Franchise Opens in Gulfport, Mississippi

We are incredibly excited to see one of our newest franchises open in Gulfport, Mississippi!

Tim & Donald receiving their award for completing EFO training

Tim & Donald receiving their award for completing EFO training

Franchisees Tim Swindle and Donald Gwin are new to the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system and we couldn’t be more thrilled. They heard about this opportunity through seeing the success of mutual friends in the business and decided they wanted to be a part of it.

Tim and Donald both come from the roofing business and are familiar with providing excellent customer service— a perfect fit for the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system. Donald has been in the roofing business 25 years and Tim was a factory worker until 2007 when he got into residential roofing as well.

Tim and Donald said the journey to opening their first franchise has been hectic, exciting and a little bit stressful. Although the process has had its challenges, they said Home Office has been a great support system and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship.

The duo has set the bar high for their up-and-coming franchise.

“Our goal is to operate a $2-$2.5 million franchise by the third year,” said Swindle.

Donald placing their pin on the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® map

Donald placing their pin on the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® map

 

And their goal is completely attainable. The great thing about franchising — and about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® — is the support team and tools available for franchisees to grow their businesses and obtain success.

Congrats Tim and Donald we are so excited to welcome you to the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family!

 

For those interested in TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchising, there are some great new programs we are rolling out to showcase our franchising opportunities. Visit www.twomenandatruckfranchising.com to read more about our ongoing growth and open markets.

Franchising: Is it Truly Entrepreneurship?

When you become a franchisee, are you truly an entrepreneur? According to Merriam-Webster, an entrepreneur is one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. At a basic level, as a franchisee, you will meet this definition. However, working in economic development for six years, I learned that entrepreneurship has a range — from complete start-up where you tackle building and growing the model on your own to embracing a more established business model while still taking on the financial risk of making a new business take flight. It is the latter part of the range that a franchisee falls in, but there are some great benefits to being this type of entrepreneur, including a partnership in investment and risk with your franchisor.

While franchising gives you the excitement of starting and building a business, you will not be alone in building your venture. Your franchisor, if they are worth the fee and time, will have established systems (including at least some IT), processes, marketing and sales tactics, and best practices, thereby taking some of the guesswork out of starting and growing the enterprise. Typically, the longer a franchisor has been around, the more formulaic some of these aspects of running their branded business may become. But even with younger franchisors, they still have enough figured out to have packaged their opportunity in some form, again taking out some of the mystery of a new business. Whether young or more established, if you decide to go down this route of entrepreneurship, make sure your franchisor has a track record of updating processes and practices to keep up with the times, and they truly view the relationship with their franchisees as a partnership. So what does partnership mean?

Franchising

Partners work together to make things happen. In the case of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we work together to satisfy customers and maintain our high referral rate. Franchisees are not our customers, but we re-invest in the system to form a partnership in satisfying customers.  And while we seriously consider the franchisee input daily in refreshing and upgrading the system, at the end of the day our partners are agreeing to use the system and not go off on their own taking some risk on behalf of the brand and the rest of the system. Are you an entrepreneur that is willing to be this type of partner and participate in a system? Or, are you more independent than this? These are probably the two most important questions you will answer as you embark upon some form of entrepreneurship. So where do you go from here as your dreams of entrepreneurship loom?

I would recommend if you had any ambivalence about the questions just asked, that you start by seriously considering the pros and cons of going independent versus taking on a franchise opportunity. You probably want to narrow your list of franchise opportunities before going through the pros versus cons exercise. The brands you’re looking at, if you open yourself up to talking to the Franchise Development team, can be an asset in the process of narrowing your opportunities down. If you think of them as potential long-term partners, then those you connect with on a fundamental relationship level might be your best options if you like the system performance you are being given as well. If after this process, you still feel confident in being independent in your pursuit of entrepreneurship, then you may have to rule out franchising.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we are completely okay when a prospect makes this decision. If you want to go the franchise route after all, make sure you have found the right partner and that you click with the Franchise Development team, the executives, and the support teams of the brand. Your entrepreneurship experience will be so much more rewarding as a result.

Franchising Mom Extraordinaire

Jenn Gondolfo

Photo by Young’s Studio

With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, we want to feature one of our exceptional franchisees who also has another job – being a great and loving mother. Jennifer Gondolfo has owned the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Delaware South franchise for six years and she loves every minute of it!

Prior to owning the franchise, Jenn owned two doctors’ offices with her ex-husband. She found that everything relies on individual efforts in terms of new business. So when it was time for a change, she knew she wanted to find a concept which had a support system and was more turnkey. She learned a franchise system does this very well and so the researching process began.

For months Jenn researched franchising systems and came across TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. She learned all about the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system and how it is built on well-grounded morals and ethics. She also loved the fact that there was a support system of other franchisees and Home Office professionals who genuinely care and want to make sure each franchise is successful. She felt it was the perfect fit for her!

