Franchise Feature: Greg Micklos makes the move from Illinois to Florida

When you become part of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family, you find yourself faced with an incredible opportunity for growth. No matter the position, we pride ourselves on moving people forward, personally and professionally. Former operations manager turned franchisee Greg Micklos has experienced this career growth first hand. Franchisee Greg Micklos

In August 2012, Greg was hired as operations manager with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in Peoria, Ill., taking the location to eighth in the country within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system. In 2014, Greg was promoted to general manager for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Northern Illinois, overseeing branches in Peoria, Davenport, Iowa, and Rockford, Ill.

Four years since his start, Greg is taking the next step in his career as owner of the Pensacola, Fla., franchise with his wife Jen, his best friend Mark, as well as his wife Krista.

We caught up with Greg to discuss the excitement of transferring to Pensacola and creating the ultimate moving experience for his customers.

Let’s go over your history with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

I remember my first TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® sighting was at a baseball field in Dunlap, Ill., as I was coaching my son’s baseball team while another team was being sponsored by the company.

At the time of my first interview with the Christensen’s, I was uncertain if I really wanted to take what seemed to be a lateral move in my career. With open communication, hard work, and dedication, I knew what I wanted was to someday be my own boss! Five years later, here I am and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® core values of Moving People forward was obtained.

Making the move from Illinois to Florida is quite the change, what drew you to this area?

Well, being from the Midwest, the answer is obvious … Get rid of the winter!

After much discussion, I knew I wanted to go south of the Mason Dixon Line. When Pensacola became available, I knew with this strong brand and my work ethic it was a natural fit. The most challenging part right now is still having my family in Illinois until our house sells. Although between putting in 10 – 12 hour days, I do make it a point to go the beach every weekend and take my time out. Why not enjoy the most beautiful beaches in the world while you can!

What are your goals moving forward in this market?

Pensacola has been a player in this market for a while. The most exciting thing is while there are competitors, there is no dominant player. It seems like other moving companies are satisfied with what they are currently doing while we are looking to grow stronger. With the new franchisees of Mobile, Ala., Joey South and Billy Stoval, along with us and the rest of the panhandle of Florida, we need and will become that dominant player. Grassroots marketing and face to face introductions to the movers and shakers of Pensacola will be on my forefront for upcoming!

Did you ever imagine your journey with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® would lead to where you are today?

I knew from day one I wanted to be an owner of this wonderful franchise system. It is a system that networks well among each other and the support received is tremendous! I knew I could do it and I thank all the support along the way to get me to this point! I have endless thanks to my wife and kids who are making this short term sacrifice of being away from me until the transition is complete. To my best friend Mark Hoagland and his wife Krista for supporting me in this venture, and to Brittany Jackson joined me in Pensacola to handle operations. Most importantly, I thank God for always blessing me with his direction.

Franchisee Greg Micklos and family

Franchisee Greg Micklos with his wife Jennifer and their four children, Koby, Kaden, Karter, and Kambria.

We are proud of Greg and know his hard work and dedication to the system will help him succeed in growing the brand in Pensacola!

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.

September feature: Santa Ana Franchisee Juan Reyes

Written by Katie Peterson

For more than 30 years, we have embraced our motto of Moving People Forward®. We love to see people progress through our system, and we are so lucky to play a part in the lives of such great members of our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family. Moving his own career forward, an integral member of our system, Juan Reyes, began his TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® career as a part-time employee while finishing his Bachelor’s degree at Columbus State University. He quickly realized his part-time job was something more and that TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® offered a great foundation to begin his career. More than 10 years later, Juan is now franchisee of the Santa Ana, Calif., location with a long resume of experience within the system.

Juan reyesHow did you first hear of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

I first heard of our company while pursing my Bachelor’s degree at Columbus State University. My wife actually brought it to my attention. She thought I would like the company because I preferred working manual labor jobs, and it turned out to be a great fit for me.

What has your climb through the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system looked like?

