Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Helps Utah Business Succeed

A business doesn’t survive for seven decades spanning three generations without doing things right.

May 4, 2016

In 1947, World War II veteran Walt Axelgard opened a small service station in Price, Utah. Back then he would have been servicing DeSotos, Hudsons, Nashs, Oldsmobiles, Packards, Plymouths, and Studebakers. None of these cars are made anymore, but the company that Walt started 69 years ago is still going strong.

Walt quickly expanded from his service station to a tire retreading business and then to a full blown retail tire and automotive store, now known as Dinosaur Les Schwab Tire Center, a Zions Bank client. Walt passed the business on to his son Kevin who now runs it with his wife Bonnie, their son Brandon and his wife Korie.

A business doesn’t survive for seven decades spanning three generations without doing things right. Many family-owned businesses don’t make it to the second generation, much less the third. In fact CNN Money has reported that only 12 percent of third-generation businesses remain viable.

But even with their track record of success, Brandon and Korie recognized that they could benefit from some small business training to continue the legacy of his parents and grandparents. In 2014 they attended the Dave Ramsey Entreleadership workshop sponsored by Zions Bank. During this full-day workshop Dave and his team helped entrepreneurs improve their goal setting, time management, decision making, marketing, expansion, and employee development, among other topics.

For Brandon and Korie, the section on employees was especially helpful.  As a result, the couple created a written human resources plan that maps out the hiring process from start to finish from interviews to new employee paperwork. An important component is asking job candidates to provide their personal budgets.

“We have found that asking candidates for their budgets and explaining to them our beliefs about being good stewards is actually very much appreciated,”Korie says. “By asking for a budget, we’ve been able to save ourselves the burden of hiring only to be disappointed when the employee is unhappy and finds that they cannot afford to work in that position.”

She notes that the HR plan has resulted in a significant difference in the caliber of people and in employee retention. “We love that we are “different” in our hiring process and love seeing the awesome rewards. We continue to mold our business after the principles we’ve learned,” Korie says. “.To any business owner considering taking the Entreleadership course, we would say DO IT! Dave and his team present a wealth of knowledge, and tried-and-true principles that work. Even if you apply just one principle from this course, you will see awesome results.”

Family businesses working on multigenerational success should become familiar with Zions Bank’s Family Business Services. This specialized education and financial advisory service can help you manage growth now and transitions in the future.

Meanwhile, if you find yourself in Price, Utah, you can get your automotive service and tire needs taken care of at the Axelgard’s tire shop – even if you are still driving a 1947 Packard.

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