rating (345 reviews)
To increase the number of shares on each ad campaign with Facebook.
To get 20,000 likes on Facebook.
To open at the minimum two new locations in 2020.
To stay actively involved in the community and keep the give a ways rolling.
Having enough cash flow to give each full-time employee a $500 Christmas bonus and part time employee $250 at our annual Christmas Party and free steak dinner.
Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver?
When can a Franchisee call us for questions?
Answer: Anytime during normal business hours of 8-6 at Chuck Wait Tire M-F and 8-3 on Saturday. Tel: 937-442-2004. You can also call Acima Credit anytime during operational hours for questions regarding financing at 1-801-297-1980.
At the beginning, we want fast communication, we do plan to have a group text set up between the Franchisee owner and Franchisee manager, with Mariah and Chuck. We want an open line of communication at all times.
Before a Franchisee candidate is selected, they must visit our store in Mowrystown so they know what they are getting themselves into.
Upon selecting them, the franchisee and manager should plan to spend 3 days at the very minimum helping run the counter at Chuck Wait Tire in Mowrystown-this is for hands on training-selling wheels and tires and explaining the financing and completing the sale from start to finish. Critiques will be given. We will allow them to stay as long as they feel they need to or until comfortable. We firmly believe hands on training is the best way. If we think they need more training, we will suggest an extended stay.
At Grand opening: Chuck or Mariah will be there with an emphasis on the training techniques learned from the instore training in Mowrystown.
We will help get every franchisee get set up online with vendors who have help desks and phone numbers they can call at any-time for support with product information or ordering questions/problems.
We understand that learning about the Franchise is the most important component of being successful as a Franchisee. We will accommodate all four learning styles. Visual, auditory, reading and writing and kinesthetic.
Support for the Franchise will begin with the training component from Head Office. A Field Support Consultant that will be available throughout business hours to assist and provide guidance and consultation to the Franchisee when required. Franchisees will be provided with an Operational Manual that will have a detailed outline of all our revenue lines, Brands Manual for two revenue lines and a marketing plan that will set-up the Franchisee for success.
Your most difficult moment at the Franchise Business?
The most difficult parts of business are the following:
When outside factors happen that you can’t control. For example, the phone company having state wide outages. This could highly effect daily sales as the phone is considered the lifeline in the tire industry. Having direct online communication with your customers is key and helps boost sales even on days where customers are unable to call your business.
Receiving a bad review. Some customer’s you just cannot make happy. The best way is to stay positive and respond in a very friendly way and apologize for the bad experience. If the complaint was a hiccup on the business end, offering a small discount on a future purchase and apologizing can go a long way or offering to make it right! Avoid arguments or unfriendly words. Proof read your response several times and get a second opinion to make sure it sounds friendly. If you want to look into something further: provide an email in the response. Keep the conversation from stimulating on social media and becoming heated.
Equipment failures! You must always think outside the box. Keep jacks on hand incase a lift ever goes down. Find a reputable repair company and have them on speed-dial in the event of equipment failures. It is always great to make sure your technician’s and mechanics understand your equipment and how-to maintenance your changers and balancers and all of your lifts and jacks.
Thus far in the History of Chuck Wait Tire- the most difficult moments in business were during the economical recession of 2008 and housing market failures. This taught me to draw in a customer base from a 50-100 mile radius as opposed to a 25 mile radius. A large company called DHL went out of business in 2008 that employed 8,000 people in our small county. Adjusting to new advertising efforts with farther reach and payment plans for those in a pinch for cash while waiting on unemployment benefits or on the job search was key. It kept us alive. It was very difficult and learned the hard way. We learned that even on your best day in business when all the consumers are biting your bait and money seems to be growing on trees, have a plan in action at all times to get consumers merchandise without having to shell out cash they may not have in the future all at once just because they may have it now.
How is your Franchise Model Structured?
a. Training and support model?
Open lines of communication at all times.
“Down home” structure with a group chat via text with Chuck, Mariah, Franchisee and Manager included.
Open availability to call all vendors and sales managers from Treadmaxx, parts stores, Wheel Companies (Wheel one: 1-614-253-6247-Wheel pros: 1-513-772-1209 and Acima Credit merchant support- 1-801-297-1980)
Access to call Chuck Wait Tire at any time during regular business hours of 8-6 PM M-F at 937-442-2004.
Full rights to use any of our Facebook content- copy/paste.
