An NFIB member discusses life in the tire business.
NFIB Member: Rich Hoffman
Business: Hoffman Tire Alignment, Fayetteville, Ga.
How did you become a small business owner, and why?
I had worked for the Uniroyal Tire Co. for 13 years and decided that I wanted to leave corporate life. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, so I ended up going into business for myself.
What do you love the most about running a small business?
I love the day-to-day uncertainty of what challenges I’m going to face.
What does owning a business allow you to do that most folks do not get to enjoy?
I have the freedom of time and can set my own work hours.
What is your biggest challenge right now?
The biggest challenge right now is government regulations and uncertainty in Congress.
What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
I am proud to be able to say that I have been in business for 37 years. A lot of my current customers are the children and grandchildren of the customers I had when I started business in 1976.
What have you not yet achieved that you would like to?
I have a sales-figure goal of $2 million that I would like to hit. We came close to hitting it prior to the crash in 2008. We dropped quite a bit in 2008, but we’re headed in the right direction now and have had small increases every year. It may take us another year or two to hit that number, but we will.
What is the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is when I see a customer leave satisfied, and we know that we did the job properly.
What do you read?
I read trade journals and magazines like Tire Review, Tire Business, Undercar Digest and Brake & Front End.
What is your favorite thing to do off the clock? How about on the clock?
One of my favorite things to do is yard work. I enjoy cutting the grass and working in the yard because it’s a job that has immediate results.
My favorite thing to do on the clock is working one-on-one with my customers and helping them understand what’s best for their vehicles.
How do you define success?
Success means enjoying what you’re doing, doing it well and having people recognize you for doing it well.