Founder of Florida-based Sun Tire, Dick Erickson tells a compelling tale in his new book of how a Midwestern kid who went on to become a pilot in Vietnam turned a post-war retail job into a successful tire store chain relying on a few basic business principles.
In “How the Rubber Meets the Road,” re-released recently on Amazon.com, Erickson of Jacksonville, Fla. outlines his master plan for creating a thriving enterprise known a Sun Tire and Automotive Services – not with an MBA from a fancy college but with a work ethic he learned on North Dakota farms and by emulating his role model, Les Schwab Tires of Oregon.
After a couple of unsuccessful stints in college, Erickson writes about how he became a heroic Marine Corps helicopter pilot – at one point crashing in the Vietnam jungle – and ultimately operated a phenomenally profitable and growing chain of Sun Tire stores in Florida.
His practical, time-tested business principles, including the use of profit-sharing he saw at Les Schwab to connect with and motivate retail-wage workers, present a comprehensive roadmap to starting, running, and prospering in business.
“This book is about my journey and what I’ve learned as a business owner. Most of the principles I’ve written about can be applied to other businesses,” said Erickson, who sold the business in 2018 to Mavis Discount Tire after 37 years in business.
Erickson writes extensively about four keys to business success: 1) Customer services, 2) Defined profit-sharing 3) Mentoring and 4) Profitable growth.
“I’ve had the opportunity … to work with over 400 CEOs and entrepreneurs over 40 years,” said John Beehner, Founder of Wise Counsel consulting. “Dick Erickson is among the top 10. (His) experience and integrity will have a positive impact on your business pursuits.”