Immigration Reform and Your Business

Immigration ReformThere’s no question the United States has attracted numerous immigrants in search of a better life. Unfortunately, many of them do not follow proper immigration channels and are staying here illegally, whether that’s by crossing boarders illegally or by outstaying their visas.

Lately there has been a lot of media chatter around the new federal immigration reform bill, and just yesterday the Senate passed it, yet it faces a big hurdle in the House—if it goes to a vote at all. As we publish this piece, it’s expected that it may not even go up for a vote, with the House instead crafting their own version. However it washes, the possibilities affects 12 to 20 million undocumented workers in the United States. What does this mean for businesses and franchises?

According to Crain’s New York Business, the new program to be established by the bill would bring thousands of workers to businesses and franchises. While big business, which needs more tech-savvy employees, has pushed hard for the bill to increase the number of H1-B visas, franchisees have pushed for the bill’s W-Visa program, which would welcome more low-skilled immigrants.

The W-Visa program provides temporary visas for less-educated workers. The visas are meant to ensure an adequate workforce is available in areas where jobs don’t require a college degree. They are also renewable and allow families to enter the country. Recently there has been a high demand for these services and has led to businesses hiring 11 million undocumented immigrants. This causes a common problem since employers may take advantage of these workers by paying below minimum wage, and the bill would change this.

One of the biggest issues with immigrants gaining their work visas is the difficult and lengthy application process. There are a number of proposed changes to reduce wait times and increase the availability of visas for skilled workers, which are currently in high demand in the U.S. According to Scott Legal Services Inc., the current immigration system sets a cap on the total number of visas issued by category (EB-1 through EB-5) and then further limits this by country.  For example, country-specific limits on employment-based immigrant visas have caused significant wait times (in excess of 10 years) for some applicants from countries like China and India. If the bill becomes law, the wait time would be eliminated and would present an opportunity for employment-based green cards for applicants from these two and other countries, which in the past has been extremely difficult.

There is also discussion of a new immigration proposal which would create a new green card merit system. People will be accumulating points based on their family ties, education, employment, and other qualifications. The higher the score, the better the chances are for getting a green card.

Many concerns people have with the reform is a fear of not knowing if their workers are legal. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has partnered with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to operate an Internet-based system called E-Verify. E-Verify provides an automated link to federal databases to help employers determine employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers. The new bill will expand E-Verify and make it mandatory for employers to utilize.

“The bill looks really good to us,” said Jay Perron of the International Franchise Association at a discussion of immigration reform. “It provides a pathway to citizenship for a lot of the folks that are here illegally, which is important because it provides workers to all the franchise systems out there.”

Where in the world is TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

The International Franchising Expo, that’s where!

The Franchise Development team is always jetting from one tradeshow to the next, along with other exciting events around the country. This weekend, they were in New York for the International Franchising Expo. The International Franchise Expo is the largest franchise expo in the country and includes thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners from around the globe. Our U.S. and Canadian FD teams were among those motivated and talented individuals, and they passionately spread the word about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchising opportunities.

The team was able to network with and meet a variety of individuals who would fit right in as franchise partners at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

Here are some photos of them in action!

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    The entrance to IFE

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The team having fun setting up the booth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our FD team is ready to go!

Noelle busy talking about the opportunities at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

 

 

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Kelly powering up for their last day at the Expo!

 

 

 

Truckie met Lady Liberty!

Truckie met Lady Liberty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit our website for more information and to keep up with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise development.

 

First-Class Franchising Father

Being a dad is full of both rewards and challenges. Being a dad AND a business owner takes strength, grit, and courage. As Father’s Day approaches, we want to highlight an exceptional franchisee who is a father and grandfather.

Tom Connolly is the franchisee for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Delaware North. He’s also a loving husband to his wife, Pat, dad to Don, Doug and Maureen, and grandpa to Kaley, age two, and Liam, six months.

Tom ConnollyAfter a successful career in pharmaceuticals, Tom decided to retire early. But, being the business man he is, he soon became bored. That’s when he and his son, Don, began considering owning their own business. Don was doing well managing a franchise outlet in another industry and it seemed like owning a business was something they could build together. In the late 80s, Tom used TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s services after his brother told him how great it was. Coincidentally during their search for franchising opportunities, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® popped up. Tom believed the brand was very strong and the customer focus was something he and Don respected and shared.

