TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, North America’s largest franchised moving company, recently underwent a major expansion to D.C., Maryland and Virginia. This opportunity for the brand to leverage a new market was the result of years of strategic planning, and a major investment. Even with careful planning and the extension of resources, however, it was not enough to undertake the expansion. In growing a brand, especially a franchise brand, you are building relationships. And for relationships to be healthy, you need the right people at the right time in the right place. These key ingredients made our new market launch highly successful.
Let’s start with the people.
“We were looking for franchisee business partners to help us connect the Eastern Seaboard by establishing locations in these areas and providing our trademark customer service and our operational excellence,” explained Kelly Rogers, franchise development director the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® headquarters located in Lansing, Mich. “From the Capitol to the coast, we want to move people forward in life with franchisees who possess business acumen and a dedication to making things just right for customers. Our franchise development team sought out partners who aligned relative to investment, business, and life goals.”
As a result of this effort, our system’s first entrants into the Greater D.C. market are a mix of existing franchisees strategically ready to expand and new franchisees who quickly developed a passion for the brand and were excited about blazing new trails on its behalf. All of the franchisees have solid business expertise, and their mix of personalities and skills complement us. They have also been integral in co-planning for promotional strategies and launch efforts. This is a win-win for for them as individual business partners and for the brand. Even with the right people like we have today, it needed to be the right time for the brand as well.
Over the last several years, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® had undergone a major upgrade in its vision, tools, and alignment of competencies to meet market challenges such as the 2008 downturn. A foray into a new market would have been possible but not necessarily optimal at that particular time. As we came close to completing this shift in perspective and goals, a new team was recruited to prep for new market launches in 2013. We have been enjoying the results of this perfect timing as significant agreements have been signed this summer and fall which put us in three new states and D.C. We also expanded our footprint in states where we already had a presence which included filling the last available marketing areas of Dallas with our trademark brand.
This brings us to the topic of right place.
When expanding a brand, there are myriad choices to make, and it is easy to become distracted by hot international expansion opportunities and rising national markets. However, if you are not putting these hot opportunities in context of what your brand needs, you may be making disconnected and potentially harmful decisions. We looked at a mix of hot markets, the manner in which we wanted to connect our footprint for strategic reasons, and where specifically we thought our brand could reach new customers and make a difference in peoples’ lives and communities. The fortuitous part is that the places aligned with where our partners wanted to go, and it was also the right time for the system to expand. Thus, good relationships for long-term growth for the brand were forged quickly this year.
At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® it is our passion to move people forward, both at the customer and franchise location level. Every decision we made at Home Office in regard to our expansion in 2013 was guided by our Core Values: Integrity, Give Back to the Community, The Grandma Rule®, Care, Inclusion, and Be Your best and Have Fun. These values have created our foundation for further growth and advancement throughout our history, so it was imperative to find the right people, the right time, and the right locations to apply them. By staying true to your brand and the people it encompasses, growing it can occur in a much healthier manner than chasing hot trends.
To hear our CEO and an original Stick Man, Brig Sorber, talk about our visions for expansion, listen to this:
To learn more about the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise system, opportunities on the east coast, and now on the west coast, visit us at www.twomenandatruckfranchising.com. These newly available markets went fast, so don’t wait to move yourself forward!