Franchisee Holly Stewart relishes the opportunity to use her platform to help other moms

-Written by Erik Sargent

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The moving industry at times can seem like a male dominated industry, but at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, this is anything but the normal when it comes to day-to-day business.

The company was founded by Mary Ellen Sheets, who started the company in 1985 when her two sons, Jon and Brig, were looking to make a little extra spending money. Since then, the company has grown to become the largest franchised moving company in the world, and women have played a tremendous role in the company’s success. Continue reading

Three generations of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® businesswomen

Written by Jessy Howe

Shayna, Lisa, and Connie of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Macomb County, Mich.

Shayna, Lisa, and Connie of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Macomb County, Mich.

In 1991 Connie Howe made the decision to quit her day job and become a franchisee, opening the doors of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Macomb County, Mich. As she began to grow the location, it naturally evolved into a family-run business. Now with a fleet of 12 trucks and three generations later, the location is about to celebrate their 25th anniversary!

Connie’s daughter and now franchisee, Lisa Gaber, remembers helping her mother from the very beginning when she had decided to join the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system.

“I began by working at home, out of my basement, because I was raising two young daughters. The guys would start the day by coming to my home, where I would hand them the paperwork and ‘dispatch’ for the day! I have done pretty much every job there is to do from driving, moving, packing, marketing, bookkeeping, and managerial duties,” said Gaber. “After several years, my mom and I decided to venture out and open another franchise in Florida. We owned and operated the Fort Myers, Fla., franchise for 13 years until we sold the location to make it easier for Connie to retire.”

After deciding to sell the Fort Myers franchise, Connie’s son Dave became the newest family member to join the team. Most recently, they opened a secondary location within the Macomb County borders, even further expanding the brand and serving their community.

“Working with my mom allowed us to learn together how to run a business from the ground up,” said Gaber. “It helped us grow both as businesswomen and as a family entirely.”

Gaber’s daughter, Shayna, now has the same opportunity to learn what it takes. Shayna began six years ago as a customer service representative before working her way up to an in-home consultant. She currently works as the marketing manager handling a wide range of responsibilities including grassroots efforts, social media, and cause marketing campaigns.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s annual Movers for Moms® campaign is in full swing with more than 300 franchises collecting essential care items for moms in need. The items are then delivered to local women’s and family shelters just in time for Mother’s Day. With their 25 year history in the community, they are no stranger in helping support it.

“The past couple of years we have been working with two different shelters since we have such a large territory. The first is Turning Point, Inc., which is a shelter for women and children that have been victims of domestic violence. Our second shelter, which we started working with last year, is a non-profit that we are very involved in and actually do two moves weekly for. Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team, or MCREST, is a traveling shelter that has local churches host them weekly with food, shelter, and transportation. Last year, we had incredible community and staff participation and were able to deliver TONS of boxes of amazing gifts to both shelters,” shares Gaber of their local Movers for Moms® efforts. “It holds a special place in our hearts to help mothers as we are in a business and franchise both started and run by women.”

While some find it hard to even imagine working with their family, the three women have proven how to successfully make it work.

“We’ve worked all these years together without an argument or even mild disagreement,” said Howe. “It has been a very great experience to work with my family.”

Like her mother, Gaber is appreciative that it has been relatively easy for the family to work together without much strife.

“We get along well and have found a good balance in our positions,” said Gaber. “One of the most difficult things about working with so much family is knowing when to ‘turn it off’ and stop talking about work and enjoy family time together.”

Lisa and Connie enjoy golfing and traveling, while Shayna and Lisa find fun in cooking and simply spending time together. As for Mother’s Day celebrations, you’ll find the trio eating brunch and spending a quiet afternoon relaxing in each other’s company.

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.

Best friends and business partners: How TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee duo makes it work

Nathan Berns and Matt Rose are best friends. They also happen to be business partners and run multiple TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises together. When considering opening a business, it’s vital to know who you are going into business with.

“We have always worked well together and we trust each other implicitly,” said Matt. “For both of us teaming up was not really a question it was just a matter of finding the right opportunity.”

