Buying & Selling: A Tale of Two Deals [THA 199]

Sara & Kevin Bickford Worked at Firestone for 10 years and bought the Fox River Tire & Auto

Richie & Leslie Zimmerman from Lafayette, LA, MSO, grew to three stores and sold to strategic buyer MONRO Inc.

Dennis McCarron started his career Bridgestone/Firestone working in various sales and management level positions prior to leading the national retail management training programs. Most recently, Dennis was the Executive Director of Dealer Strategic Planning Inc. (DSP 20 Group), providing coaching and consulting services to its members.

With over 25 years of experience in the tire & automotive industry, Dennis is a seasoned professional with vast tire and auto service industry experience. He is also a featured columnist for Modern Tire Dealer, “Business Insights”

Dennis continues to teach workshops around North America to tire dealers from financial acumen to behavioral selling and leadership and coaching skills. Hear Dennis’s previous episodes HERE.

Joel Zaleski started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers before joining Monro, Inc. as the Vice President of Acquisitions and Operations Support, responsible for leading the company’s acquisition strategy and supporting the operations of Monro’s nearly 1,200 auto service and tire locations. During his time at Monro, Joel oversaw the company’s commercial and wholesale operations, as well as various corporate support functions including, pricing, customer service, facilities, and training.

Joel’s experience in leading the acquisition strategy at the tire and automotive service industry’s largest strategic buyer, Monro, Inc., gives him the credibility and expertise to represent sellers during the sale process.

Joel is a CPA and member of the International Business Brokers Association. Listen to Joel’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Kevin and Sarah BickfordWorked for Firestone for 10 years
  • Bought the Fox River Tire & Auto
  • Richie and Leslie ZimmermanOwned and Sold 3 Shops to Dennis McCarron
  • Richie now has his Residential Contractor License to build Log Homes
  • Leslie is opening a boutique Fitness GymLeslie “Operate your business like it’s your last day”
  • Advice when wanting to buy a businessHave a good real estate attorney as part of the transactionHave a good relationship with your local bank
  • Importance of the SBA relationship
  •  Challenges new owners face with existing staffLittle changes can seem HUGE
  • The power of a new trash can
  •  Sell your business when it’s at its healthiestAdvice to the industry to be at your pinnacle20 Group
  • Align yourself with the best of the best in the industry
  •  Maximize your profit margin
  •  Education and making yourself better
  •  Joel ZaleskiOpportunities in deals with buyers and sellers
  • Evaluation of the business for buyers
  • Buy up market share
  • Run your business everyday like you are going thru an auditKeep it in tip top shape
  • The hard work will payoff
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Be prepared, do it now
  •  Dennis McCarronRun the business like you are owners
  • Don’t buy a business to buy a job
  • Successful owners run a business, not buy a job
  • Learn from people that are smarter than youYou don’t always want to be the smartest person in the room
  • Be ok with not knowing something and asking how to do it
  •  The value set in hiring good peopleInheriting staff is a challenge when buying a business
  • A crew that can drive your culture and trust they will do that
  • Letting staff members go is just part of the process, a pruning process
  • Hard labor, really trying at times, but it’s worth it at the end of the day
  • Be patient with own learning curveInvest time in finding great staff
  • Find people you can partner with and learn from
  • Figure out when you need help with
  • Understand your margins to be profitable
  • Rewards are significant
  • Hindsight is always so clear
  • Rewards are all worth while
  • Align yourself with the right people
  • Education is important
  • Take care of your employees
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Stay green and growing so you can be ready and ripe!
  • If you’re looking to sell, use your professionals
  • Use a broker and real estate attorney
  • Talk to the people that do that part of the business for a living
  • Know your numbers on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis
  • Know what your profitability is
  • Address small issues when they come up so they don’t become big issues in the future
  • Is it too late to start making that change to improve the business?


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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!