Tis’ the season to give back and give thanks

Written by Erik Sargent

Here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, giving back to the community is something we take seriously, and is practiced intently from top to bottom, company-wide each and every day. The Core Values are a way of life, and we are always looking for ways to help out and keep moving people forward.

Often times it’s with our moving services, but each franchise around the country makes it a point to do charitable work in their communities, striving to make a difference and impact on the lives of those around them.

One great example is the annual Movers for Moms® program that runs each spring and culminates on Mother’s Day. Each franchise location in the country collects essential care items for local mothers in need, and delivers them to domestic abuse and homeless shelters so the moms feel extra special on a day that might otherwise have been forgotten. This year, we were proud to have collected more than 280,000 items!

Additionally, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system donates 10 cents of every move to the American Cancer Society and has given more than $520,000 to the cause.

This fall, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® was involved in numerous charitable organizations and events, and below are some of the standout moments.

Baton Rouge Flood Assistance

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Baton Rouge Flood Relief

On August 12, disaster hit in the state of Louisiana. A broken levee caused a massive flood that took the lives of 11 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

On August 19, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Panama City team sprang into action and collected donations for the flood victims in Baton Rouge. Movers, managers, and staff members, along with Franchisee Sean Wise, helped the community load a truck with items the Baton Rouge community were in need of most. Working with local radio, TV stations, newspapers, and businesses, they were able to collect 15,000 pounds of donations in one day.

With three truckloads of supplies, they were on their way to help distribute the items across the affected areas.

“With us being a small community and having a former manager who now owns and operates the franchise in Baton Rouge, we felt it was imperative to give back to that community, donate the truck, and volunteer the guys,” Wise said. “It’s part of our company core values, and it’s who we are as a franchise.”

Movers for Military in Pasadena

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Movers for Military

Supporting the men and women who have sacrificed and served our country is crucial, and each fall, these thanks are heard around the country. Being homeless or living is crisis is not something we picture with these heroes, but unfortunately, it is a very common occurrence.

The homeless rate for veterans is between 131,000 and 200,000 nationally, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. To help out these vets and show our thanks, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Pasadena recently wrapped up their Movers for Military drive to help show support and appreciation for those who have served.

Partnering with YMCA, Embassy Suites of Arcadia, and the Wonder Dog Ranch of Monrovia, they were able to collect essential and comfort items – more than 1,825 donations in all – and deliver them to New Directions for Veterans. New Directions for Veterans was founded to empower men and women who served in the military, and their families, to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

“I love being part of a company that has such a heart for charity and giving back! This time of year, it’s important to be reminded of everything you are thankful for, and how you can impact those who are less fortunate around you,” said Stefanie Shook, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Pasadena marketing manager. “By just a simple donation of some basic necessity items, we were able to make a huge difference in these homeless veterans’ lives!”

Sleeping Out In Detroit and Long Island

All across the country, youth homelessness is an issue, and with the winter cold months coming up, it’s important to help raise awareness and money to help end this tragic occurrence.

Partnering with Covenant House, several TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises around the system, including Wayne County and New York City, participated in the Covenant House Executive Sleep Out event, which is held to raise awareness for youth homelessness. Executives sleep in boxes in the cities at night, listen to the stories of kids in need, and hold a candlelight vigil. All while raising money for the organization that supports homeless youth.

In Detroit, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Wayne County General Manager Ashley Allen helped organize the company’s involvement.

“We donated all the boxes to shelter the sleepers for the night and also donated a truck for three days to assist with storing all items and gear for the event,” said Allen.

This was the third year Wayne County has been involved in the Sleep Out event, and they have raised more than $350,000 through their work. Numerous youth were invited to come speak, pray, and give thanks at the event.

In New York City, General Manager Gerald Jones organized his location’s involvement, and they too, donated boxes and a truck to the event hosted in Long Island. Jones and Operations Manager Tim Dumpson, slept out at the event along with various other executives, and even New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman.