Having your business partner as one of your best friends adds a unique dynamic to the business.

“It’s really nice to have a good friend who can completely relate to how your day went and who can make each other laugh at the end of a stressful day,” said Nathan.

And whatever they are doing is working! Their location in Annapolis is on track to hit close to $1 million in its first year of business and their Cedar Rapids, Iowa location is seeing 26% growth year-to-date.

If you are considering opening a business, it’s important to have full trust in your business partner. Nathan and Matt agree that it’s equally as important to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Knowing where one another’s skills and talents lie allows you and your business partner to hit the ground running and easily split up tasks and responsibilities.blog-berns

“We weren’t really concerned that becoming business partners might put a strain on our relationship,” said Matt. “Our friendship developed in a pretty high pressure environment so this feels like a natural progression in our friendship.”

Before Matt and Nathan went into business together, they had many frank conversations about expectations and the realities of this business before making commitments. They recommend all business partners do this before taking the plunge.

Being a multi-unit franchisee keeps you busy. The biggest challenge is overseeing multiple locations while maintaining high standards.

“There are so many moving parts it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks; fortunately, we have an excellent team that we trust,” said Matt. “They are doing a great job helping execute our vision.”

Nathan and Matt recently opened their second Maryland location in Crofton. While their priority is their existing business, they have ideas for the future and are always looking for growth opportunities.

Nathan Berns and Matt Rose are true assets to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Their passion, motivation to succeed, and teamwork has made them a strong force on the East Coast.

Visit twomenandatruckfranchising.com to learn more about franchising opportunities. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today!

Mom and businesswoman. It can be done!

This month, we celebrate Mother’s Day. We celebrate our mothers, grandmothers, God mothers, aunts and motherly figures in our lives. Face it, being a mom is hard work. What about the mothers who also work full-time as business owners? How do they do it and what’s their secret?

Erin Whitty is a mother to three adorable little ones and a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee. She earned her degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina, has been part of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® brand since 2001, and has loved watching the system grow and evolve over the years.Erin 2

After working in the system for 12 years, Erin opened a franchise in downtown Atlanta, Ga., on May 1, 2013.

“It’s been my goal since joining the Norwalk, Conn., franchise, all those years ago, to one day become a franchisee.”

Erin’s hard work and success hasn’t gone unnoticed. Right now, she is in the process of opening up a second franchise in Houston, Texas.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we wanted to dig a little deeper to see how Erin finds the time to balance both her work and family schedules.

“If you’re fortunate enough to have a supportive family like I do (spouse, parents, etc.), they will help you achieve and maintain a sense of balance but you have to allow yourself to ask for their help,” said Erin. “It’s the only way I survive balancing a growing business and being a mother.”

Erin believes we are given the opportunity to influence the lives of the people that we encounter, specifically, our children.

“My hope and dream is that, as a mother and a business woman, I show my children a spirit of determination and self-discipline balanced by compassion and honesty they will want to imitate,” she said.

Whether you realize it or not, your children take in everything you do. Their minds are constantly absorbing and taking notes on your actions, work ethic, and demeanor. As a business owner, it’s imperative to teach your children about hard work, dedication, selflessness and much, much more.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. For information on starting your own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise location, click here.

Being mom and franchisee

Meet Leila Nichols. Mom, volunteer, friend, and franchise owner, just to name a few.

Not only is Leila a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee with locations in Pensacola, Fla., and Mobile, Ala., she is also a mother of two children, with twins on the way.

“There are so many challenges of just being a mom,” said Leila. “As a business owner, I would saLeilay the challenges are unique because you not only feel responsible for your family’s financial security, but the financial security of every family that is represented and employed at your business. In the early days, there were many times I would have to be more frugal and creative with my own family to make sure the people working for us were thriving and succeeding. It is almost like being a mom to 50 families.”

It’s no secret, moms tend to develop natural characteristics which make them great leaders and teachers.

“As mothers we are inherent nurturers. We like to feed small things and watch them grow,” said Leila. “I love to teach and serve. Both are important attributes to being a business owner as well.”

