For a successful family business, management succession from one generation to the next can become much more complicated than initially anticipated, especially when opportunities for revenue growth and operational efficiency also present themselves. When the father and sons who founded and own 3D Tire Company encountered this exact situation, they turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance, and they are happy they did.
With locations in the historic town of Eatonville, FL as well as Apopka, FL, 3D Tire Company has offered quality tires, preventative maintenance, and repair services to the Central Florida area for almost 35 years. Founded by Ernest Williams, who brought sons Darrell, Donavan, and Dexter into the business (the “3 D’s”), 3D Tire Company has built its reputation and large customer base on family values, faith, and the founding principles for which it has become known: quality, dedication, and a commitment to service. “We’ve thrived on our ability to provide a quality level of service,” says Darrell Williams, “and we stand on that: Service First”
Known for being an honest, reliable, and friendly tire and auto repair shop, 3D Tire was contemplating major changes when it approached the FSBDC. “We recognized that we were a business in transition,” recalls Darrell Williams. “We were transitioning from the leadership that had been in place for 30 plus years into a second generation. There were certain aspects of the business that were important to revisit, things that were consistent but had grown obsolete. It was time for us to introduce change to the way we were conducting business.”
Assisted first by FSBDC consultant Pauline Davis, and now by consultants Jose Molfino and John Finnegan, 3D Tire and the FSBDC analyzed the company’s operations, finances and marketing efforts. “Our time with the FSBDC has been very rewarding,” remarks Darrell. “The input and guidance they afforded our company, the direction that they offered, the consulting and different suggestions they made have been instrumental in turning this company around, in reshaping our direction and re-channeling our focus. It pulled a small business such as ours out of our comfort zone and forced us to think and excel beyond the norm.”
“Since our involvement with the FSBDC, certainly from our end as a company, we’ve seen tremendous growth and expansion on various fronts,” continues Darrell. “We’ve been able to see the amount of accounts grow and secured additional business that has helped the bottom line and to increase our footprint in Central Florida.”
“For any business owner that’s thinking about working with the FSBDC, I would use two words: Do It!” Darrel Williams concludes. “The information you gain is invaluable. The experience is certainly worthwhile. And you will be able to take something away from it that will be useful for your business going forward.”
For information about 3D Tire Company, please visit https://3dtirecompany.com/.