Business partners: Who can make or break your start-up

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchise partners

Written by Charles Staky

Before buying into a business, an entrepreneur has to ask themselves a few questions. What industry do they have experience in? What industry are they interested in? Where do they want to start their roots? Do they want to buy into a franchise system or make a name for themselves? One question that can have the largest impact, however, is if they want to involve a partner?

A partner can alleviate a lot of stress for a business owner, but if they are not a good duo, a partner can also make the situation a nightmare. Entering into a business partnership is very similar to a marriage, once you sign the dotted line you are with them for better or worse, for richer or poorer. And breaking up can be very costly. You wouldn’t marry someone without getting to know them first, so the same time and effort should be put into getting to know your business partner.

The comparison of a business partnership to marriage, as cliché as it may be, holds true in the sense that once it is official you will be sharing finances, future planning, and your reputation with another person. If you don’t give ample time or thought to finding the right person for this, the partnership will not work out as you want it to. Before making the partnership official there are a few ways in which you should get to know your partner to make sure the two of you will be successful.

First and foremost you need to ask yourself what you are looking for in a business partner. Financial assistance, expertise in the field, or someone to share the workload, all are important traits to look for in a partner.

Entrepreneur.com recommends looking for a partner who brings something different to the table than you do, whether that be access to the market or a little creativity to balance out your detail-oriented work ethic. Your partner should add value to the relationship, preferably in areas that you may not have the most knowledge. If they don’t seem to bring something new and useful to the table, they may not be the best candidate.

Another detail you should look for in a potential partner is how they spend their money. While finances tend to be a touchy subject for most people, you will be sharing every financial responsibility with this parson, so you’ll want to know where they stand before giving them access to your checkbook.

“Someone who has hefty, outstanding financial obligations, an unreasonably low credit score, or is obviously living beyond their means is probably not someone you want to trust with the financials of a future business,” says icn.com in their article Know Your Business Partner Well. Very, Very Well.

You don’t want your future partner spending money you don’t have on things your business doesn’t need, and on the other hand, you don’t want someone who isn’t willing to spend necessary money to grow your business. You have a certain level of comfortability with how you would like to run your finances and it is important to find a partner who is respectful of that.  After all, in this partnership you will be sharing the finances equally, weather you are splitting profit or paying off debt.

Long-term goals are also important. What do they want out of this partnership and the business? It is important to know that a potential partner is just as passionate in your venture as you are. If they’re working to achieve the same level of success as you, they will be willing to stick with it and work through the hard times, not just give up if the profit doesn’t flow in as expected.

The answers to all these questions are crucial to share with your potential partner before you can successfully run a business together. Honesty and communication are essential to building a relationship of any kind. In a formal partnership you will share everything, both good and bad, that comes out of your business and you will have to trust your partner is doing everything they can to pull their weight. You need to know how they will handle stressful situations and also how they will handle success. You will need to know everything about them because, let’s be honest, they will be one of the most important people in your life, hopefully long term.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we are lucky to have a number of franchisee partnerships who successfully make it work, including college fraternity brothers turned franchisees and those in business with their spouse.

“Since we have known each other, if we are going to put in effort at doing something, we are going to invest our entire effort into its success,” said multiunit franchisee Mark Snyir of his partnership with Chad Arnold. “Growing those professional bonds with like-minded people helps to develop and strengthen personal relationships with them.”

If you take the proper time to understand your potential partner and how they will handle the responsibilities of running a business, you can ensure they are the right fit. The last thing you want to do is get caught up in the excitement of your new business with the first person who shares your excitement, without knowing much about them. Time and communication is needed to build a strong relationship, and before you trust a potential partner completely, there should be no thought of entering a business partnership.

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.

Developing our brand in the 50 best cities for entrepreneurs

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK

Written by Charles Staky

Starting a business is a tough thing to do. Uncertain markets coupled with pressure from competitors, unexpected costs, and slow revenue growth are all things that can stand in the way of success for a new business. Many times these forces can even be strong enough to push a young business out of the market completely. Fortunately, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a franchise system and when a new franchisee opens a location, they’re given tools and protocols systems that have been proven making their chances of success much better than those who start on their own. Beyond the name brand recognition and the guidance of corporate office support staff, the market conditions in which a franchise is opening is one factor that must be addressed. Entrepreneur Magazine’s August edition included a piece featuring “The 50 best cities for entrepreneurs.” These cities were picked based on a variety of factors including unemployment rate, business tax rates, percentage of college-educated residents, cost of living, commute time, projected household income through 2020, and many more. With so many variables, this top 50 list seems to be a very good indicator of friendly markets to open a business in.

As we looked over the list we noticed several of our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises already call these cities home. Even better news – there are franchising opportunities available in several cities featured! The combination of locating in a favorable market and starting a business with the proven practices a national brand results in a huge head start for any entrepreneur.

