Annual scholarship program prepares to award new franchisee $50,000

Written by Jessy Howe

Mary Ellen's Moving People Forward Scholarship

We believe in Moving People Forward®, personally and professionally, after all it is our core purpose. In 2014, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® launched Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward® scholarship program in order to provide managers an opportunity to transition into successful franchisees.

After the success of the program’s first year recipient, Randi Bloodworth, we’re ecstatic for the program’s second year as these system leaders work to move their careers forward and grow the brand’s footprint.

As a catalyst for system expansion, the scholarship program puts candidates through one year of extensive training to further develop their knowledge of the inner workings of a franchise system. During this time candidates complete online classes and live webinars, as well as work closely with departments at Home Office on management assignments to enhance their skills. Candidates attend internal events including the Frontline Annual Meeting in Lansing, Mich., as well as the company’s Annual Meeting to co-present on important topics to system attendees. Additionally, the candidates are asked to write a reflection after visiting another location for a better understanding of the role of a franchisee.

These assignments lead to candidates visiting Home Office to interview with the company’s executive team and present a comprehensive business plan in August. The program winner is announced in September.

The winner is awarded a $50,000 scholarship to go toward opening their very own new franchise, in partnership with their franchisee, who works closely alongside the participant throughout the program. This year’s scholarship recipient is expected to open their new franchise by March 2017.

Remaining program participants will each receive $10,000 toward the opening of their new franchise which will be expected to open within two years.

This year’s candidates are in their final stretch of the program and all three participants began as movers, before working their way up into management positions within the system.

Jason Washburn, Boston, Mass.

Jason Washburn, TWO MEN AND A TRUCKJason Washburn has been a valued member of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family since February 2011 and is working hard to learn as much as he can from this experience.

“I have told myself from the beginning that no matter the outcome, at the end of the program the experience I will get, the relationships I will build, and the knowledge that I will gain is extremely valuable,” said Washburn. “I feel like the program is an open door to many opportunities.”

While focusing on every aspect of the program and taking it all in, he is taking note on what he feels is essential to running his own franchise.

“An important aspect to running a successful franchise is having a vision,” said Washburn. “Instead of planning for the present, plan for the future. This will allow you to always be ahead.”

Dan Pettit, Grand Rapids South, Mich.

Dan Pettit, TWO MEN AND A TRUCKWith more than seven years with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, Dan Pettit is no stranger to knowing what it truly means to be the “Movers Who Care®”.

“I hope to just learn and grow. I want to continue to challenge myself and exercise my mind,” he said.

Throughout the duration of the program, Pettit has a clear outlook of what it takes to run a successful franchise.

“I believe it is important to have very specific goals, monitor, find ways to reach those goals, and celebrate your successes with your team. The satisfaction and momentum achieved by meeting and exceeding goals each day, month, and year is invaluable,” said Pettit. “It is just as important to love the franchise system that you work with, and truly appreciate and believe in what you do.”

Chris Jones, Boise, Idaho

Chris Jones, TWO MEN AND A TRUCKChris Jones has been a dedicated employee at the Boise, Idaho office since the day its doors opened back in May 2012.

“I want to be better than I was yesterday,” said Jones. “Our system is always providing great resources to make us more knowledgeable and better in our industry. I feel this program is a great opportunity to learn, gain confidence, and add more value to myself. I know this will help our current location become better. ”

Jones feels when it comes to running a successful franchise, multiple minds are always better than one, in addition to clear communication.

“It’s important to communicate clearly and set proper expectations. This applies to our customers, vendors, teams, and anyone we have a relationship with at our franchise,” said Jones. “When we do this, there are no surprises and everything runs a lot smoother and we tend to be more successful.”

We are excited to see such dedicated team members work to move the system forward! These individuals embody what it takes to owning their own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location, making them ideal candidates for the program.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.

