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David Early Tires

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

In late fall 1972 a young entrepreneur by the name of David Early wanted to open a tire franchise in Salt Lake City. David had already gained considerable experience in the tire business working for a company in Idaho. That company had offered him a franchise at no cost and David had found some property at 3300 South and 900 East in Salt Lake that included a vacant gas station. The prospect of running his own business seemed promising and he had nearly all of the right pieces in place—that is everything but the financing.

At the time, David didn’t have a lot to his name. But that didn’t stop him from pursuing his goal. He prepared a business plan and began looking for a lender. After four different attempts, he finally got the financing he needed. The bank loaned him enough to buy the property and remodel the vacated building.

Following construction and preparation work, David opened his tire store in March of 1973. Things went well and he managed to pay the bills. But the company under which he operated his franchise believed in selling no name tires as premium quality, and David felt that was wrong. He also wanted to grow his business, which for him meant more than simply selling tires. So after two years, he decided to drop the franchise name and operate as his own company. He added an alignment rack and began offering other services such as brake repairs and suspension work. For tires, he added the high-quality Michelin brand along with other major brands and began selling them at low prices. A big challenge was naming the company. Michelin’s president of US operations encouraged him to take a personalized approach and simply call it David Early Tires.

Well, the name and strategy worked. And now almost 30 years later, David Early has 18 stores from Logan to Provo and a reputation as the value leader.

If you would like more information about “Speaking on Business,” log on to and type “Speaking on Business” in the search feature. You’ll find copies of each program and my email address. If you have a minute, send me a message. I’d like to hear from you.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.

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