Some entrepreneurs love to launch businesses, but they lack interest in managing growing enterprises. Tom Gegax made the successful transition from startup bootstrapper to business builder. Gegax, 67, co-founded Tires Plus, a chain of U.S. tire stores. Based in Minneapolis, Minn., and La Jolla, Calif., he’s also co-author of The Big Book of Small Business.
EL: You spent 24 years as CEO of Tires Plus. But you liked to refer to yourself as “head coach” rather than CEO. Why?
Gegax: “Chief executive officer” sounds very important. “Coach” sounds nice but not as sexy as CEO. To me, you manage things. You coach people. I’ve always been into sports. We liked to use sports analogies [at Tires Plus]. We called our loss prevention office “the penalty box.” I’d say, “Huddle up,” if things weren’t going smoothly. People felt more comfortable with these sports analogies.
EL: To grow from one store to 150 stores requires recruiting drive...(register to read more)