Building a rewarding business opportunity by franchising with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

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Written by Erik Sargent 

The world of franchising can be an incredibly rewarding experience for business owners, providing them the opportunity to buy into a proven system and work freely in the parameters of an already established brand. One of the top franchising destinations on the market today is in the moving industry, and one of the best moving company opportunities is with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Continue reading

Franchising with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®: Who we are, and what we’re all about

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TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the world, and we’ve been in business for more than 30 years. We aim to provide our customers the highest level of service when it comes to both local and long-distance moving. Here’s a closer look at why you should consider investing in a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise. Continue reading

Franchisee hopefuls prepare for $50,000 scholarship program

Written by Jessy Howe

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Mary Ellen's Moving People Forward Scholarship Program

We believe in Moving People Forward®, personally and professionally, after all it is our core purpose. In 2014, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® launched Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward® scholarship program in order to provide managers an opportunity to transition into successful franchisees.

As a catalyst for system expansion, the scholarship program guides candidates through one year of extensive training, further developing their knowledge of all aspects of a franchise system. This training period requires online classes, live webinars, and working closely with the departments at Home Office on managerial assignments. The potential franchisees attend internal TWO MEN AND A TRUCK events including the fall Frontline Annual Meeting held in Lansing, Mich., as well the company’s Annual Meeting in which they co-present on important topics and system happening to attendees. The scholarship program concludes with a visit to Home Office to interview and present a comprehensive business plan to the executive team.

The scholarship winner is awarded $50,000 to go toward opening their new franchise location, in partnership with their current franchisee, who works closely with the candidate during the duration of the program. Remaining program participants are each awarded $10,000 toward the opening of their new franchise expected to open within two years.

With the excitement of recently announcing this year’s recipient, Jason Washburn, we are pleased to introduce the 2017 scholarship candidates! These individuals embody the drive and determination it takes to successfully run their own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location, making them ideal candidates for this type of program.

Lauren Trost – Multi-unit Marketing Manager

How long have you been a part of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family? Moving People Forward Scholarship Candidate Lauren Trost

I have been the marketing manager for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Chicago for three years.

What has been one of the most important things you have learned during your time within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system?

I think one of the most important things I have learned from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is “if you can dream it, you can do it.” The owners of our franchise group, Joel Trost, John Judson, and Jason Judson are very supportive and have a vested interest in the future of their employees. Their support inspires confidence and has helped me to achieve goals I would have otherwise never thought possible. In addition, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system as a whole is consistently breaking records and experiencing growth while maintaining the highest level of customer service.

What are some of the aspects you think it takes to run a successful franchise?

I believe one of the most important aspects of running a successful franchise is having the right people on board. Creating a positive work environment where employees thrive and feel appreciated inspires them to provide better service to customers. Another important aspect is setting goals and implementing systems to measure performance in order for goals to be achieved.

Aside from owning your own franchise, what is one of the biggest takeaways you hope to gain from the program?

One of the biggest takeaways I hope to gain from the program is to have a better understanding of how everything works within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system. I want to have a unique appreciation for every position in the company and understand exactly what each party contributes to make the company successful.

Is there any one person or multiple people who you can attribute to helping with your success?

Growing up, my dad owned a local run specialty store. Having him as an entrepreneurial role model had a huge influence on my desire to become a franchisee. My dad taught me how to treat employees well, provide exceptional customer service, and come up with innovative ideas to continuously improve a business. Without the support of him and my mom, I would not be the person I am today both in business and in life.

Robert Barnes – Operations Manager, Greenville, S.C.

How long have you been a part of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family?

I have been working as the operations manager with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Greenville, S.C. for almost three and a half years.

What has been one of the most important things you have learned during your time within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system?

I think that President Randy Shacka said it best, “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” There are many things in this business that don’t fit into a conventional playbook or a manual. You just have to keep moving forward, by learning, growing, and adapting to new experiences that happen every day. Being part of the military and learning to think “on your feet” is a given; I think this position has helped cultivate those areas in a very beneficial way that has aided me.

What are some of the aspects you think it takes to run a successful franchise?

I think care is probably the most important thing you can have for running a successful franchise. You have to care for the employees that work for you. If your employees know that you care for them then they will do their best for you in return. You need to feel confident your team can run the business in your absence, regardless of how short the notice may be. It is also imperative to give your team the time to be heard and care for their needs, as we are all human and need that day-to-day interaction with other people.