There are many mothers who dream about becoming business owners, but are afraid to make the commitment. Let’s face it, being a mom is time consuming and hard work!

For moms (or any parent) considering going into business ownership, Leila has three pieces of advice for you.

Be realistic and transparent. You need to be transparent on the front end with your family about the amount of time getting a franchise off the ground will take. Open communication is key, listen to your family’s concerns.

Have a support system. It’s important you have someone who will be there to support you. Whether it’s someone from your church, a friend, or family member, be sure there’s a dependable shoulder to lean on.

Don’t put your roles in compartments. Do not identify yourself separately as a business owner or a mom. In order to be successful you have to recognize that all of the roles are going to be woven together and will create a new, beautiful life.

As a business owner, it’s important to be involved in your community, to volunteer, and to create relationships with local businesses and residents. Leila makes a point to get involved in local organizations and gives back to the community through our Movers for Moms® program and other charitable organizations.

For those of you who don’t know, Movers for Moms® is our spring charitable program designed to celebrate mothers in need on Mother’s Day. Our franchises partner with local shelters, schools, and other community organizations to collect goods that will make Mother’s Day special for moms living in shelters.

“I love that TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has put a program in place that focuses on moms and makes them feel special. For me, it means we have an opportunity to thank moms for what they do every day and for what they contribute to the people we become.”

Leila’s favorite part of Movers for Moms® is getting the school-aged children involved in the program and having the opportunity to teach them about altruism and giving back.

“Mother isn’t just a word to describe a woman who went through the biological process of birthing children” said Leila. “There are so many women in our lives that invested in us just because they love deeply and want the best for us. That kind of selflessness always deserves to be celebrated, because investment means to put in now believing in the return later.”

In addition to being a big supporter of Movers for Moms®, Leila is also on the board of directors for the Child Advocacy Center of Baldwin County. She is also extremely excited about the new charitable Christmas giving opportunity she is creating with her friends.

Is there anything Leila can’t do?!

In the past four years, Leila has been part of something remarkable. In conjunction with her business partner, David Richardson, she has built two successful franchises and has utilized a combination of skills from being both a mother, and a driven businesswoman.

Has Leila’s story inspired you? For more information and to learn more about franchising with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® visit http://www.twomenandatruckfranchising.com/home. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchise moving company in the United States. Let us help move your career forward!

Learn what it takes to be a successful mother, wife and franchisee

You may think, “I’m a busy mom, I work a full-time job, I don’t know the first thing about owning my own business.” Think again!

Leila Nichols has been a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee for four years. She purchased her first TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise in Pensacola, Fla. with her business partner, David Richardson, in January 2011. Not only is Leila a successful franchisee, she is also a mother of two beautiful children and twins on the way.

Leila went to college at the University of Alabama and earned her degree in Human Environmental Sciences. Before joining TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, Leila was the Executive Director of Child Abuse Prevention Services in Tuscaloosa, Ala. where she developed the core skills needed to run any successful business. While her previous position was quite different, she was able to put her leadership, problem solving, money management, marketing, personal management, and logistic skills to use when she made the life-changing decision to own her own business

“I was familiar with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® prior to becoming a franchisee, but never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that I would ever be part of the brand,” said Leila. “My business partner approached me about the opportunity, knowing that I would be moving to the area, and asked if I would like to partner. The rest is history.”

In May 2012, Leila and David opened their second TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location in Mobile, Ala.

“It was a very quick expansion; however, the geographical closeness of the two franchises made it a natural and very important partnership — especially since our second location is in my hometown,” Leila laughed. “Reputation is very important when you own a business, but especially when you live in the town where the business is. Your name is synonymous with what you do. I couldn’t imagine anyone else becoming the franchisee of the Mobile location.”

Without hesitation, Leila said the biggest adjustment when expanding from one franchise to two franchises is the level of comfort when opening the second franchise. She said it was significantly higher than when the first franchise was purchased.

