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.

Fathers and franchisees: Bob and Cory Christensen

Christensen fathers day blog pic updated

The Christensen’s with Illinois Governor Rauner

Written by Katie Peterson

Father-son duo Bob Christensen and Cory Christensen master the challenges of running a family business, and the occasional tennis match. Just in time for Father’s Day, the Christensen’s offer up advice and share their experiences of going into business with family and the joys and challenges that go along with it.

Bob and Cory are multi-unit franchisees based out of Illinois with three franchises in Rockford, Peoria, and the Quad Cities. The pair got involved with the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family after Bob began researching business opportunities and realized if he wanted to achieve the most success he could, he would need the help of a partner. Bob enlisted the help of his son Cory and the two quickly realized they were a dynamic team.

According to Cory, he’s had an interest in the moving industry for a while. “I actually told my parents that after college I wanted to get into the box industry,” said Cory “My theory was everything comes in a box, even boxes come in boxes, so you can’t go wrong.”

When choosing Cory as a partner, Bob knew the importance of picking someone who complimented his strengths and weaknesses.

“You must find that family member that can offset your weaknesses so together you are stronger,” said Bob. “If two business partners, whether family or not, both have the same skills, one is useless.”

The Christensens make family business partnerships look easy, but more importantly, they excel as a family. Bob and Cory have found prioritizing family over their business has given them continued success. Bob believes it is crucial to not completely consume yourself with the business, because if you do, all other external functions take a backseat.

“My favorite part about being a dad is seeing the growth of my children both personally and professionally, especially as it relates to them being good fathers,” said Bob.

Cory says he has learned a lot from his dad in the business context, but even more from him as a father, “I admire Dad’s optimism and entrepreneurial spirit in business, but he has always been a good family man.” The pair are coaches of the Rockford 5-6-year-old “coaches pitch” baseball team, which Cory’s two oldest boys play in. This year the team is currently 3-0, although they aren’t technically supposed to keep score. Both Bob and Cory love to play sports, especially tennis and other racquet sports, and spend time playing together whenever they can.

Bob and Cory say they have learned a lot from being involved with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® as a family.

“One of my favorite parts about being involved in a family business is starting a legacy of owning many franchises and seeing your children and possibly grandchildren enter the family business,” said Bob.

As for advice to others considering going into business, Bob points to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s core value, “be your best and have fun.”

“Whatever you do, be the best you can be,” said Bob. “But you have to have a sense of humor and enjoy what you are doing, or you end up not paying attention to your ultimate success.”

Together, Bob and Cory have created a family tradition of upholding the values and practices of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and have achieved success as a family unit and family business as a result, with an increase in sales from $5,923,490 in 2014 to $8,946,424 in 2015 and a total of 49,918 moves since their first franchise opened in 2008.

Thank you, Christensen’s, for all you do for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and happy Father’s Day!

 

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.

Communities across the country come together to support moms in need

Written by Jessy Howe

Each spring, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations across the country work to support moms in need by collecting essential care items be delivered just in time for Mother’s Day. Mothers who have been impacted by domestic violence and homelessness often turn to women’s and family shelters during this time of need for support. The harsh reality is these essential care items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, blankets, and socks are often in short supply to these women and their children.

We believe every mom deserves to feel supported, loved, and special regardless of their circumstance. This national program called Movers for Moms® has swept over 39 states and supports hundreds of shelters each year. In 2015, Movers for Moms® collected more than 230,000 essential care items and the 2016 program is wrapping up, as the goal this year was to collect 300,000 items! These generous gifts are collected through community partnerships with schools, banks, and other local businesses. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® teams then pick up and deliver the items to partnering shelters just before Mother’s Day in hopes of making the day special for moms in our local communities.

With more than 330 franchises participating in Movers for Moms®, communities across the country are being positively impacted by the efforts to support moms in need.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas has participated in Movers for Moms® for eight years now and reached their highest collection year to date, delivering more than 7,100 donated items to Safe Nest Shelter. This impressive number is one the veteran participant is proud of as they understand the difference these donations make.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Movers for Moms® donations

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas picks up Movers for Moms® donations from community partner, OneTrust Home Loans!

“Domestic violence is on the rise in Las Vegas. It is something that the community sees in the news almost every day,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas Marketing Coordinator Ashlee Wright. “Because of this, individuals and businesses in the community were thrilled to be a part of such an awesome campaign.”

Movers for Moms® would have been hard to miss in Cleveland, Ohio as the program spanned across 16 different cities in the area with donation boxes set up in 30 businesses. Between them, 3,000 items were collected and delivered to WomenSafe, the local Ohio shelter who received the goods.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Cleveland prepares to deliver more than 60 boxes of essential items to moms in need!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Cleveland prepares to deliver more than 60 boxes of essential care items to moms in need!

“We were able to help women who are survivors of domestic violence throughout Northeast Ohio and make others in the community aware that help is available for those in need,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Cleveland Marketing and Recruiting Manager Amy Gladieux. “I was overwhelmed with the amount of items each business had collected. It was a great feeling and provides a sense of teamwork throughout the community.”

A common theme throughout cities hosting Movers for Moms® is community. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Nashville Marketing Director Jenni Hargrove has seen this firsthand hosting Movers for Moms®.

“The best part for me is the feeling of a whole community coming together to love these moms and their families,” Hargrove says of running the Movers for Moms® campaign. “So many partners went above and beyond what I was asking. I had salons and fitness centers asking me if they could host Movers for Moms® events, offering a percentage of their product sales to Safe Haven, connecting me to their friends who were business owners and would want to help … it was such an awesome outpouring of support.”

The outpouring of support exceeded Nashville’s initial goal of collecting 2,000 items and resulted in nearly 3,800 donations for moms and their families living at Safe Haven this Mother’s Day.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Nashville jumps for joy with their Movers for Moms® recipient!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Nashville jumps for joy with their Movers for Moms® recipient!

Movers for Moms® is very important to us specifically because Middle Tennessee really lacks the ability to help the homeless FAMILIES in our region,” says Hargrove. “Safe Haven is the only shelter in Middle Tennessee that can accept entire families through its doors.”

Each year, the number of Movers for Moms® participants, community partners, donated goods, and moms being supported in communities across the country continue to grow. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to all those who played a part in making Mother’s Day brighter for women in need. It would not have been possible without your generosity.

To learn more about Movers for Moms®, please visit twomenandatruck.com/movers-for-moms and like us on Facebook to stay updated with current program happenings. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!