THE HEART OF A HEAVY-LIFTER

Written by Brig Sorber, CEO of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.

Heavy-lifters (and Heavy-sitters for that matter) are nothing new. Pick up a Bible and read what the author King Solomon penned about the twosome 3,000 years ago. His descriptions of both are peppered throughout the 31 chapters of Proverbs.

Heavy-lifters move the world forward. You will not just find them at work. They build things for the benefit of all— little league teams, playgrounds, coat and food drives, and the list goes on. They come from every socioeconomic background, political preference, color, race, sex, and age. Being an ass-kicker (oops, semantics), I mean heavy-lifter, is a mindset. A personal choice. For starters, a heavy-lifter makes no excuses for not trying: I’m too poor, young, old, uneducated, etc. They move positive things forward for the good of all by using their time, talent, and treasure.

Unfortunately, heavy-lifters are few and far between. I bet only 20 percent of our population are made up of these people. Without them our businesses, communities, and societies would fall into chaos. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, I believe, has a much higher ratio of lifters than sitters. We continually invite heavy-lifters to join our team because it’s about so much more than the name. It’s about what a heavy-lifter represents. It’s about finding people who naturally embrace the adventure of business, be the best they can be, live up to the definitions above, challenge themselves to grow, and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Through this mindset and action, we will grow this company like no other: We will provide for ourselves and our families, and we will have a lot of fun in the process.

What else would explain our march to world domination in the moving industry with a 96 percent customer referral rate (we are not always humble)? In contrast, a heavy-sitter is a person or entity which tries to copy our name and logo, confusing online customers by trying to misrepresent our brand. They just do not understand the work of heavy-lifters.

We celebrate and reward heavy-lifters in our system. At our new corporate headquarters we dedicated an entire hallway to these difference makers. Heavy-lifters at work are problem solvers, not just problem finders. They walk right around heavy-sitters when it comes to signing up for professional development, participating in meetings, volunteering for work groups, helping out in training, and taking care of customer and co-workers’ needs.

A healthy work environment will not only allow growth for heavy-lifters but will magnify their contributions. This kind of environment also serves as an incubator for more heavy-lifters to be identified. When lifters outnumber the sitters the bar is raised. The whole environment becomes a warm, friendly, high energy machine. There is no place for a sitter to hide. They will need to make a change to join the energy or to leave it. Heavy-lifters:

  1. TMATSPRING2013232-2627595220-OAre servers; willing to put themselves second
  2. Need goals for both company and career growth
  3. Need to be heard; they have ideas for growth and problem-solving
  4. Need to be celebrated not for themselves as much as being an example for others
  5. Need to be paid; heavy-lifters have big plans for their families and are givers in the community

If you are lacking heavy-lifter numbers in your workplace you have your own decision to make; be a heavy-lifter yourself to change the environment, or slug along hoping that some outside source will lift you up. Author Max Lucado said it best, “It is wiser to look in the mirror before you peek out the window.” I bet Max Lucado is a heavy-lifter!

Like what you hear about the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system? Be sure and check out twomenandatruckfranchising.com for franchise opportunities.

Franchising Forward: Meet TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Franchisee Garret Peterman

garrett peterman049Garret Peterman was hired as a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® mover before his senior year of high school. He had no idea his part-time, summer job would eventually turn into his full-time career.

After graduating high school, Garret was able to return to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® since management was willing to work around his busy college schedule. During his three years as a mover, Garret developed a deeper interest for the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system. He became more intrigued with the company as he saw fellow movers transition to managers and other leadership positions.

“The more I learned about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® the more I wanted to grow with the company,” he said.

In 2006, Garret pursued his ambition and was hired as a franchise business consultant at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International Inc. After five years of exceptional work at the corporate office, Garret packed his bags and moved his family to Wichita, Kansas where he is currently a franchisee.

Since his arrival in Wichita just two and a half years ago, Garret’s franchise has already reached tremendous success. Wichita joined the $1 million dollar club and held just under a 97% referral rate in the first full calendar year of operation. Five years from now, Garret hopes his franchise is part of the $3 million dollar club and rewarded with a spot on the system’s leader’s trip, an all-expenses paid trip for the top franchisees in the system.