The availability to come to Chuck Wait Tire for training before opening.
b. What is the fee structure?
$35,000 upfront costs + 5% of all gross sales.
c. Territory definition
Not sure on this yet. We don’t want stores to be to close together. What do you suggest?
d. Day in the life of the franchisee?
Tasks performed on a daily basis:
Opening up the store and any common sense duties associated with daily opening.
Answering customer phone calls- hopefully over 100 per day.
Responding to customers on Facebook and email quotes or designating an employee to do it. If designating an employee to do it, make sure responses are going out as fast as inquiries are coming in.
Submitting financing applications and completing the sale from start to finish. Be sure to print off every lease agreement and explain it to the customer.
Pulling cars in and out and making sure they completed using the three-step torque process.
Thanking every customer you see with a smile and a handshake.
Entering in all incoming inventory into the P.O.S. system
Monitoring all vehicles to make sure the correct product/sizes are being installed properly and in a timely fashion.
Updating customers every step of the way during the tire install and free alignment process.
Helping maintain and overseeing a tidy and clean showroom and bathroom for customers as well as organized tire bays.
Interviewing potential employees with a hands-on interview process. Watching them change and balance a tire as part of the interview process is key. This helps eliminate potential employees from saying they are experienced. We do not want potential employees to “say” how they are experienced. We want them to “show us” how they are experienced.
Checking sales numbers and keeping track of all goals associated with earning kick back money and hitting numbers to achieve goals.
Anything at all to help the team and to help the business grow! Absolutely whatever it takes!
Posting any new content for Facebook!
What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day?
We do everything that a franchisee will do on a day to day basis.
We create advertisements and proven Facebook give-aways based on past ads. We post and promote them.
We keep tabs on all product brands and vendors we carry in store.
We constantly find ways to improve and we stay updated with all finance company changes.
Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate?
Qualities of a franchise candidate:
- Must be ethical and honest.
Must have experience in the automotive industry and be able to personally mount/balance tires at a premium level.
- Must be goal driven and business savy.
- Must follow directions well and be a leader and team player.
- Must be willing to work 60+ hours per week.
- Must be like-able and outgoing and committed to sales.
- Must thrive under pressure and be accepting of change.
- Must have P.O.S. skills and general knowledge of computers to work the Acima Credit dashboard with ease, the P.O.S. software and all vendor websites.
- Must be an equal opportunity employer.
We prefer candidates who have been in business before and have general business knowledge.
- Must be kind at all times to customers and employees and act professionally.
- Must be willing and able to establish a customer base.
- Must have people skills and experience with managing employees.
- Must understand the importance of being hospitable.
- Must be Facebook Savy.
To put in into words, the ideal candidate is someone goal oriented that is a “go-getter.” An individual that wants to start their own automotive and tire store. This person must come with experience in the field. It would be ideal to get a general manger from a thriving automotive tire store to venture out on their own and take this journey with us.
What Goals Do you Have for the Franchise Model in the Future?
Per our one location, we have one several industry awards through the years.
In the most recent of times, we win the Cooper Medallion trip every year for top dealers and the Treadmaxx tire dealer awards trip.
In the past, we have won several best of the best awards from CFNA auto pass financing to Modern tire dealer awards.
What Goals Do you Have for the Franchise Model in the Future?
The goals of our tire store have never been small. During the year 2020 we want to do the following:
- Gross revenue of 4 million dollars
- Begin advertising with Google Ads.
- Increase Google ad reviews from a 4.9 to a 5 star
- Increase the number of “shares” per Facebook ad campaign
- Hit 20,000 likes on Chuck Wait Tires Facebook page
- Offer a $500 Christmas bonus to full time employees at our annual Christmas party and a $250 bonus to part time employees as well as free drinks and steak dinner for each employee and guest of their choice
- Find 2 of the perfect franchisee candidates and open up 2 new Franchisee locations and support their grand-openings, websites and Facebook pages.
For our Franchise model:
- Get a custom logo and design colors set in place.
- Have all documents ready to go and policies in place and written out.
- Make a signature opening wall in our showroom that is easy to replicate for all franchisee buildings.
Sales goals for Franchisees:
Upon being in business on the Chuck Wait Tire journey –5 years in business, we want gross sales to hit 1 million dollars. The first 3 years, we would love to see 20% growth each year.
For more information on the Chuck Wait Tires Franchise, visit the franchise page here: https://chuckwaittire.com