-Written by Erik Sargent
The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK brand continually searches for more ways to provide top-notch service to customers, and a big part of this comes from expanding into new territories across the globe.
Last year, we officially broke ground in the state of Montana, and it was a significant milestone for the company. Not only did we begin establishing ourselves in a new area – we also launched our new mini-market franchise model, which aims to open franchises in areas with smaller populations. It’s been a learning experience for both locations – located in Kalispell and Missoula – but the reception has been solid for both after one official year of operation.
“You know, starting out, we had our ups and downs,” said Ben Heslop, franchisee at the Kalispell location. “Things continued to get better, and the journey has been fun. Seeing something small start to grow significantly and a lot faster than we expected, it’s been great.”
For franchisee Devin O’Neil – who opened the Missoula location with his wife, Rita – the same sentiment was echoed about the reception they have received, and he pointed to how the community of Missoula has embraced having the new brand.
“The reception we have received to this point has been terrific,” O’Neil said. “The community has definitely embraced us, even though there is tremendous competition in the area.”
Established competition and a lack of brand awareness are just two hurdles that both locations have had to deal with in their first year of operation, but both have adapted well and have seen positive signs with their moving operations.
Montana – being a smaller population than most states – fits well with the small-town, community feel of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, and this has gone a long way in helping people learn about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK and what we have to offer.
“We’re lucky,” Heslop said. “The Flathead Valley has been really, really welcoming. In fact, they really love us a lot and they like to support small businesses around here. Add that on top of the fact that local competition struggles with reputation, we’ve been more than welcome around here and it’s starting to show in the success we’ve had early on.”
With any franchise that opens up in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK family, one of the most important aspects a franchisee has to handle is putting together a top-notch frontline staff.
Our bread and butter as a company is based around customer service, and this starts by hiring the best of the best to join our professional moving teams.
“We have been pretty lucky here because we haven’t had a lot of turnover,” Heslop said. “From top to bottom, we’re pretty strong with a core group of guys, and that has helped us remain strong. The town is really helpful here because of word of mouth goes a long way, and our team members are really happy working for us.”
With a year of success under their belts, both franchises have much to be proud of, but also realize there is much to work on moving forward. The challenge of building their reputation continues to linger as a new company, and working to establish the trust of customers in the community remains a top priority.
“Our biggest goal right now is to maintain our high referral rate, which will help us exceed our budgeted goals,” O’Neil said. “[Another goal] is through our marketing efforts, [we’d like to] be the leading moving company in the Missoula area.”
For Heslop and the Kalispell team, he remains focused on keeping a strong staff in place and finding more people to join on. Looking into the future, he wants to work toward expansion of his location, and finding ways to reach more customers across the state of Montana.
“First off, we’re trying to hit our revenue goals that we set for ourselves,” Heslop said. “Personally, meeting ends is not acceptable – I want to exceed them significantly. We’re in the process of having a new facility built, and that will hopefully be done by the winter. After that, it’s just continuing to add trucks and hopefully a new location in the future.”
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.