I think my background is similar to most franchisees and franchise managers in the system. I started off in the system as a mover and held that position for about three months. Being trained and earning my spot on the trucks was really important because it allowed me to gain the experience I needed to move up the ladder. I shifted into the driver’s seat soon after and spent another six months on the trucks. Through some transitions going on at the franchise, I became a trainer for roughly nine months until my position shifted into a sort-of move manager. Around my two year mark I was promoted to operations manager, and after another two years I was promoted to the general manager position. After about six years as the GM, I had the opportunity to partner up and open the Santa Ana, Calif., location as a franchisee.

What is your most memorable moment within the system?

I would have to say my most memorable moment was receiving the email on June 30 of 2014 from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s President Randy Shacka saying I was selected to participate in the first ever Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward. This scholarship program puts candidates through one year of extensive training to further develop their knowledge of a franchise system. During this year, candidates participate in online classes and live webinars, in addition to working with departments at Home Office on management assignments to continually improve their management skills. That was a great day. It was at a very pivotal time in my life where decisions needed to be made for my future. That email made my decision pretty easy and has turned out great for everyone involved.

Did you ever imagine your journey with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® would lead you to where you are today?

In the beginning, I honestly didn’t. I started off working as a mover part-time to keep me busy while I was in school. As time went on, my vision changed and so did my focus.

What are your goals moving forward?

My goals and plans moving forward are to continue to develop my immediate and surrounding areas as a franchisee.

What advice would you offer someone looking to get involved with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

My advice to someone thinking about getting involved in our system would be to take a chance at endless opportunities. It’s a long road so you have to be patient. Take the time to learn your craft and try to make everyone around you better whenever you get a chance to.

What does TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® mean to you?

Family!!

We are so happy to have you as part of our system, Juan. Thank you for all your hard work, commitment to the brand, and for being our September franchisee feature! You deserve it!

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.

Franchisee Feature: Tyler Whalen and Justin Tangeman

Tyler and Justin front of truck

Written by Katie Peterson

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we value members of our company who exemplify a strong work ethic and core values we were built on, and we love to celebrate them in any way we can. This is where Tyler Whalen and Justin Tangeman come in. The two began working as movers for the same franchise in Iowa during their first summers out of college. Both Justin and Tyler became movers under the assumption they would work for the summer and move on. After recognizing the opportunity in front of them, Tyler and Justin stayed much longer than a single summer, and are now co-franchisees of the Omaha, Neb., location.

Tyler and Justin met on the job when Justin, who had been working at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for about a year, interviewed Tyler for a driver position back in 2010.

“We actually didn’t hit it off right away. Tyler was just a pain in the butt employee for a while when he started, he complained about everything,” jokes Justin.

“It’s true. I just didn’t take the job very seriously upon hire. I figured it was just something to get me through the summer,” Tyler agreed.Tyler and Justin pointing to truck

Eventually, Tyler and Justin began seeing eye-to-eye and both their business and personal relationship has grown tremendously over the years. Now the two have teamed up to run the Omaha office that has since grown to be the successful franchise it is today.

Justin and Tyler have been franchisees in Omaha together for just over a year, and in this short amount of time, have executed more than 8,000 moves and in 2015, achieved the highest revenue the Omaha location has seen to date.

What did advancing yourselves in the system look like? What kind of positions did you hold before you became franchisees?

Tyler: I started out as a mover/driver for this small office and then moved into the office to be a kind-of CSR/manager. The office position was really a jack-of-all-trades because we were so small. I was in the CSR/manager position for about a year and was able to become a general manager after the location really took off and began to get a lot of business.

Justin: I was a mover/driver for a while and then I started doing some training, in-home estimates, and scheduling moves over the phone. My position required me to be a jack-of-all-trades doing everything I could for the franchise. After that I just kept taking on more responsibilities. I began on more managerial responsibilities, book keeping , marketing, and eventually moved to Tulsa, Okla., and was assistant operations manager for a large location there, and that’s where I first became a franchisee.

