-Written by Erik Sargent
A solid business partnership requires a familiarity with the other person and a relationship that is built on trust, and for Franchisee Cory Christensen, he has just that.
Christensen – who is the franchisee for three different TWO MEN AND A TRUCK locations in the state of Illinois – his business partner is someone he’s known literally his entire life: his father.
Christensen and his father, Bob, purchased the Rockford, Illinois, location in 2008, and eleven years later have added on two more locations to their resume. Christensen’s path to franchising wasn’t traditional – or even something he expected – but he found a home within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK brand, and it has paid off.
“I officially became a franchise in 2008, and the process was really smooth,” Christensen said. “We went through background checks and interviews – standard stuff – but it felt like they were welcoming us into their family. You could really tell that everyone at Home Office cared about each franchisee and their future success.”
Franchising for a moving company wasn’t something that Christensen envisioned doing when he graduated from college with a marketing degree. He originally started working as a corporate recruiter out of college, and moved onto selling insurance and sales management for about five years.
He was looking for something new, and partnered with his father to look for a new business opportunity, and possibly, the chance to own his own business.
“I was ready to be an investor in my own business, but I wasn’t totally comfortable with the risk of starting something entirely on my own,” Christensen said. “I was really impressed with the help and support TWO MEN AND A TRUCK was offering.”
That support and help that was offered by the brand has stuck with Christensen all of these years later, and he’s quick to point out that when they approached the company about an opportunity, they showed up with very little.
“I like to tell people that 11 years ago when my father and I interviewed to become franchisees, we came with not a lot of money and no experience in the moving industry,” Christensen said. “If we would have been on ‘Shark Tank’, I don’t think we would have gotten an offer. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK took us into their family and gave us the proper training, structure, and support to succeed. Today, we have three franchises and are continuously looking to expand.”
With over a decade of franchising experience within the brand now under his belt, Christensen has seen quite a bit, and has learned the ropes on how to run successful moving operations.
He has picked up on the best practices and techniques through all the training he’s received, and one of his favorite aspects of the job is helping his own employees grow.
“I love seeing people grow within our franchises,” Christensen said. “In Rockford, our operations manager started out as a part-time CSR. In Quad Cities, our operations manager started out as a mover, and is now participating in the Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward Scholarship program with hopes of owning his own location. When you have the right culture and make the right hiring decisions, this is all possible.”
As the Christensen duo looks to grow their franchise network, they are still working daily to improve the locations they have through raising customer service scores and implementing new revenue diversification streams, like storage and Value Flex.
“Service scores have always been our number one priority,” Christensen said. “We have monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports and awards that we distribute at our locations based on customer service scores.”
To add onto their goal of expanding, Christensen has another goal – growing more as a leader so that his father, Bob, can step back and relax knowing that everything is in good hands.
“My personal goal is to take over my father’s responsibilities so that he is able to just come and go as he pleases,” Christensen said. “I would also just love to keep seeing employees grow within our system and work to become franchisees themselves.”
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