Fathers and franchisees: Bob and Cory Christensen

Christensen fathers day blog pic updated

The Christensen’s with Illinois Governor Rauner

Written by Katie Peterson

Father-son duo Bob Christensen and Cory Christensen master the challenges of running a family business, and the occasional tennis match. Just in time for Father’s Day, the Christensen’s offer up advice and share their experiences of going into business with family and the joys and challenges that go along with it.

Bob and Cory are multi-unit franchisees based out of Illinois with three franchises in Rockford, Peoria, and the Quad Cities. The pair got involved with the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family after Bob began researching business opportunities and realized if he wanted to achieve the most success he could, he would need the help of a partner. Bob enlisted the help of his son Cory and the two quickly realized they were a dynamic team.

According to Cory, he’s had an interest in the moving industry for a while. “I actually told my parents that after college I wanted to get into the box industry,” said Cory “My theory was everything comes in a box, even boxes come in boxes, so you can’t go wrong.”

When choosing Cory as a partner, Bob knew the importance of picking someone who complimented his strengths and weaknesses.

“You must find that family member that can offset your weaknesses so together you are stronger,” said Bob. “If two business partners, whether family or not, both have the same skills, one is useless.”

The Christensens make family business partnerships look easy, but more importantly, they excel as a family. Bob and Cory have found prioritizing family over their business has given them continued success. Bob believes it is crucial to not completely consume yourself with the business, because if you do, all other external functions take a backseat.

“My favorite part about being a dad is seeing the growth of my children both personally and professionally, especially as it relates to them being good fathers,” said Bob.

Cory says he has learned a lot from his dad in the business context, but even more from him as a father, “I admire Dad’s optimism and entrepreneurial spirit in business, but he has always been a good family man.” The pair are coaches of the Rockford 5-6-year-old “coaches pitch” baseball team, which Cory’s two oldest boys play in. This year the team is currently 3-0, although they aren’t technically supposed to keep score. Both Bob and Cory love to play sports, especially tennis and other racquet sports, and spend time playing together whenever they can.

Bob and Cory say they have learned a lot from being involved with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® as a family.

“One of my favorite parts about being involved in a family business is starting a legacy of owning many franchises and seeing your children and possibly grandchildren enter the family business,” said Bob.

As for advice to others considering going into business, Bob points to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s core value, “be your best and have fun.”

“Whatever you do, be the best you can be,” said Bob. “But you have to have a sense of humor and enjoy what you are doing, or you end up not paying attention to your ultimate success.”

Together, Bob and Cory have created a family tradition of upholding the values and practices of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and have achieved success as a family unit and family business as a result, with an increase in sales from $5,923,490 in 2014 to $8,946,424 in 2015 and a total of 49,918 moves since their first franchise opened in 2008.

Thank you, Christensen’s, for all you do for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and happy Father’s Day!

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.

Moving retirees with comfort and ease

Written by Jessy Howe

Moving retirees with comfort and ease

Making the decision to move is often the hardest step in the moving process for retirees. Saying goodbye to the home which they have spent a majority of their life making fond memories and raising their family is not an easy thing for anyone to face.

As the Movers Who Care®, we are experienced in handling senior moves and work hard to provide the best moving experience possible. We live by THE GRANDMA RULE®, which is to treat everyone the way you would want your grandma to be treated, a core value modeled after Founder Mary Ellen Sheets’ own mother, Grandma Eb.

Whether the customer is downsizing from their family home of 40 years, or moving into a retirement or assisted living community, our uniformed movers and drivers are professionally trained and committed to making the transition as comfortable as we possibly can.

Nearly 52 percent of all moves are for customers age 50 or older. This number is expected to increase substantially with the baby boomer population in the coming years. In 2015, 19.4 percent of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® sales were to customers 60-69 years old, while 14.3 percent were 70 years or older.

We understand that each move comes with a unique set of needs, which is why we provide tailored services for these more specialized moves. Nothing makes us more proud than hearing from happy customers whose expectations were exceeded during this stressful, and often scary, moment in their lives.

