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'Six Tires' Gives Inspiration

Q. I'm making the decision to start a small business but am at the very beginning stages. I'm working on a business plan to take to my bank for advice, but am still considering two different kinds of businesses. I want to make the most money I can as quickly as I can. I wonder if you have some guidelines.

Ans Sensible guidelines come from Bruce Halle, founder of Discount Tire, one of the nation's largest independent tire chains. He was unemployed and nearly $20,000 in debt when he started with just six tires and no plan. But Halle transformed his first small store in Ann Arbor into Discount Tire, now with over 800 stores across the country-and it wasn't magic that got him there. In a new biography about Halle, Six Tires, No Plan, author Michael Rosenbaum gives this advice:  Build a business around a service rather than a product, make sure customer service REALLY is the most important factor, Do one thing better than anyone else, build an employee-centric management style that promotes from within, and expand your business at a smart, patient pace. It worked for Halle.

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