It’s no secret that in recent months TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s Franchise Development team has been heavily focused on both expansion opportunities and brand awareness in Washington DC and its surrounding markets. Oftentimes, the best way to raise awareness begins with reaching out to an audience who is already familiar with your brand, then partnering with them to spread the word. Great relationships can be built and fostered in this manner, and every now and then, if luck strikes, great community-based opportunities arise.
On Thursday, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® sponsored an open house at Lansing’s Center for New Enterprise Opportunity (NEO), the capital city’s only business incubator, which offers low-cost rent, programming, and educational and mentoring resources.
The opportunity came about while our Franchise Development team was hosting a watch party for the DC Spartans, a chapter of the MSU alumni association, during the men’s basketball sweet sixteen tournament run. At this event, Business Developer Tom Parks and Franchise Development Director Kelly Rogers were pleasantly surprised to run into some familiar faces; Betsy and Robin Miner-Swartz, also from Lansing, were in the area in support of Michigan State University’s Women’s basketball tournament appearance.
Over dinner, conversation inevitably turned to Lansing-based news and events. As Betsy and Robin described their involvement as board members of NEO, Tom and Kelly became very excited about the prospect of working with young entrepreneurs who may not have considered franchising as an option of business ownership.
Months passed without much follow-up action; however, Tom and Kelly would continue to run into Betsy and Robin at various networking events around the Lansing area and reminisce over their random encounter in DC. When Betsy approached TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® about sponsoring an open house to raise awareness of NEO, the Franchise Development team jumped.
Kelly believes this event was a valuable way to give back to the community, to remember where Mary Ellen, Brig, Jon, and Melanie started, and to foster new entrepreneurial talent. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is focused on moving people forward as part of the new vision under which the company is operating. This applies to customers, the team at the Lansing headquarters, the more than 260 franchise locations, and the communities in which we operate.
By working with NEO, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is delivering on this vision within our home community. It’s hard to convey how much this truly means to our company and the family.
The public open house-style event at the NEO Center at 934 Clark Street in Lansing proved to be an entertaining mixer, with opportunities to chat with entrepreneurs and to enjoy food, drink, live music, and art designed to recognize great entrepreneurial stories of the Lansing area. During the event NEO revealed a sculpture designed by Red Head Design made from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® boxes and other materials. The art adorns the ceiling and walls of the NEO Center as a reminder to tenants of the business incubator that they could very well be the next big idea, the next international company which helps move people forward.