Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair – 2014 Master Success Award Winner

Thursday, March 27, 2014, Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair was recognized as the 2014 Master Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair worked with the Maricopa Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:

After retiring from the automotive distribution industry in 1995, Howard Fleischmann Sr. helped his grown children finance a tire store that they had purchases. Over the next few years, the family accumulated eight stores, including four that Fleischmann bought himself. The expanded family-run operation appeared to be running smoothly and Fleischmann tried retirement once again.

In 2003, the bank called and Fleischmann learned that internal embezzlement at Community Tire Pros had cost the company its credit line and placed it in danger. He then returned to take over the company’s management. It was during this time Howard Fleischmann Sr. and his son Howard Fleischmann Jr. discovered the Maricopa Community College SBDC and Business Analyst Michael D’Hoostelaere. D’Hoostelaere mentored the pair in finance, marketing and strategic business planning.

Community Tire Pros has been in business for 22 years now and operates six shops around the Valley. It is the first tire dealer in Arizona to cater to the female clientele and their needs in the automotive industry. Target marketing has proven to be a successful strategy for the company. “I asked my mangers who their favorite customers were and they said women,” Fleischmann noted. “Women customers don’t tell the technicians how to fix the car and, once the job is done and done well at a fair price, they keep coming back. Understanding this changed our business dramatically and helped us to make strategic choices,” Fleischmann said.

“We do business just a bit different,” says Fleischmann. “We engage and create facilities of the clients’ comfort, hire advisors with talent at the counter as well as certified technicians working on vehicles. We never sell a client, our mantra is ‘we advise – you decide.’ We have the most up-to-date equipment to diagnose the ever-changing technology in today’s vehicles. Our teams are very conscious of always going above and beyond – ‘Do the Right Thing!’ We are locally owned and give back to the communities where we do business,” states Fleischmann. As a leader in the community for equality, Community Tire Pros practice in our six locations that everyone is welcomed. Community Tire Pros is a member of AskPatty.com, certified as a Female Friendly facility and dedicated to give a pleasurable repair experience with utmost respect and the chance to educate clients on their vehicles with safety priorities at the forefront.

Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair prides itself on being locally owned and a member of the community. Team members are encouraged to seek ways to give back to those communities where Community Tire Pros does business. Whether its giving a used car to a young mother through Helping Hands for Single Mothers, supplying much needed blankets for LGBT youth on the street, serving food at a homeless shelters, or other outreach efforts, Community Tire Pros is committed to their community. The newest community project is the “Community Tire Salsa Garden.” This is an actual vegetable garden located in two lots across from the corporate facility at Central and Durango. This general vicinity is called a food desert, simply because there is no grocery store within 3-5 miles. This project will engage, involve, create curiosity and educate through growing vegetables. This self-sustaining garden will have aspects to include children and adults as volunteers and in return give vegetables from the harvest based on hours donated. Thus far, since April 2013, the Community Tire Salsa Garden has managed to gift more than 600 pounds of food to this community. The garden will soon encompass cooking, children’s seasonal projects, harvesting, recycling and work with the Friendly House charter school across the street for campus gardening activities. To read more about the garden check out communitytiregarden.org for updates.

When asked what his secret to success was, Fleischmann replied, in today’s market place a small business owner must be better than ever before. We all must have good knowledge of finance, funding, taxes property, employee retention, rewards, discipline, healthcare rues, negotiations, and the list goes on and on. The Maricopa Community College SBDC can provide all of the support necessary to help a business owner work through these issues if you are willing to ask. Michael D’Hoostelaere was a great fit for me as a mentor. Since my financial knowledge was limited, and it is one of Michael’s many strengths, this became a major asset. As many small business owners, I was uncomfortable admitting to my short comings but Michael was able to open the doors without causing any embarrassment and has taken me to a new level of understanding. He has included me in projects that involved others allowing my vision to expand and we continue to work together as we have moved our company from a $6 million a year to a successful $10.6 million in 2013. I cannot express enough thanks to the SBDC for all the help!

Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair has received multiple honors for excellence, quality, customer service and community involvement. Recently, they were honored at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas with the 2013 National, Canada and Mexico “Top Shop” Award Winner by Tire Review magazine. This award indicates that Community Tire Pros are the bet of the best. In 2010, Community Tire Pros was honored as one of the TOP 5 SHOP finalist in the Nation in Tire Review Magazine-Tire Industry. They have received the AAA TOP SHOP Award for four years running, the AZ Central Reader’s Choice Award in 2012 and 2013, the 2012 One Community “Spotlight on Success” award, we honored by being the 2013 Phoenix Gay Pride Grand Marshalls, among other outstanding honors.

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