“We opened our franchise in July of 2007 just in time for the worst economic setback anyone less than 90- years-old has ever seen. We could have let the times derail us but we believed in the power of the brand.” – Tom

After more than 30 years of working in corporate America, including senior roles in Fortune 500 corporations, Tom believed he had learned it all. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® proved to be both a fresh learning experience and a chance to build something special with his son.

“The mutual respect we have now for what we each bring to the table might have never been possible. It leaves me wishing I could duplicate that with my other two children.”- Tom

Don ConnollyFrom day one the father-son duo worked side-by-side, sharing in every key business decision.

“Don was very good at some skills I lacked and conversely, I think he realized and embraced my career experience.”- Tom

Today Don acts as general manager and runs the day-to-day operations. In early 2012, Don was added to the franchise agreement which formally added “franchisee” to his title.  Tom believes most of the success of the last year was built on Don’s efforts.

Father’s Day

Every Father’s Day Tom and his family make an effort to spend the day together.

“I lost my Dad before I turned six. The lack of those early memories impacts every Father’s Day for me. Not in a sad way so much but more as a reminder that my kids and I should enjoy the moment and each other while we can. In that spirit, I am forever feeling my best memory is still to come.”- Tom

Every year is different for the family, and this year, little Liam is being baptized on Father’s Day. Tom believes that trumps any tradition.

What to Expect When Considering Franchise Ownership

Franchise DevelopmentYou decided you want to open a franchise, that’s great! There are just some key components you want to ensure your franchisor will provide before signing the dotted line.

First, research the franchise’s history. See how they’ve gone about expanding and research their company goals. Make sure they have a solid company structure and look into how individual franchises are doing. It’s also important to understand what the brand stands for and best practices the company uses for success.

Now that you’ve done your research, schedule a meeting with the company and make sure to ask them very specific questions. See if the company provides any upfront training, marketing support or other assistance. If not, it may not be a wise investment. Any company that is genuinely interested in your success, and theirs, will provide their knowledge and expertise to help you flourish.

According to Entrepreneur.com, there are 5 specific areas you should expect assistance on from your franchisor:

  1. Location assistance
  2. Construction assistance
  3. Marketing assistance
  4. Training- operations
  5. Franchise training

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchising process

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® team members are proud of the system of operations that has been built for our franchisees and the constant effort made to refine it at all levels. While it sounds like secret sauce (well, it is a little), it’s a simple concept. The system is an integrated way of running a moving franchise. This stems from customer acquisition, smart logistics, proper move day practices, billing and financial management, and customer satisfaction measuring and response. The system has been built so franchisees can work on their businesses and promote accountability with their teams who manage day-to-day operations. We are constantly spending time and money improving the entire system. This system is not separate from our customer satisfaction drive; rather it is the reason for it.

Before someone can become a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee, they will work closely with the franchise development team to ensure they have all the tools necessary for success. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Franchise Development Director, Kelly Rogers, explains how the franchising process works:

“We view our franchisees as long-term partners. You don’t just open a location and show up at annual meeting on occasion. We are very interactive in this partnership. While at some time a franchisee may want less communication from us, they realize the value in this engagement. It builds a better system, which in turn, keeps the brand strong.

We want our franchisees to be leaders. If they have found best practices or have a different perspective from Home Office or other franchisees, we want them to speak up. They also need to be change agents and lead their team at their location(s) through evolutions that we are making to the system for its continued healthy growth and the best service of the customers — our #1 priority.

Our core values and the service of the customer are the most important thing to focus on with this brand. We want franchisees to exhibit the passion for these business drivers like we do.” 

Visit our website for more information on TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and our franchising model. You can also download the following documents, here, which is your first step in becoming a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee.

  • Item 19 Document – The Item 19 document is a public document that discloses franchise financial information.
  • 12 Week Timeline to Opening – An easy timeline of requirements you need from 12 weeks out to opening day.
  • Investment Requirements Document – A single page document detailing the investment range you can expect.