We reached out to a few TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise owners in locations near the open markets on the top 50 list to see if they felt like their markets were favorable areas to own a business. To no surprise, they seemed to agree.

“It’s a growing market with ample opportunity. When you are in Richmond, Va., you get a sense of how many industries actually do business here,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Richmond Franchisee Nathan Bocock. “Not only does state government play a huge part in the economic success, but education, manufacturing, healthcare, and the financial services industry all have a large presence.”

While Richmond did not make the list, a few cities close by — Fredericksburg and Alexandria—both did, and they most likely can feel this same positive energy. Bocock, a multi-unit franchise owner, said he has seen faster growth in his Richmond location when compared to his other locations system-wide. The growth, however, is not totally attributed to the business-friendly ecosystem of the area.

“The population is good and transient, which means more potential customers in general. However, there is some competition so marketing, public relations, and maintaining a good brand image and presence is key to growth,” says Bocock. While a business-friendly market helps, a plan for growth must still be established. This is where the franchise system can help a business. The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® brand brings legitimacy to the table and with it comes the help of our corporate-based franchise marketing support team who can help a location with everything from awareness advertising to public relations. This assures a location in one of these entrepreneur-friendly cities can tap into their market.

Another location who can attest to the Entrepreneur article is Sioux Falls, N.D., which sits at number 21 on their top 50 list. Sioux Falls Franchisee Jeff Lodike agrees it is a great place to be.

“We knew right away during our exploration visit, this area was it. Sioux Falls is a beautiful, streamlined city, and we were amazed at how friendly everyone was. The winters are a little tough, which took a little adjustment coming from St. Louis,” said Lodike. “Overall, we are very excited to be here and would recommend it to anyone that asked.”

While Sioux Falls may be off the market, another Dakota city, Fargo, N.D., comes in even higher at number seven. Just three and a half hours to the north, Fargo is one of 15 cities on the where there is opportunity to open a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location. This area stands out as it would most likely give the same friendly atmosphere which has allowed the Sioux Falls location to grow 167 percent through June 2016. Sitting high on the best cities for entrepreneurs list indicates the opportunities for growth in Fargo are most likely greater than those of its neighbor to the south.

“Entrepreneur cities are perfect for the brand. These cities value hard work, an iconic brand, and the effort that goes into creating a great customer experience,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® CEO Jeff Wesley. “They also appreciate our brand story and how much we continue to give back to entrepreneurship, communities, and charities.”

However, the excitement surrounding the success franchises in these cities are experiencing, while immense, is overshadowed by the opportunity the brand has in the cities not yet colonized. As we work toward our vision in the coming years, Wesley says the brand will to continue to innovate and focus on customer service. Even after 80 months of consecutive growth, there is still room to improve and grow.

“People are always moving and we want every move to be the best customer experience. Our team loves the opportunity to come into work each day and improve upon our success,” said Wesley. “We will never stop being proud of the brand, but at the same time, we respect the need to work harder in order to continue performing and exceeding our customer expectations today, tomorrow, and into the future.”

Opportunities for growth are present everywhere in current TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® territories as well as areas the brand can grow into. By encouraging franchises to take advantage of their local environment, the tools offered by home office support staff, and by continuing to work to exceeding customer expectations, the future remains bright for this brand. It appears 80 months of consecutive growth might only be the beginning.

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.

Our six millionth move: Celebrating our commitment to never stop moving forward 

Written by Katie Peterson

6 millionth move- group photo- thumbs up

We did it! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has completed six million moves as a system! June 2016 went down in the books as a record-breaking month for us, with total system sales for the month just over $51 million, an increase of more than $4.4 million compared to 2015. This was also the first time the system has seen over $50 million in sales in one month. The record-breaking month of June helped surge us forward toward reaching our six millionth move milestone, and July marked the 80th month of consecutive growth. The Torrance, Calif., franchise had the exciting privilege of moving our six millionth customer, and the team did a fantastic job.

Preparations for the move began as soon as the total system moves climbed close to the six-million mark. Torrance Franchisee Chantal Rose and marketer Michael Nomicos were up to the challenge and began communicating with the press in addition to putting a gift basket together to present the customer.

The lucky customers were Susan Borrow and her son, Blake, a Loyola law student moving out to El Segundo, Calif., in order to be closer to the beach. Blake had a fairly small truckload of items to move, and the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® movers made quick work of the process. It wasn’t until they completed the un-load in El Segundo that Susan and Blake realized they weren’t part of a routine TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® move. Chantal and her team showed up in the driveway along with mascot, Truckie, a bunch of cameras, and upbeat background music. Chantal presented the customers with a basket of goodies and dubbed Susan and Blake “The Six Millionth Move”, with Sigler Companies taking care of the cost of their move and gift basket.

6 millionth move - Borrow family

“We were a little nervous about hosting in the beginning, but everyone was very excited and we were fortunate to have great customers who were thankful to be a part of the milestone. The entire team was so excited to be part of it, down to the movers wanting to be sure they were doing everything they needed to do,” said Chantal. “Although our brand is the most successful franchised moving company in the world, we are new to the California area and it was a blessing to celebrate with the community during this event.”

