Don’t be anxious, be steady and patient. Work hard, be fair in all your dealings. Keep your eye on your goals, plan your work and work your plan.
Wendel Burt’s career in the tire business began in 1977 with Goodyear Tire Company in Ogden, Utah. He started out repairing cars and busting tires. The more Wendel interacted with the customers the more he knew he was ready to take his career to the next level. From sales to eventual store manager, Wendel was well on his way to opening his store. In July of 1991, Wendel and his brother Ron took the leap of faith and went out on their own to open their first store in Bountiful, Utah. Year after year they have continued that growth focusing on “Doing it Better” for their customers in every way.
With stores in Farmington, Bountiful, Sugarhouse, Cottonwood, Sandy, Riverton, Jeremy Ranch, Silver Summit Park City, Wendel added his latest store in the summer of 2016 in West Jordan, Wendel’s commitment to doing it better doesn’t stop at how his company treats their customers or with the guaranteed unbeatable prices they offer-it extends into their communities and neighborhoods in which they work and live. Wendel and the Burt Brothers team have supported many great causes since their founding including KSL, Zions Bank and Burt Brothers Teacher Feature, The Bountiful Rotary’s Coats for Kids Cars Show & Burt Brothers Burnout, Angel Tree of Utah and The MDA Black and Blue Ball.
Where did the idea for Burt Brothers Tire and Auto Service come from?
The idea for Burt Brothers Tire and Auto Service was generated as a joint idea between myself and my brother Ron Burt after working in tire and auto service business with other similar endeavors. I began his career with Goodyear in 1977, later recruiting my brother Ron in 1983.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As President of Burt Brothers Tire and Auto Service, I enjoy leading the development of strategic and human resource planning, meeting with wholesale tire representatives, overseeing warehouse operations including ordering, shipping and receiving and finally creating and implementing advertising and marketing for the overall company.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Continuously refining and listening to the ideas of employees, wholesale tire/service and parts representatives, and first and foremost our customers. Staying in touch with the marketplace keeps Burt Brothers on top of trends and provides new knowledge of technology in both product and data management.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I am especially energized by the information/internet advancements that have enabled the company to specifically profile customers seeking their products. I’m also amazed with Burt Brothers being a leader in the development of tire shaving technology that enables the matching of one replacement tire to the existing three tires, ultimately saving the all-wheel-drive vehicle owner from purchasing four tires when only one was needed.
For example, if an all-wheel-drive customer hits a pothole or somehow ruins one tire, vehicle manufacturers recommend the tread depth of all four tires be very closely matched, generally requiring the purchase of four new tires. The shaving technology created by Burt Brothers gives the company the ability to match a new tire’s tread depth to the remaining three, therefore saving the customer several hundred dollars.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I surround myself with good people and give them the space to achieve their goals and meet their job responsibilities. My parents asked often, “What is better – the man that can do the work of ten men…or the man that can get ten men to work.” My answer was the latter.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell my younger self, “Don’t be anxious, be steady and patient. Work hard, be fair in all your dealings. Keep your eye on your goals, plan your work and work your plan.”
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Many people have the attitude that they’re only going to expect ten years from their vehicles. I believe it’s almost impossible to kill a vehicle if you maintain it. There’s no harm investing in maintenance. High mileage does not need to be the only judge of the value of a vehicle, if maintenance has been performed along the way.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Listen and demonstrate a good, positive attitude with your smile.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Expand our business, as the business grows its people. Give everyone the opportunity to move up in salary, responsibility and leadership. Grow leadership from within.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I thought it would be profitable at one time to offer gold packages to area automobile dealers. We spent quite a bit of money chasing this trend that would prove short-lived. Still hoping that trend returns, because we’re still hoping to overcome that failure. The best part of this investment became the education it provided, teaching me not to be too quick to jump on board with the latest trend.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If there’s an idea that I feel is worth sharing, I imagine it will be one worth pursuing.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The holiday season often showcases the needs of other people. I encourage all my employees to lend a helping hand. I’m always grateful I did, and its likely I’ve received more back in return.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Our point-of-sale software, ASA, has helped streamline our processes. The reports have been invaluable toward running our business smoothly. MAXX Connect Marketing has been most helpful in navigating the search engine, Google, and enabled us to better appeal to and reach existing and prospective customers.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Who Moved My Cheese“, by Spencer Johnson. I believe that 19 years after this book was released it is still relevant. It powerfully reveals the truths and necessity of dealing with and adapting to change. Someone said, if you’re through changing, you’re through. So true.
What is your favorite quote?
“All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.”
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.