Aside from owning your own franchise, what is one of the biggest takeaways you hope to gain from the program?

I want to learn all aspects of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, this way I can train and teach others on some of the best practices within the system. I would like to share it with others and continue to bring like-minded individuals into such a positive, successful, ethical, and customer-centered company as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

Is there any one person or multiple people who you can attribute to helping with your success?

I have been honored in life to have lots of people who have influenced me over the years. My mentors in the Army National Guard have shown me what good leadership is and how to grow, lead, and motivate people. Here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Greenville, S.C., multi-unit Franchisees Bryan and Rebecca Feldman have giving me the opportunity to grow and learn. And, my parents have always been there to support me when I need it.

Eric Tremble – Location Manager, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

How long have you been a part of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family?Moving People Forward Scholarship Candidate Eric Tremble

I have been with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for more than six years now, since Feb. 1, 2010.

What has been one of the most important things you have learned during your time within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system?

To give everyone a chance. You never know who will be your next great employee and do big things.

What are some of the aspects you think it takes to run a successful franchise?

Good communication with customers and employees as well as consistency in policies and processes.

Aside from owning your own franchise, what is one of the biggest takeaways you hope to gain from the program?

I would like to have a better overall view of how each department affects each other. I would also like to learn more on how market share and mass marketing campaigns are constructed.

Is there any one person or multiple people who you can attribute to helping with your success?

I would have to say my original managers, Charles Gibbons and Steve Mozola, for giving me a chance to move beyond being a mover and defining what working for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® should be. Additionally, Empire Group for continuously keeping me on the right path and giving me opportunities for growing as a manager.

 

We are excited to see such dedicated team members work to move the system forward and wish them the best of luck in the year to come!

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.

Franchises prepare to complete 5,400 moves in single weekend

Written by Jessy Howe

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK prepares for busiest move weekend!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – moving season! At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we are in the middle of moving season and beginning to prepare for the busiest moving weekend of the year.

With the momentum of a record-breaking 2015 continuing throughout Q1, we are anticipating this to be the most successful “busiest move weekend” yet. On June 25 – 26, the company is projected to complete more than 5,400 moves across the country, equating to about three moves per minute during business hours. In 2015, a total of 5,037 moves were completed during the busiest move weekend.

More than 330 franchises across the country are up for this challenge and are preparing early to accommodate the record number of customers being moved during the short time frame. With more than 5,400 moves taking place, franchises can expect to complete roughly 21 moves each.

For TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Boise, nearly 40 moves are projected to take place, a significant increase from the 24 moves they completed last year. General Manager Chris Jones is preparing his team well in advance for this heavy increase in volume.

“We have increased our fleet of trucks, purchased extra packing and moving equipment, and have professionally trained additional employees to ensure everything runs smooth,” said Jones. “Our goal is to maintain our high quality and ensure our customers continue to get the full TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® experience on move day.”

Mississippi Multi-unit Franchisee Michael Sham has outfitted rentals needed in addition to his regular fleet to accommodate nearly 20 moves, six of which are long-distance moves.

“We have ordered additional equipment and supplies for this weekend to ensure that we have everything we need to handle every job,” said Sham. “We have brought on all summer help and trained them thoroughly so that every customer gets the proper TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® experience.”

In Charlotte, N.C., the franchise is arranging for up to 24 trucks to be booked for moves, compared to 20 trucks they had running in 2015.

“We will approach this weekend like we do every other one, with preparation and communication,” said Charlotte Marketing Coordinator Monika Markley. “We have been working really hard this year on recruiting great frontline talent and making sure we are fully staffed to meet our sales goals. Our operations team has been diligently training our new hires as well as bringing our current movers through refresher courses so that everyone is on the same page.”

With frontline teams completing training, locations have been communicating with their customers and providing tips to ensure a smooth transition.

“Customers should always review the estimate the customer service representative sends them and double check for things such as spelling errors in address names or any omissions or changes in the items that will be moved,” said Markley.

Additionally, Markley emphasizes the importance of having adequate parking for the truck near the entrance and ensuring walkways are clear to avoid trip hazards.

And most importantly, if you know you’re moving soon, call us!

“Calling in advance helps you and really helps us! Even if you don’t know the exact day of your move, calling early and giving us an idea makes things easier,” said Jones. “This helps us prepare the resources needed and allows an opportunity to create options to fit the needs of your move. We seem to always fill our schedule on this weekend, so call early and save your spot.”

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.

