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Young Investor Makes Tire Franchise a Big Part of Growth Strategy

Judd Shader is building a nationwide company by partnering with the Big O Tires and Midas franchises

Judd Shader was looking for a great business that has a lot of long-term growth potential. As the University of Colorado graduate looked for the best business opportunities, the automotive industry stood out – the demand was unending, despite the industry’s bumpy reputation. Shader realized that the mismatch between high demand and low satisfaction created a huge opportunity. A tire franchise and automotive service company that could earn customers’ trust and loyalty would be able to increase market share and become very profitable.

That’s why he started investing in Big O Tires and Midas. He saw two great brands with a strong parent organization – TBC Corporation – that is as focused as he is on customer satisfaction and growth.

After opening his first stores in Denver in late 2009, he’s been full throttle ever since. He partnered with fellow franchisee Jeff Genaurio to form the Leeds West Groups in 2013, and they have aggressively expanded. They now own 5 Big O Tires locations and 50 Midas locations in 10 states.

Judd says they would not have been able to grow so quickly without the support of TBC Corporation.

“I personally see TBC as a partner in our growth,” he said “They’re not just looking at selling a few franchises and moving on — they understand the value of partnering with people for 20-30 years and focusing on what it takes to grow a brand over the long haul, not just from quarter to quarter.”

He said Leeds West’s partnership with TBC has made it much easier to establish a nationwide footprint for their business.

“Everything we’ve ever asked for — such as help training staff in our new stores — they have offered. They’ve also alerted us to deals. If you have the ability to grow, they are going to give you every opportunity to do it.”

Key to growing a nationwide tire franchise business

Big O Tires is one of four tire brands that work together to offer nationwide warranty coverage to customers.

Big O Tires is one of four tire brands that work together to offer nationwide warranty coverage to customers.

Judd, who is CEO of Leeds West Groups, says he has seen strong growth at his stores nationwide, and the key has been a strong focus on the front counter.

“We believe in strong customer service and doing things the right way,” he said. Judd believes that being an active part of the business is important. Even with his company’s nationwide footprint, he visits each store regularly.

“Jeff and I have a goal: One or the other of us visits every store at least once a month,” Shader explained. “We also have district managers, and they are at each shop every day. They are customer service trainers, and they help ensure that customers are being greeted and served well.”

The people working the front counter — and the customer service experience they offer — makes all the difference for a Big O Tires franchise, Judd Shader says.

The people working the front counter — and the customer service experience they offer — makes all the difference for a Big O Tires franchise, Judd Shader says.

Excellent customer service has helped Big O Tires build brand loyalty for generations. When our customers’ satisfaction was measured in 2012 by the independent ad agency Barkley, the resulting brand loyalty score was similar to the scores of Nordstrom, Apple and Trader Joe’s — extremely high, and virtually unheard of for a tires franchise.

Want to learn more about starting a Big O?

Reputation and trust have helped Big O Tires franchisees grow for 50 years, and as Judd’s company is proving, there’s still plenty of room for continued growth.

To learn more about the tire franchise — including startup costs, financial performance, training and support — fill out a form to download our free franchise report or call 1-800-622-2446 to start a conversation. We look forward to talking with you!

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