How do you like being a franchisee for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

Justin: We love being franchisees. It’s so fun, every day is a challenge and something different. You get to do all the different tasks that come with it. Some days you have the hoods popped on the truck and you’re making sure it’s ready to run, and other days you’re sitting at the round table having a meeting and working on the business side of things.

What do you want to tell team members starting out as movers or drivers about the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise system?

Justin: Continuously work hard and strive to get to the next level, nothing is going to be given to you unless you work for it.

Tyler: The possibilities are really endless. It really just comes down to hard work. I remember from annual meeting listening to one of the original “two men” Jon Sorber say how important it is to always act like you are in the position above you. If you are a mover act like a driver, if you are a driver act like a trainer, if you’re a trainer act like you’re the manager, if you’re a manager act like the general manager, strive to take that next step and be proud of what you do and you are going to be rewarded for it. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® the biggest thing we are pushing right now is to build your bench. Building a solid team and creating a positive  culture with people who want to work hard and take initiative in what they do, there’s a future for them.

Which TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® core value most resonates with you?

Justin: Being my best and having fun. When you’re having fun at work it doesn’t seem like work at all, so we like to try and have fun while still working hard.

Tyler: A big one for me is giving back to the community. It is pretty cool to see  the difference we make with our trucks being able to move stuff. A big one we get into is doing bike drives and working with local businesses where we donate our men and trucks to be able to transport donated bikes. It’s just being able to do the little stuff like that where it takes such a small amount of time but makes such a big difference for the kids receiving the bikes and the people who need them transported. It’s pretty cool to see the impact we can have in our community.

Tyler and Justin know what it means to be part of the company who Moves People Forward®. We want to thank these franchisees for helping to make this brand the success it is and being an example of all you can achieve with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Thank you, Tyler and Justin, for being our featured franchisees! You deserve it!

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.

July franchise feature: Brian Stern and the Boston, Ma., franchise

Within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system, there are several success stories of movers becoming managers, managers becoming franchisees, and so on. For Boston Franchisee Brian Stern, his story is no different. He’s moved up the ranks in his 10 years with the company, starting as a mover, becoming a driver, trainer, customer service representative, manager, general manager, and now franchisee. To say Brian has experience in every field of the business is an understatement. Now, he’s finding the perfect fit in Boston as he works to grow the brand in a new city.

July FD blog headshot“It is especially rewarding being able to look back and see where you came from,” said Brian. “It allows me to really paint a picture of what this company has to offer when speaking to current managers, CSRs, or even a new hire.”

Currently there are three locations up and running in Boston and year-to-date, the locations have seen more than 30% growth. There are also plans to open a fourth location early 2017, which will be essential in helping with their truck parking needs due to their growth.

Since opening the first Boston location November 2015, the entire team takes pride in the worthwhile community events and charities they’ve had the privilege to be involved in.

“Boston has welcomed us with open arms. One of the most rewarding things we have been part of would have to be the Boston Marathon. Our reputation of giving back to the community apparently spreads fast. Nine months after opening, we were contacted by the Boston Athletic Association. We were able to assist them in fine tuning the logistics and set-up of their 26 course medical tents. This is an area in which they had struggled for years. After several meetings and debriefings on our performance, they are working on a contract to lock us in as a full-time partner. We are thrilled and proud to be part of something that is so important to everyone in Massachusetts,” said Brian.

July FD blog runners

The Boston team has also been very active in the Massachusetts’s Mover’s Association, and Brian has recently been voted onto the Board of Directors for the organization.

“Knowing how important these associations are to our industry, I’m really looking forward to the learning opportunity and will put my best foot forward to give back to the association,” he said.

Being a major hub on the I-95 corridor, Brian said they’ve had the ability to partner with many other TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations down the east coast to maximize interstate revenue and move even more people forward.

As TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® growth continues, east coast opportunities are still available! Check out the territories in Bridgeport, Conn., Northern Virginia, Frederick, Md., and Providence, R.I.

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.