50 Years and Counting: Simple Simon Tire Honors its Founder, ‘Mr. Bill’
”You can trust us; your car will love us. It’s just that simple!” — Simple Simon Tire tagline
For 50 years, Bill Simon has made buying tires fun in Baton Rouge, La. Appropriately, when Simple Simon Tire celebrated its golden anniversary recently, fun was the operative word. And Simon’s employees made sure they honored the company’s founder, CEO and president in style.
The two-day affair was part business, part pleasure. On Feb. 27, the company held employee training at the larger of Simple Simon Tire and Car Care’s two outlets. The next evening, those same employees joined family and friends for a convention and awards banquet at the L’auburge Convention Center in Baton Rouge, La.
“Our guest speaker was Rolfe McCollister, publisher of the Baton Rouge Business Report,” says General Manager Mark Jones. “They did a wonderful story on ‘Mr. Bill’ last year.”
Also on hand was Greg Simon, who blessed the company and its employees, and prayed for continued success throughout the year.
Simon, who will turn 80 in August, still comes to work every day. He holds all of the meetings, handles all of the advertising, “and keeps a lengthy, ongoing list of things for me to do!” says Jones.
“Mr. Bill believes that to win, we must think to win and act accordingly. If you think it’s bad luck, it is. If you think it’s good luck, it is. We are what we think we are. He says, ‘Anyone anywhere can be a success at any time.’
“It just takes courage to leave the past behind, take action on your dream and make friends out of strangers. But it’s not as hard as you think. Simply be the servant and one day you will be the master.”
Simple Simon Tire continues to grow based on those beliefs and actions. In 2015, the company had gross sales of nearly $5 million, a $500,000 increase over the previous year.
About 4% of the company’s gross sales are earmarked for marketing, which focuses on television and radio advertising. Bill Simon has become a local celebrity for his TV ads featuring Momma (yes, Bill in a dress!) or Superman or Pilgrim Bill.
“We have very unique advertising that causes people to remember us,” says Jones.
“All our TV commercials can be viewed on our website at www.simplesimontire.com and also on YouTube. Every commercial is designed and directed by Mr. Bill.”
Simon also hosts “Simple Simon time is” on a local radio station every morning.
“Anytime we are out and about, everybody wants to know what time it is!” says Jones.
“We want to, and we do, operate differently from our competition. We do things that others just won’t do, and it pays off.”
Simple Simon Tire is a family-run operation, with several family members on the payroll. That includes his wife, Peggy, who has been “a strong force in the success of this company,” according to Jones.
“Bill Simon has a strong moral and business mind,” he says. “He believes in taking excellent care of each and every customer, doing the extra little things that customers don’t expect, but appreciate.
“We stand far apart from our competition, and we always have. He has instilled his values in each of us as employees, and expects us to deliver the same customer service that he always did when he was on the front lines.” ■