5 Keys to Business Success From David Harrison

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As the largest franchisor of RNR Tire Express, David Harrison knows a thing or two about running a successful business. Since opening his first location in 2005, Harrison has expanded to 32 locations across Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, generating $50 million in revenue in 2020. However, it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows for Harrison. Like many business owners, his journey has been a winding road filled with peaks and valleys. Navigating the various highs and lows of business has given Harrison a unique perspective into what it takes to succeed. Check out his tips to start your own road to success. 

Be Willing to Change 

From an owner’s perspective, every business is born out of a great idea with plans to make it all come to fruition. However, that doesn’t mean that those plans can’t change. In fact, sometimes change is necessary and the willingness to adapt is a key component of business success. Harrison was open to change shortly after he broke into the tire business and saw an opportunity to expand his customer base. 

“When we started, we were called Rent and Roll and I didn’t really like it,” he said. “I felt like it alienated a lot of customers. If you’re a mainstream customer and you see rent in a business name, then you just go on down the road. When we changed to RNR Tire Express, it felt more inclusive and gave us something that had broader appeal.” 

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Focus on What You Do Best 

Jeff Bezos and Amazon notwithstanding, it’s nearly impossible for a business to serve all people at all times. Trying to wear too many hats can squash any growth opportunities before they even present themselves. A more pragmatic approach is focusing on what you do best and delivering the highest quality of that good or service to your customers. Prioritizing the strengths of his business allowed Harrison to successfully navigate the unforeseen challenges of the 2008 financial crisis. 

“What we did better than anybody else was we gave people a way to pay for stuff,” he said. “If you remember, there was a lot of concern about financing at that time. Consumer credit got very tight, so it really created a unique opportunity for me and my business to find people that had kind of been left behind. They might not have a perfect credit score, but they were good folks. We were certainly willing to take the risk. That was our motto.” 

Expect the Unexpected

Unexpected is just one of the many words that could be used to describe the 2008 financial crisis. Harrison had recently expanded into Dallas before the market crash and the murky financial situation led to many restless nights and fear of losing his business. While shifting his sales approach and marketing strategy, Harrison remained committed to his team and customers in Dallas. He started experimenting with ideas to appeal to a mainstream audience, resulting in a profit of $300,000 by the end of 2009. 

“One of the ideas was to just get it to the point of being profitable,” Harrison said. “I’ve never been a big proponent of that. I think you’ve got to grow your way out of stuff. There were a lot of days in 2009 that I just put one foot in front of the other and did what I had to do.” 

Don’t Let Success Be Defined by Profits

Headlined by some of the world’s largest brands such as Walmart and Apple, being named to the Fortune 500 list is arguably the most prestigious award a company can earn. However, revenue isn’t the only way to determine the success of a business. For Harrison, the priority has always been people over profits. 

“One of my core beliefs is that I can help you become successful if I can identify what your gifts are, and we all have them,” he said. “Success doesn’t necessarily mean money. Success means that you do something, you do it well and you’re happy doing it.” 

Help Others 

Every business owner has their own set of goals for their company. Some are interested in increasing market share or decreasing debt, while others are focused on community outreach or improving customer service. For Harrison, the ultimate motivation is helping others become the best version of themselves. 

“I really believe that you have an obligation as a business leader to help people find their way to success,” he said. “If you help other people get what they want, then you’ll always have what you want. Those of us that are given the ability to create wealth and opportunities have a responsibility to help others grow. The motivation has to be about helping others.” 

To learn more from Harrison and other leaders, thinkers and innovators from across the country, subscribe to The Ghidotti Podcast and stay tuned for more stories, strategies and new ideas to set your organization apart.  

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring for three positions listed below – Account Executive, Account Supervisor and Media Relations Manager.

Account Executive Job Description: 

In the Account Executive position, emphasis is placed on growing independent work within the areas of project management, client relations, media relations, digital/marketing, and/or lead generation among other skills. You are the face to our clients and will play an integral role in daily communication and should be able to demonstrate tactical excellence. 

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify blog content story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop. 
  • Develop relevant blogs, e-newsletters and website content effectively and with limited supervision. 
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. Efficiency with Canva, a plus!
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Be proficient in WordPress.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Account Supervisor Job Description: 
In the Account Supervisor position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or creative/strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives.
  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on at least three clients.
  • Manage the implementation of work plans and ensure client deliverables are successfully met on deadline.
  • Play a leadership role in the sales process by identifying additional services to sell to existing clients and assisting with RFP responses, new business proposals, presentations, etc. with senior leadership or independently.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients.
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.
  • Begin to play a role in the agency’s marketing efforts, guiding aspects of certain campaigns and/or helping to execute in their areas of expertise.

Account Services: 

  • Play a clear leadership role in the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for clients.
  • Develop and write comprehensive strategic marketing plans for clients.
  • Handle vendor contracts and ensure proper billing.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of successfully meeting deadlines and timelines.
  • Handle day-of logistics on behalf of clients, responding quickly and effectively.
  • Assist in providing leadership and professional development on client relations, helping team members improve their skills in managing conflict, presentations, sales, etc.

Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Oversee the development of marketing materials and branding campaigns.
  • Manage creative marketing campaigns on behalf of clients.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms, and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for proposals, new business proposals and current clients’ marketing campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Media Relations Manager Job Description: 

In the Media Relations Manager position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the public relations industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives. 

Main Responsibilities – General: 

  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on media relations client accounts.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients. 
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.

Main Responsibilities – Media Relations: 

  • Develop strategic media relations plans, direct management and outreach for client accounts with the supervision of Senior Leadership.
  • Perform with Senior Leadership to prepare a plan for strategic crisis communications.
  • Manage and facilitate the execution of media relations outreach for special events, programs and major initiatives.
  • Perform as spokesperson and coordinates official responses to media inquiries.
  • Conduct media training with clients in preparation for external media interviews. 
  • Support framing and development of main message points for better positioning prior to media interviews.
  • Prepare speeches, talking points and varied communications materials assisting client spokespersons.
  • Write pitches, backgrounders, press releases, key messages and blog posts.
  • Manage and monitor reporter hotline, client media relations calendar, metrics, media relations processes and press release approvals.
  • Propose ideas proactively for media pitches to stimulate media coverage.
  • Consistently pitch stories and secure strategic media placements assisting client reputation and business goals.
  • Manage and supervise media events along with initiatives defining company stories.
  • Identify proactive stories for trade, business as well as consumer media across multiple client industries.
  • Develop and maintain close media relations to improve press efforts.
  • Identify brands promoting opportunities and improve awareness of services and products.

Main Responsibilities – Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns (webinar/live stream events), etc.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for new business proposals and current clients’ PR campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

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  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

Apply for one of our open positions or just send us an email letting us know why you should be part of this Rock Star team. Email bethany@ghidotti.com.