The next move Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Finalist
Professional Services and Asset Management

Tim French had an entrepreneurial vision from an early age. He started his first business at age 13 repairing bicycles in his parents’ garage and then expanded it by adding a pickup and delivery service. By 17, he had purchased a local bike shop, and during the next two years, opened two additional shops and grew the business through other channels, such as mail order, motorized bikes, repairs and accessories.

As the business got bigger, he grew the company’s revenue by providing assembly services to local and regional retailers. This aspect of the business grew quickly, and he saw great growth potential in this area, so he sold his bicycle shops to focus on the assembly business.

He then expanded to service shopping carts for the same retailers who were already using his assembly services, and he quickly saw a niche in the shopping cart repair business and sold his assembly business to focus on this new niche. From that point, The French Co. has grown into what it is today — a successful company that operates in 48 states servicing national and regional retailers.

Throughout it all, this CEO has focused on one thing — integrity. He says, “Our integrity is our legacy. It is easily ruined by one person or one bad decision, must be earned every day and is never, ever to be compromised.”

This has served as the foundation for his company and is the basis for the culture that he has created within his business.

Beyond being honest, French believes that true integrity means being brutally honest in every communication. This helps avoid politics within the company, which is another aspect of having integrity. When people communicate openly and honestly, it eliminates back-stabbing, gossip and talking about others behind their backs, he believes.

Promoting integrity in the company has made work more enjoyable and efficient for all of his employees. Beyond the positive culture it creates, French’s approach has allowed the business to grow 25 percent during the last year, despite the down economy, proving that this entrepreneur knows what it takes to succeed.

How to reach: The French Co., (330) 963-4344 or www.thefrenchcompany.com