Jenn has five kids that keep her busy; Alex, Zak, Max, Sophia and Isabella. The Gondolfo family loves spending time together, and they have a special tradition called “big breakfast”. On Sundays when they are all home together, Jenn rises first and begins cooking breakfast. And when we say big breakfast, we mean big! It includes three different breakfast meats, eggs, pancakes, and fruit.  They eat together and usually play a game of 20 questions. The person thinks of a person, place or thing and the group tries to guess within 20 questions what it is. They have a blast!

The kids love Jen’s franchise and like participating in outside marketing events such as local parades, where they pass out candy. Jenn’s kids are all very proud of their mom and her success; however, they do not like riding around in the company minivan which is adorned with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® lettering.

Both Alex and Zak have been movers at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and Alex is currently a full-time customer service representative at the office. Jen loves having Alex participate in the daily operations alongside her in addition to gaining great work experience. Maybe owning a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise of their own is in the boys’ future!

Mother’s Day Traditions

For the Gondolfo family, Mother’s Day is a time for them to be together. When they were younger, the kids would treat Jenn to breakfast in bed. But as they have gotten older, and do not all live under one roof, this changed to a family meal together at a nice restaurant.

When asked about her favorite Mother’s Day memory, she said it was last year.

“The older children, with their younger siblings in tow, bought me actual gifts from the store. It wasn’t the gifts as much as the fact that they had used their own money and time and had actually gone out as a group for me. Very special!”

The Best Gift

“Wow, the best gift I have ever gotten is probably not an actual material gift, but the gift of where I am right now today. I have five healthy kids, they are all growing up to be good kind people. I have a successful business, that I can be proud of. My franchise has an excellent reputation in my community, which I owe to two things: the brand and a great group of men and women who work for me and take excellent care of our customers. I have come a long way to get to this point and I am excited about where I am headed.”

Advice for Moms

When asked if she had any advice to give other moms who are looking into franchising, Jenn said:

“Franchising does two things very well, support and more support. Support in regards to set up, as you are opening a business that has already been created for you. Support in regards to bringing in new business. These two things alone can either stop a potential new business in its tracks from never opening or close its doors as there is little or no profit. If you take the franchise concept and marry it with being a mother, you can see the compatibility. I don’t have to create concepts they have already been created for me and when I arrive each day for work, there are at least three or more new leads (customers) in my TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® inbox.”

Health Care Reform & Your Business

We have heard the terms “Affordable Care Act” or “Health Care Reform” for a while now and with the enrollment deadline of January 2014 soon approaching, many businesses are facing tough decisions.

What is the Health Care Reform?

Health Care Reform is a law passed by Congress that was designed to provide greater access to health care. Simply, the health reform is designed to help people of with various income levels, employment situations and health status, have access to health care.

The purpose of the health reform is to ensure by 2014 everyone, in some way, has health insurance. This could be their own insurance, through their employer or covered by government programs such as Medicaid or Medicare.  With making insurance available to everyone, the cost of health care should begin to go down.

What you should know for your business

Size Matters

The first thing you should know about the Health Care Reform is it depends on the size of your company on how it will affect you.  If your business consists of less than 50 full-time employees, you do not have to offer health insurance and you are not penalized if you don’t. If you do decide to offer insurance, you may get tax credit to help with the cost. If you have more than 50 full-time employees, then you are strongly encouraged to provide healthcare to everyone otherwise you will have to pay a fee of $2,000 per employee.

Plan Requirements

All employers will need to provide the complete details of health care plans readily available to their employees containing the “essential health benefits”, some of which are often excluded from such coverage now. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, essential benefits must include a number of specific services, including maternity and newborn care, emergency services, mental health and substance abuse services, preventive care and prescription drugs. You will also need to provide employees written notice on the state health insurance exchanges. Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) can be set up to provide information on all of an employee’s health care options.
Exchanges

New state-based health insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, should be in place by 2014. The marketplace allows small businesses and individuals to shop for coverage, choosing from a variety of competing plans that meet federal requirements. Employers are expected to have access to information about available exchange plans in October of this year.

Risks

Because of these requirements we have seen many instances where companies want to grow their business, which includes hiring more people, but are hesitant because they will then have to pay for health care. As a way to work around this some businesses, when hiring, are putting a cap of 30-hour work weeks.

What about franchises?

If you own multiple franchises, or businesses, you may be wondering how this affects you. Here are the main things to be aware of. Under the Health Care Reform, a group of employers or commonly owned businesses are considered a single, and most likely, large employer. Even if you own very different kinds of businesses, you may have to count up all of your employees and treat all of your businesses as one.

According to the IFA, many franchise businesses have total employment exceeding the 49-worker ceiling. Unfortunately this puts many franchises at a disadvantage since their competition may not have to meet the health care requirements. As a result, many franchise owners may decide to offer fewer well-paying jobs by increasing automation or change to part-time work.

For more information on the Health Care Reform visit makingsenseofhealthcare.org.