By the looks of it, it should be no problem for Garret and his franchise to successfully reach their goals. There are many attributes which contribute to the success of a franchise. However, Garret strongly believes franchises will reach success if they operate based off their personalized team goals. “Align your bonus programs according to your goals, and then measure results,” Garret said.

Garret’s credible advice comes with years of both good and challenging experiences at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Garret recalled his numerous conversations with fellow franchisees Mike Verzino and Sean Wise. It was these two men who made Garret realize he was burning himself out and causing the productivity of the franchise to slow down. Garret came to the realization it was crucial to put more trust into his employees and allow them to take ownership of day-to-day tasks.

Garret wants to prevent future franchise owners from making the same mistakes he did. The advice Garret gives to other franchisees is to accept the help that is constantly offered by other employees, franchises, and Home Office.

“It’s easy to feel like you’re on your own island,” said Garret, “but the system is full of best practices and problem solvers if you reach out. As a result, I’m a more well-rounded franchise operator and a more capable, effective leader.”

Like what you hear about the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system? Be sure and check out twomenandatruckfranchising.com for franchise opportunities.

Motivating a franchise system

Have you ever tried to motivate anyone? A spouse, a child, a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, a classmate, a co-worker … the list could go on and on. Lifting up the spirits and motivation of one person can, at times, be a challenging task to conquer. Multiply that by 100, 1,000, 10,000. It surely can’t be easy. So how do our CEOs of the world do that within their companies, and, more importantly, how do franchisors encourage and lead their entire franchise systems? How do they motivate their franchisees to feel as passionate and loyal to the brand as they do?

RandyS“I think when it comes down to motivating a franchise system, it’s no different than motivating a sports team or any other entity involving people. I recommend focusing on two key areas: ‘Why?’ and ‘Where?’” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc., President Randy Shacka. “Fulfillment in what we do comes from why we get up and do what we do every day. Let’s face it, moving is not glamorous. There are no paparazzi around snapping photos of us moving furniture day in and day out. But our fulfillment and why we get up each day comes from the satisfaction of moving a family into their new home, moving someone out of a troubling situation and into a better place in life, and the satisfaction of knowing your hard work and service resulted in the customer referring you to several friends and family. The ‘Why?’ is critical to motivation as it’s the heart and soul of your business and what people do each day to fulfill their purpose. Our ‘Why?’ is simple but powerful: To Move People Forward. It’s a motivating phrase in itself when you look at how our brand has been able to move customers forward, employees forward, and our communities forward.”

As Randy mentioned above, the passion and the loyalty to a brand and its ultimate purpose should be the driving reason to motivate a system, and ultimately you can reflect on how that has all been done.

“The flip side of the ‘Why?’ is where you are headed,” Randy said. “That’s where our vision comes in. Painting a picture of what life looks like in the future is critical to show where our purpose in the business is taking us. Would you rather be working at a company that has no goals, no vision, and no idea of what you are building? Or would you want to be challenged, stretched, and shown what life looks like in the future and the opportunities that will exist. We believe the ‘Why?’ (our Purpose) drives us to our (‘Where?’) vision and both are motivating factors to keep us going after more as a brand.”

As president of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, Randy takes both areas, the why and the where, and shares tangible TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® stories from across the country to help motivate others in the system. These include stories of employees living the core values and customers raving about the services they received.

“Reading one positive email a day can do wonders for your psyche,” said Randy. “Business is tough, moving is tough, but we have to share these stories confirming why we are doing what we are doing and how it’s making people feel …”

Take a look at even more TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc., efforts to keep its franchise system motivated and recognized for their outstanding work each year!

Annual Meeting

It’s the one time of year all franchisees come together to network, learn, and be awarded for their astonishing work the year prior. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s annual meeting could be appropriately called a family reunion. The vibe and atmosphere truly is upbeat and exciting as franchisees reconnect and see all of the great friends they’ve made over the years. You see many hugs, many laughs, and many jokes. Most importantly, it’s a time when franchisees can connect face-to-face with their peers, and share what works, what doesn’t work, and what could be implemented in the future to improve overall business. A unique aspect is the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® founding family, executives, and Home Office staff are all on hand to listen and implement franchisee feedback. What’s more motivating than learning new business processes, visiting friends you haven’t seen in a year, and being recognized for the blood, sweat, and tears (hoping for no blood, though!) you’ve put into your business?!

