Opening 10 stores in 10 years is the lofty goal of one Kansas City tire and wheel franchisee, and with the stellar support he gets from the franchise, he’s confident he’ll get there.
Jason Barton, who currently owns two RNR Tire Express stores in Raytown and Gladstone, MO, bought his first franchise in September of 2014 and opened it the next year. Inspiration to become an RNR owner hit him when he heard a radio ad for the franchise.
“It just clicked in my head that it was a great business model and it was something that could be very successful in the Kansas City area,” he said during a recent interview.
RNR is a tire and custom wheel company that offers brand name quality tires and wheels on payment programs to make them more affordable for people.
Before joining the franchise, Barton did his homework and decided it was the business opportunity he was looking for.
He met the owners in Tampa Bay, FL and visited a bunch of stores throughout the United States where he developed an appreciation for how they ran their franchise.
Coming from the construction management business, where he worked from 2006 until 2014, Barton knew changing careers would be difficult, but it was a challenge he was ready to meet.
“It was kind of a different career path, but it was something fun and exciting that I wanted to venture into,” he said.
The turning point for him to switch careers was when he and his wife found out they were having their first child. Traveling a lot with his former job, he decided he didn’t want to be away from home as often.
“I wanted to be home for my wife and spend a lot of time with my children,” he noted.
For Barton’s training, he visited some successful stores near his Missouri location. Barton went down to Arkansas and trained at a few different stores owned by David Harrison, an especially successful RNR franchisee.
Barton did a couple of weeks of training in Arkansas at the end of 2014 and then came back to Kansas City to put his team together.
He then went back to Arkansas with his entire team and did two more weeks of training before launching a soft opening of the Raytown store.
Shortly after, they had their grand opening and the business took off from there.
But the support from RNR started long before the grand opening. During the site selection process, corporate representatives flew out to Kansas City and looked at sites with him around the Kansas City area.
“We spent a solid week looking at different locations and looking at demographics to help us decide where we wanted to open our first one,” Barton recalled.
And now that he’s up and running, the ongoing support from the franchise has been invaluable, from back office support to operational support and ongoing training.
In fact, Barton and his team recently had some members from Harrison’s team come in to provide some more account management and sales training.
“All you need to do is ask and they’ll do everything in their power to help you be successful,” he stated.
Although work satisfaction is much higher when you own your own business, Barton said, finding a balance between work and personal life has recently been a challenge.
The RNR franchisee and his wife have just had a second child and he’s just opened his second store, so his work life balance isn’t great at the moment, but he knows it will get better once the new store and the new baby get a little more established.
“I’m home every night and I get to see my wife and kids. But we’re working hard right now,” he said.
If someone else was interested in joining RNR, Barton said he would tell them to do their due diligence and research the company to see if it’s a good fit. He suggested talking to people in the corporate office and other RNR franchise owners.
Everyone in the company is incredibly helpful, he explained, and the support system is amazing.
“It’s a great company to be a part of,” Barton said.
Whether a franchisee’s goal is a single store or they’re aiming high like Barton and going for 10 stores in 10 years, RNR’s support system can help them reach those goals.