“For the first year as a franchisee, I was in the office before the sun came up and left after the sun went down. I spent hours upon hours learning the system and the business so I would feel ‘in the know’.”

By the time her second franchise opened, she felt comfortable and confident she had the skills and resources to make it a success.Leila2

In the last four years, multiple milestones have been achieved. Both Pensacola and Mobile surpassed the $1 million dollar revenue mark. This year, Mobile is on target to reach $2 million in revenue.

“Going from what we purchased (which was around a half million dollar revenue producer) to anticipating over two million in two and a half years … I am really proud of that,” said Leila. “It has taken a lot of time and effort from a lot of hard working people.”

So how does Leila reach success and continue building her franchises?

Hire for your weaknesses. Know when and what to delegate. Know your skill sets, improve your shortcomings, but don’t be stubborn and think you’re good at everything.

Nurture skills, tools, and motivations. Recognize substandard performance and make a change at a management level to address and improve.

Hold yourself accountable. When you are a business owner, you need to be able to hold yourself accountable. Don’t sell yourself short, do what you can to learn everything you can about your business, even if that means
arriving before the sun comes up and leaving after the sun goes down.

“My husband likes to remind me of the words of Kenny Rogers, ‘Know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em’. Don’t be stubborn and continue doing something that isn’t working for your business, team, or community” said Leila. “Be creative and don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board to find the perfect solution to any problem.”

Leila Nichols is an excellent example of a successful franchisee. Has Leila’s story inspired you? To learn about franchising opportunities visit twomenandatruckfranchising.com. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchise moving company in the United States. Let us help move your career forward!

My Mother, the Business Leader

Written by Kelly Rogers

Kelly Rogers, franchise development director

Kelly Rogers, franchise development director

I have the honor each and every day to wake up to a world where I have an adoring and supportive husband and family, three beautiful children, and an incredible workplace full of talented and kind colleagues. However, sometimes after waking up, the reality of juggling this full life hits me faster than a double shot of espresso (which I put in my travel mug before leaving for work each day!). Furthermore, being in franchise development takes me on frequent travel. While I love the adventure of new places and faces in support of this company’s growth, it means I must say goodbye to the sweet faces at home.

No matter where you stand on the working mother debate, we all struggle with finding balance at times between who we are as individuals and as mothers. On this note, I reached out to another working mom and Atlanta, Ga., franchisee in our system, Erin Whitty, to get her perspective on the topic. I was touched by her responses below.

How do you balance being a mother and now owning a growing franchise?  

All mothers share the responsibility of maintaining balance. Whether you’re balancing kid-time versus spouse-time, spending equal time with multiple children, balancing the oh-so-busy after school schedule, or the never ending balance of work versus home, it’s my opinion that you can only maintain a sense of balance in any of these areas with help from others.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a supportive family (like I do!), we’re talking spouse, parents, etc., they will help you achieve and maintain a sense of balance but you have to empower yourself to ask for their help. It’s the only way I’ve survived “balancing” a growing business and the most important job in the world, being a mother!

What do you hope your children learn from you both as a mother and a business woman? 

Erin Whitty, franchisee

Erin Whitty, franchisee

One of the gifts of humanity is legacy. Each of us is given the opportunity to influence the lives of the people that we encounter and, most significantly, our children. My hope and dream is that, as a mother and a business woman, I model to my children a spirit of determination and self-discipline balanced by compassion and honesty they will want to imitate.

Like Erin, I have an extended support team and a family-friendly work environment, and we somehow manage to make it work. As a result, I get to come to work daily with my team member, Noelle Burak, another hard working mom, to partner with people like Erin in growing our franchise system.

And just as Erin’s children get to learn from her qualities as a leader, my children get to watch my passion and business acumen in action as I share stories with them at dinner. I’ve worked hard to get here, and they know this. And no matter what they decide to do with their lives, I hope they carry a little pride and every once and a while think proudly, “That’s my mother, the business leader.”

I’ll always be their mom first, but I have this other piece of me to offer them, and I can see it is making a positive impact on their development.

For information on starting your own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise location and the performance information available to prospective owners, click here.