On the Rise: Shaun Minsker
Part Owner | Superior Tire | Age: 38
What was your first job in the industry?
As a part time summer job at 16, I began as a tire technician and shop helper.
What attracted you to the industry?
It was almost a natural progression as it is an industry that has always been a part of my life and have grown up with.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
The biggest challenge in my career has been creating a balance between work and home life. There was a period of time where I would be home with my wife and kids and still be overly occupied by work. I would respond to messages, emails and quotation requests at all hours of the night and was unable to find any separation and was exhausting myself. I now have created a line between family and career, and found a balance that works.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My biggest influence is without a doubt my dad. I have been lucky enough to watch him go from one success to another while always preaching honesty and hard work. After having a successful automotive business in South Africa, we immigrated and he was forced to start from the bottom. He began washing floors and progressed to owning his own store and most recently, along with his partner, has purchased the Superior Tire franchise. His success has fueled my drive to follow in his footsteps and the ability to work side by side with him has allowed me to have a full-time mentor.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My biggest accomplishment has been starting a wheel and performance-orientated division within the company, called Superior Wheel & Performance. Since 2017 it has grown significantly and become a major driving force of our business and has continued to gain greater recognition within the enthusiast segment.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
My current responsibilities involve overseeing the day to day running of the business as well as marketing and managing our social media presence. I am hands on in dealing with customers in regards to sales, customer service and retention as well as ensuring the shop runs effectively and efficiently. Social media has become an increasingly large part of our marketing strategy and through platforms such as Facebook and Instagram we have been able to vastly increase our brand recognition.
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
The one thing I never expected getting into this industry was how multi-faceted you have to become in order to operate on a daily basis and have success. You have to constantly stay up to date with new products and technologies, adapt to new sales techniques and marketing strategies, be proficient with shop tools and equipment and have the ability to perform many of the jobs yourself and also be able to manage employees and the day-to-day operations.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to my beautiful wife Zanele, and we have two daughters, Ariella, 12 and Talya, 9, who are my entire world and motivate me every day to be a better person.
What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 taught me a lot about myself but mainly how resilient I am. Being deemed an essential service allowed us to operate throughout the pandemic and despite how challenging and difficult it was dealing with the effects on my family and the outside world — along with constantly changing restrictions and regulations — I was able to navigate through and keep moving forward.
What’s your favorite, can’t-miss podcast?
I only recently started listening to podcasts and my favorites would be Bad Friends or TigerBelly.
If you won an Olympic gold medal, how would you have earned it? (You can make up a sport.)
If I had to win a gold medal in an Olympic sport it would be for basketball. Growing up, basketball was my first passion which continues to this very day.
What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?
Finding and retaining good employees is one of the most difficult aspects of the business. I would definitely recommend hiring with reliability as one of the prime character traits, as the right candidates can be trained and learn on the job. Competitive wages and other incentives are important factors but creating a workplace where employees feel valued and respected is the most important part of retaining staff. The right employees can make or break your business and that is why as an employer you have to go the extra mile ensure a positive environment.