Keys to obtain franchise business success

FranchiseeDo you have the ambition and drive to be your own boss? Starting a franchise business is not something to be taken lightly, but it’s a calculated risk which can truly pay off in the end. Franchising is a great way to reduce threat of failure while increasing your odds of succeeding in the business world. However, just because you bought into a franchise model doesn’t mean you get to go on permanent vacation. You still need to put in the effort to execute a proven business model in order to be successful. So how do you ensure you optimize your business and succeed? I’m glad you asked!

Research franchises

Before selecting a franchise, research the pros and cons of the different franchise models out there and find franchise systems which interest you. There are numerous brands to consider, so find one that fits your interests and aligns with your personal Core Values, so you can believe in the business and enjoy the work while making money.

Once you have the list narrowed down, it’s important to dig a bit deeper and see how the franchisor supports their franchises. Do they have dedicated training and development, marketing, human resources, and sales teams as well as business consultants to help you along the way? What do their reporting dashboards look like relative to depth, benchmarks, and system transparency? What tools by way of programs, platforms, and training can be leveraged? Ask for franchisee contact information and ask them about the pros and cons of the business along with the state of their partnership with their franchisor. Verify the ways the franchisor demonstrates a commitment to continually investing into the business to help their franchises grow.

It’s also important to ascertain the kind of marketing programs and ROI-enhancing lead generation strategies the franchisor offer to assist  your business not only once you’ve opened your doors but beforehand to promote the new franchise. Our teams at the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Home Office are dedicated to help our franchises thrive in their marketing areas.

Startup franchises: We have a First Gear team whose sole purpose is to work with new franchises 12 weeks out from their opening date to ensure they are prepared in every area of the business. But it doesn’t end there! They will continue to work with the franchise for the first full year; this is called the Second Gear process. If a franchise is struggling, the team will help them develop a plan to overcome each challenge. Our training and development team is there the help franchises get their teams ready to go opening day by designing and delivering training programs for all levels of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system. Our team also supports all employees in the system through STICK MEN UNIVERSITY®, offering instructor-led training, online training, and career development programs. Additionally, reporting dashboards and metrics are transparent and multi-faceted, providing visibility about performance by franchise, operating unit, or system-wide, and each department is dedicated to help franchises along the way.

Mature franchises: Once a franchise has become established, our franchise business consultants work with the franchises on a regular basis to ensure they continue to grow, hit their goals, and become profitable. Our consultants do regular onsite field visits so they can interact with the specific location in order to help the franchise with business opportunities through system best practices that ultimately lead to profitability. What these visits also allow for is the opportunity for the consultants to glean new ideas from the field and identify emerging best practices they can share with the rest of the system – a huge benefit of the franchise model.

Build a business plan

When you’ve selected your franchise, immerse yourself in the processes and tools the franchisor has created and engage yourself with the partnership. Invest in your organizational structure to ensure you have enough people to capture the business effectively. Equip yourself based on two potential outcomes: (1) Customer volume is slower than anticipated; and (2) Customer volume is more than anticipated.

In the business world, it’s vital to be focused but still remain flexible. To accomplish this, have a fully implementable business plan, and constantly refer and adjust it on both a monthly and quarterly basis.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, the most successful franchises who stand out from the rest have a business plan and a budget they refer to on a consistent basis. If a tactic is successful, they know why. The same goes if something falters or fails. They take notice quickly and work to address it. We cannot stress how eminent it is to have a business strategy and work to execute it in order to achieve the goals and the vision set by the franchisee.

Develop a winning team

Growing and developing your team is significant to achieving business success. Your frontline staff are the team members who interact with customers on a daily basis. Make sure they not only know how to do their job but love it as well. Promoting a positive work culture, establishing employee incentive plans, creating a pleasant work space, as well as providing up-to-date equipment are key ingredients to guiding employees toward job success. Also, giving them defined job descriptions and expectations, setting obtainable goals, and mixing in stretch goals will also help drive your business and its potential for growth. Another critical component to employee retention is showing them a possible career path within your organization. This will give them a clear picture of their future career so they envision sticking with you long-term.

Meet with your team on a regular basis. This is a critical time to review what they are doing well, any areas of opportunity, hurdles they may be experiencing and then discuss how can you can overcome them together. Open communication with your team gives you fresh a perspective of your business from the frontline view.

There are many tools and resources continually being developed by the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® human resources department to help franchises not only find quality employees but retain them by creating a positive work environment.

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