The six millionth move is an enormous accomplishment for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® as a brand, but we never stop looking forward and finding ways to continue our growth. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® President Randy Shacka is humbled by this milestone, yet continues to focus on our mission to Move People Forward®.

“Achieving the six millionth move is a tremendous accomplishment for our brand and a testament to our amazing customers and caring staff representing and building TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® each day,” said Randy.  “I am thankful to be part of an organization that celebrates these milestones yet also believes in going after our seven millionth move.  Our vision states, ‘another performance record broken within our system means the bar is set just a little higher.’ We remain humble and hungry to keep building a brand that serves our customers and communities.”

Celebrating the six millionth move as a system is a testament to the hard work and commitment our system has to living out our core values each and every day. We will continue innovating and pushing the envelope in order to stay at the top of the moving industry. Stay tuned though, soon we’ll be celebrating our next million!

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.

From law school to launching a multi-unit operation: Nathan Berns and Matt Rose 

Written by Katie Peterson

Matt and Nathan blog pic

In the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchising system we’ve seen our fair share of success stories. Franchising with us is an opportunity for so many individuals to further their careers and create growth in their lives and the lives of people around them. That’s exactly what Nathan Berns and Matt Rose have accomplished in their short time being TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® multi-unit franchisees.

Matt and Nathan’s story started back in law school at the University of Iowa, College of Law, when they sat next to each other in the same property law class. After getting to know one another they quickly realized they had a lot in common. Both Matt and Nathan grew up in small towns in the Midwest, had farming backgrounds, and best of all, found themselves with more of a passion for business than law. Soon after their initial meeting, the two became roommates and ended up meeting their future wives around the same time, making the two inseparable.

“I think Nathan and I would have been good friends no matter what, but the fact that our wives are good friends and our kids are good friends really makes us more like family,” says Matt.

The decision to become franchisees together began with Nathan convincing Matt that owning a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise was a good investment.

“After he was persuaded, we spent a considerable amount of time investigating the best territories. We searched all over the country since Matt was willing to relocate anywhere. Eventually we decided on the east coast because Matt’s wife had contacts in the area,” recalls Nathan.

Matt remembers making the decision based on the business opportunity as well as the opportunity it presented for his family.

“We decided that Maryland offered a promising business opportunity and it was a great place for my family and I to put down roots. Maryland feels like home and I am enjoying watching our vision come together,” said Matt.

When the pair opened their first franchise together in Maryland November of 2014, it was a one office, five-truck operation. In less than two years, they have expanded to four franchises and 21 trucks. The Maryland franchises have experienced rapid growth while maintaining their 96% customer satisfaction rating; this is in addition to Berns’ Cedar Rapids location growing 300% since being purchased in 2012.

Matt and Nathan remain humble and can’t take all the credit for the executive success. In March 2016, Matt’s wife, Bekah, was added to the franchise agreement. Bekah, who also graduated from the University of Iowa, College of Law in 2010 where she and Matt met, is now a franchisee for all five of the Maryland franchises. With the central role Bekah has played in the business, Matt describes the addition as absolutely necessary to formally recognize her role in the business since its launch.

“Initially, the plan was for Bekah to help the business get off the ground by helping out where necessary, but that quickly changed as the business grew so rapidly. Bekah has been an integral part of our operation from the beginning and has always been a part of any business decisions we have made,” said Matt.

As Nathan and Matt reflect, they are happy to offer their advice regarding what has contributed to their success as franchisees and as business owners in general.

“Successful organizations understand people make mistakes. We know our people can’t truly maximize their potential if they are burdened by potential mistake retribution. Most people value positive encouragement above financial reward,” said Nathan. “Praise your employees, especially during the tough times. If you think hard enough, you can find something positive to say about most situations.”

Matt agrees that there are many strategies towards business success, most of which start on the ground with their employee satisfaction and work ethic.

“When employees see their peers advancing and excelling, it drives most of our employees to improve every day. Our managers are able to better motivate and relate to their employees since the managers were in those same spots not long ago. Additionally, we make a deliberate effort to understand our employees’ situations and be compassionate,” said Matt. “We want to ensure all of our employees feel valued and respected, by taking time to get to know them and learn about their aspirations. With a job this demanding, it is very easy to focus only on areas that need improvement, overlooking all of the positive achievements happening around you. Make it a priority to celebrate the small victories, for yourself, and your team.”

With Matt, Nathan, and Bekah in the front seat, the Maryland franchises have seen enormous growth and success in a short amount of time. Their dedication is exemplary of what franchisees are able to achieve in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise system with hard work and a passion for the brand. We look forward to seeing the growth and success that is sure to come to Maryland in the future. Congratulations, Matt and Nathan, on being our featured franchisees!

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.