Ethan Matras (left)/Aaron Migie

By MYRON LOVE

As happens with many a successful entrepreneur, an entrepreneur often starts with a hobby – a passion – which then evolves into a successful business venture. This is the route that Ethan Matras has followed.

 

 

 


“I have always enjoyed working on old cars,” says the son of Maureen and the late Allan Matras. “I got an idea for a business based on servicing vehicles and took the risk.”
That idea is Matras’s “Mobile Tire Xchange”, Winnipeg’s first mobile tire service. “I started Mobile Tire Xchange as a sideline in 2012,” says the former civil servant. “In 2014, I quit my job to devote myself full time to my new company.”
Mobile Tire Xchange, Matras explains, provides tire sales, service and storage with a twist. Instead of the customer coming to Matras, he goes to the customer. With his full service truck, Matras can come to your home or business, swap your summer tires for winter tires, balance and align the tires onsite and store the tires at his storage facility – then repeat the process in reverse in the spring.
The company has access to all the major tire brands and is a partner in MPI’s Snow Tire Financing program.
In addition to changing tires, Matras and his Mobile Tire Xchange also fix or replace flat tires at your location. On the commercial side, he reports that the company has a growing number of clients, such as roofing companies that need work done on location, Uber drivers and truck fleets - to name a few.
“Because Mobile Tire Xchange is a small, local business with small overhead costs, we can price our services competitively,” he says. “We provide 24-hour service.”
Mobile Tire Xchange’s business over the past five years has largely grown through word of mouth but, while Matras says that he currently has between 500 and 600 customers, he adds that he sees a lot of potential for growth.


“I have reached the point where I am ready for more rapid growth,” he notes. “The problem is that I am so busy serving my present customers (residential and commercial) that I don’t have time to devise strategies for growth.”
This is where Aaron Migie enters the picture. The son of Bernie and Senora Migie is a certified financial planner with Assante Wealth Management. Migie and Matras are also long time friends, having gone to school together at both the former Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate and Kelvin High School.
“I was a satisfied customer of Ethan’s Mobile Tire Xchange,” Migie says. “About a year ago, Ethan approached me about becoming a partner and helping to grow the business. The timing was right.
“While Ethan knows the nuts and bolts of the business, I am a numbers guy. I am focusing on growth and development opportunities.”
Matras notes that there are between 400,000 and 500,000 motor vehicles on the road in Manitoba. “We believe that we can more than double our business in the near future,” he says.
Migie reports that he is working to leverage technology through initiatives such as easy access to online booking. “We really want to grow our commercial sales,” he says.
One of the options that Migie and Matras are considering is franchising the business.
“Our goal,” Matras says, “is to create a scenario in which anyone who needs tire service will think of us first.”