Our present culture, especially media, generally views business through a dirty lense. I watch too many who-dunit television programs and if there is a corporate exec, business owner, or even professional person in the cast, two-thirds of the time there is your evildoer. The only thing to flesh out is his or her motive, most often blatant greed.
Today’s column is the opposite story, but perhaps one you might expect from a Rotarian, Independence Chamber of Commerce board member, financial practitioner and owner of my small corporation. To tell it properly though, I put on my consumer hat.
When I bought my last pre-owned truck a year and a half ago, it had two good tires and two mismatched tires in fair condition. Wanting two new tires to replace the fair and match the good pair, I decided I would do my best to buy local. If I do that, I get to help keep neighbors and friends employed, have more choice as a consumer, and help pay for governmental services I appreciate from my city, county, and state.
I formerly had gotten great service and value from Shamrock Tires, now long gone. In October, I decided to try Greg’s Tire & Auto Service at 1837 S. Noland Road. At the counter, I specified which tires I wanted to keep and asked to keep the better tire of the same brand as a spare. While there, I had a great time catching up with Jerry Mackey, former owner of Hi-Boy Restaurants, and great supporter of all things Independence including youth baseball. I think, I am in the right place!
I go home after getting the two new tires installed without even looking at them. I guess I am just not into tires appropriately. But imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago, I discover different tires on the front end than I requested. I call, leave a message, receive a voicemail, go by the shop a couple of times, and begin to wonder if I am just out of luck.
Then I met with Glenn Weightman, the current co-owner of Greg’s Tire. I was somewhat defensive. I was requesting him to fix (what is in my mind) a couple months old installation mistake without much proof other than my receipt and the fact that a pair of new tires are on my truck. He discussed the situation with me more patiently than I might have if roles were reversed. He promised to look into it.
Last week ended with me as a Greg’s Tire customer for life. He found a solution better than I had expected. He confirmed what I had thought. This is an organization you can trust. Now you know about my experience.
Later I found out Mr. Weightman formerly worked at Shamrock Tire. Good people last.
Although there are business and professional people that fit the negative stereotype, most I have known and traded with are doing their best to find legitimate needs and wants and to fill them as well as they can for a fair profit. One cannot profit for long without doing a good job at a fair price. Profit is not a dirty word. From profit comes expansions and acquisitions.
For example, Tom and Susan Waters of Corporate Copy Print recently were able to buy a print store in Lee’s Summit, extending their circle of great service. In capitalism, we vote with our money. If we do not support a business with our purchases, it should not last. Oh by the way, Greg’s Tire is also a member of the Independence Chamber of Commerce.
(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advice is intended to be general in nature.)