The Black Wolf group poses with Las Vegas impersonators during the 2014 Annual Meeting Awards Night in Las Vegas, Nev. Black Wolf is a multi-unit TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise group with locations in Pinellas, Fla., Orlando, Fla., St. Paul, Minn., Minneapolis, Minn., Las Vegas, Nev., Salt Lake City, Utah, Mesa, Ariz., and Tucson, Ariz.

The Black Wolf group poses with Las Vegas impersonators during the 2014 Annual Meeting Awards Night in Las Vegas, Nev. Black Wolf is a multi-unit TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise group with locations in Pinellas, Fla., Orlando, Fla., St. Paul, Minn., Minneapolis, Minn., Las Vegas, Nev., Salt Lake City, Utah, Mesa, Ariz., and Tucson, Ariz.

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TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisees and managers attend educational sessions and round table events to talk with subject matter experts and navigate through new system tools during Annual Meeting.

System Awards: Creating friendly competition

hot 100

Hot 100s member for March 2013! Congratulations to Jessica Lolley from Tuscaloosa, Ala.!

A key benefit of having a system of peers is you’re able to reach out on a regular basis and solicit feedback and tips on various business practices. When you have friends within the franchise system, a little competition is a good thing. Competition is the best motivator and can often yield fantastic results. The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Home Office awards franchises year-round, not just at its Annual Meeting awards night each spring. For example, franchise sales teams that do a stand-out job assisting customers, and who pull in top scores on their sales shops, receive the sales HOT 100 Award. The Home Office sales team also recognizes one franchise sales superstar a month to promote what great things they are doing in the franchise system and how they are truly moving customers forward. The Home Office operations team recognizes one franchise a month with what’s called the Impact Award. This award goes to franchises that are out there in their communities doing great things, making a difference in the lives of others. These are just a few examples of the franchise recognition that goes on behind the scenes.

Education

Being part of a franchise system can oftentimes be stressful, especially when initially learning the myriad processes and business practices. The good thing is all new franchisees are required to attend a two-week training session at the Home Office in Lansing, Mich., where they will learn all aspects of the business. The goal of this training is to educate and encourage franchisees to start their new franchise off on the right foot. Franchisees who have attended this educational session make lifelong friends within the system and gain a great understanding of how TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® operates. In addition to the initial training session, there is a complete training platform called Stick Men University® where each position within a franchise can go to learn using online training courses anytime they’d like. This gives the entire system an opportunity to stay up-to-date on educational opportunities and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® practices.

January 2014 franchise operations class with new franchisees and managers.

January 2014 franchise operations class with new franchisees and managers.

The setup for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s new franchisee class in Stick Men University®.

The setup for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s new franchisee class in Stick Men University®.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communication

Being transparent with information is essential for franchisors to keep franchisees in touch with what’s transpiring within the system. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® schedules regular webinars with the entire system in which various topics and timely information are discussed. This also gives franchisees an open platform to discuss their concerns and allows them to weigh in on hot topics. An intranet is also available and updated daily with headline articles and updates to keep franchisees in the know.

Multiple times a year, corporate office team members, executives, and even members of the founding family pay visits to franchises around the country, congratulating them on their success, sitting down to answer questions, or get to know what’s on their mind. Communication is key!

CEO and original stickman, Brig Sorber (far left), and President Randy Shacka (far right, 1st row), visit the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location in Memphis, Tenn.

CEO and original stickman, Brig Sorber (far left), and President Randy Shacka (far right, 1st row), visit the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location in Memphis, Tenn.

A combination of creating an outlined company vision, being transparent with system information, rewarding and recognizing those that go above and beyond, and providing consistent educational opportunities are just a few things that will not only keep franchisees motivated but will ultimately drive success for your franchise system.

Like what you hear about the TWO MEN AND ATRUCK® system? Be sure and check out twomenandatruckfranchising.com for franchise opportunities.