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.