“The moving team, Robert and Mike, were amazing. They were friendly, kind, and courteous. They took great care in handling my property. Moving into a retirement community has been a difficult move for me. Their respect was much appreciated. It was a good start for the next phase in my life.” –Juanita, Downers Grove, IL

“Eric and Thomas were excellent. I’m an 88yr old senior citizen and very nervous about moving. They took special care of me and my property. Eric hugged me when I told him how nervous I was and he said they’d take good care of me. Eric even helped me walk to my front door. They made my move so easy and I thank them.” – Glenna, Hamilton West, OH

“Xavier and Cody did a great job for us. They were polite, friendly, and helpful. They were very careful with Mom and Dad’s things and placed them exactly where we wanted them in their new apartment. This was an emotional move for my parents out of their home of 62 years into a retirement village. At one point Dad told Mom, “I think we are getting special treatment!” Thanks guys for making a potentially difficult day go smoothly.” –Jeanne, Canton, OH

In addition to overwhelmingly kind customer reviews, we are honored to have been named best moving company in ideal-LIVING Magazine’s 2016 Best of the Best feature publication!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.

Franchises prepare to complete 5,400 moves in single weekend

Written by Jessy Howe

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK prepares for busiest move weekend!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – moving season! At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we are in the middle of moving season and beginning to prepare for the busiest moving weekend of the year.

With the momentum of a record-breaking 2015 continuing throughout Q1, we are anticipating this to be the most successful “busiest move weekend” yet. On June 25 – 26, the company is projected to complete more than 5,400 moves across the country, equating to about three moves per minute during business hours. In 2015, a total of 5,037 moves were completed during the busiest move weekend.

More than 330 franchises across the country are up for this challenge and are preparing early to accommodate the record number of customers being moved during the short time frame. With more than 5,400 moves taking place, franchises can expect to complete roughly 21 moves each.

For TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Boise, nearly 40 moves are projected to take place, a significant increase from the 24 moves they completed last year. General Manager Chris Jones is preparing his team well in advance for this heavy increase in volume.

“We have increased our fleet of trucks, purchased extra packing and moving equipment, and have professionally trained additional employees to ensure everything runs smooth,” said Jones. “Our goal is to maintain our high quality and ensure our customers continue to get the full TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® experience on move day.”

Mississippi Multi-unit Franchisee Michael Sham has outfitted rentals needed in addition to his regular fleet to accommodate nearly 20 moves, six of which are long-distance moves.

“We have ordered additional equipment and supplies for this weekend to ensure that we have everything we need to handle every job,” said Sham. “We have brought on all summer help and trained them thoroughly so that every customer gets the proper TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® experience.”

In Charlotte, N.C., the franchise is arranging for up to 24 trucks to be booked for moves, compared to 20 trucks they had running in 2015.

“We will approach this weekend like we do every other one, with preparation and communication,” said Charlotte Marketing Coordinator Monika Markley. “We have been working really hard this year on recruiting great frontline talent and making sure we are fully staffed to meet our sales goals. Our operations team has been diligently training our new hires as well as bringing our current movers through refresher courses so that everyone is on the same page.”

With frontline teams completing training, locations have been communicating with their customers and providing tips to ensure a smooth transition.

“Customers should always review the estimate the customer service representative sends them and double check for things such as spelling errors in address names or any omissions or changes in the items that will be moved,” said Markley.

Additionally, Markley emphasizes the importance of having adequate parking for the truck near the entrance and ensuring walkways are clear to avoid trip hazards.

And most importantly, if you know you’re moving soon, call us!

“Calling in advance helps you and really helps us! Even if you don’t know the exact day of your move, calling early and giving us an idea makes things easier,” said Jones. “This helps us prepare the resources needed and allows an opportunity to create options to fit the needs of your move. We seem to always fill our schedule on this weekend, so call early and save your spot.”

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.