Craig Howes and Heather Murphy - Founders of Go Tire

Date: AUG 10th, 2012

Topic: Interview with a CEO

BeTheBoss: Tell us about the Go Tire business.

Craig & Heather: Go Tire Inc. is Canada’s first franchised mobile tire service company. Franchisee’s offer needed products and services in a unique and convenient way. This home-based, mobile business was developed to be low overhead and no inventory. Our comprehensive training means that no experience is required.

BTB: When did you become involved with Go Tire?

C & H: We founded Go Tire. We were challenged with getting our personal and company tires changed in the winter of 2010. The 9 total vehicles took days and a lot of staff man hours, vehicle down time and family time. Out of frustration we thought that there must be a better way. Recognizing a lapse in customer service and a business opportunity, we created Go Tire Inc. – Canada’s first franchised mobile tire service company.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Go Tire?

C & H: We have the perfect mix of experience to manage the development of a new way of approaching the traditional tire industry. With a background in franchising, entrepreneurial endeavors, retail management, equipment operations, corporate training and event planning we've developed a unique way to address the common concerns of the average consumer, while focusing on the needs of the franchisee.

Craig Howes has an eclectic experience from living abroad and his unique work history. He has experience in staff management, marketing and sales through working in major retail both in Canada and in the United Kingdom. He has experience in equipment and operations from working in the oilfields of Alberta. His franchising experience stems from being the owner of the #1 Budget Blinds in North America, the largest window covering franchise system in the world. The sales, marketing, equipment and franchising experience make him uniquely qualified to head up Go Tire Inc.

Heather Murphy has two degrees related to health – Kinesiology and Nursing. Her work experience has included corporate training, event planning, manual development, sales and she operated Budget Blinds franchises with Craig. She and Craig also have three young children. The combined life, education and work experience has allowed her to successfully manage projects of a large scope while still focusing on critical small details, a perfect fit for Go Tire Inc.

BTB: What at the advantages of being a Go Tire franchisee?

C & H: It is what every vehicle needs. Franchisees benefit from being able to offer needed products and services with a business model that allows for a home-based business, low overhead, no inventory and no experience required. The Go Tire van was engineered to be a full service tire shop able to offer mobile service. In addition to tire sales and service, franchisees are also able to offer two additional service lines: detailing and windshield repair and replacement.

BTB: Who is the ideal franchisee?

C & H: An ideal franchisee will be self-motivated, have some experience in management or sales and be able to do the physical work the business requires. Our comprehensive training program and ongoing support means that the candidate does not require past automotive experience.

BTB: Tell us about the tire industry.

C & H: Tires represent a $4 billion dollar industry in Canada. By removing the expense of a building and staff, Go Tire is able to offer tires at a fair price and in a convenient way. Franchisees can offer tire sales, repair, balancing, tire change over, rim sales and tire storage. In addition to tires, franchisees are able to offer mobile detailing and windshield services from the same Go Tire Van. It is estimated that there are over 2 million windshield replaced in Canada annually. Detailing of vehicles has also had a rise in popularity over the last few years.

BTB: What are the greatest lessons learned in growing the franchise?

C & H: With having previously been franchisees, we understand the business from that point of view, and framed many of our business decisions to benefit the franchisee. The largest lesson learned was the complexity, detail and expense required to create a franchise system correctly – that satisfied all of the legal requirements while still maintaining the simple vision they had started with – making the tire buying experience seamless and convenient for the consumer.

BTB: Who is your mentor and is their someone you look to for inspiration?

C & H: We have had the opportunity to be around business titans and excellent professionals during our careers to date. There are too many people who influenced us in so many ways to be able to identify a single mentor. Rather, it was their collective impact that helped form the entrepreneurs we are today.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a franchise?

C & H: We would suggest to a potential candidate that they evaluate a business from the point of view of profit potential, lifestyle fit and aptitude. A business should offer products or services that people require, have a hope of being profitable, match your lifestyle goals but you should also enjoy the work that you will be involved in.

BTB: In your opinion, why would Go Tire be a fantastic opportunity for someone?

C & H: Go Tire Inc. is an exciting business opportunity where the franchisee will be helping to create a new way of doing business in an industry that is steeped in tradition. Go Tire will change how Canadian’s change their tires. Go Tire offers the franchisee 3 different service lines out of one mobile operation for one royalty fee. The low overhead, no inventory and no experience required business means that the franchisee only needs to bring motivation and will to the table.