There are many, many more great examples of franchises donating their time, resources, and manpower to their communities. Stay tuned for additional stories highlighting their positive work!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® hosts Frontline Annual Meeting

Written by Erik Sargent

East Lansing, MI – Smiling faces, eager employees, and an abundance of stickmen logos filled the halls of the Kellogg Center as the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Frontline Annual Meeting took place this week in East Lansing, Mich.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Annual Meeting

Employees from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises all over the country – international locations included – made their way to the Mid-Michigan area for a three day conference focused on continued success, improving on company strategies, and recognizing those who have stood out above the rest in their professions.

With company executives on hand and close to 200 eager team members in attendance, it was a worthwhile experience for all.  The ability of all present to see the happenings of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® as a company, and get a glimpse into the future was priceless.

“The first thing I want to say is thank you,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® CEO Jeff Wesley. “What you have done is create momentum through all of our success. We don’t get to see your faces every day, so we are excited about you being here and are so thankful for what you do.”

The attendees arrived in Lansing Tuesday afternoon, and after checking into the Kellogg Center, were given a chance to visit the Home Office. The guests were given tours of the building and had the opportunity to meet Home Office employees they spend so much time communicating with from their local office. Attendees also had a chance to visit the Lansing, Mich., franchise, as well as the newly expanded Customer Relationship Center.

Wednesday officially kicked off the conference and began with a speech from Wesley, followed by various breakout sessions, workshops, and roundtable discussions.

More than 15 sessions being presented were focused on discussing tactics that have brought success to the company, while also looking forward at what can be done to continue the 82 months of consecutive growth and keep everything moving in the right direction. The visitors took away a wealth of knowledge, and plenty of ideas to apply in their respective locations.

“I’m going to take away the improvements we need to do with our marketing strategy and our sales strategy,” said Dan Arlow of the Barrie, Ontario franchise. “It was eye opening. I thought we were in a good place, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

Other TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® employees including Jake Petzold from the Flint, Mich., franchise relayed the same message Arlow did.

“I liked it, I was able to learn a lot,” Petzold said. “Especially about marketing. I’m excited to bring back a lot of new ideas that we picked up here.”

The guests came back together after several exciting sessions for a motivational speech from President Randy Shacka, where he focused on delivering a positive message and encouraging each person to continue their growth on a personal and professional level.

“1 in 3 of our franchisees and 75% of our managers began in frontline positions,” said Shacka. “You owe it to yourself to be your best, but it’s not always easy to do. Hard work is a mindset.”

The day ended with a company tailgate, where games, food and drinks, and other activities such as a furniture stretch wrapping competition for our most competitive frontline members provided great fun for all. While some networked during cornhole tournaments, others grabbed dessert at the ice cream bar and spoke with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® vendors.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Frontline Annual Meeting 2016

Thursday continued with an additional 10 learning sessions during the morning period offering several insights and techniques to improve locally. After lunch, a period of company recognition took place for some of the top employees to be acknowledged for their work.

With many of the executives and leaders of the company on stage speaking, awards and acknowledgements were made for categories including Top Franchises, the new members of the Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward Scholarship Program, Leaders in Excellence, Customer Service Achievement in Excellence top performers, the Safe Driver Award, the $100,000 Club, Years of Service Recognition, President’s Leadership Award, and the Frontline MVP Award, which at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® stands for mission, values, and purpose.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® founder Mary Ellen Sheets was in attendance for the entire ceremony and left a resonating message for all the employees to head back home with after Frontline Annual Meeting concluded.

“I just wanted to take a minute to thank you,” Sheets said. “I know how hard you work, and I understand the dedication to your positions. I appreciate your commitment to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, and while I’m proud to be the founder, you’re the heroes. You really are the heroes, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.”

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Founding Family

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® founding family joined the Frontline Annual Meeting. Pictured left to right: Chair Melanie Bergeron, Executive Vice President Jon Sorber, and Founder Mary Ellen Sheets. 

To see more from the 2016 Frontline Annual Meeting, visit us on Facebook! 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.

Third quarter results indicate a continuously strong year for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

Written by Jessy Howe

We can’t help but feel proud of our system for the accomplishments that took place and goals surpassed in Q3. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® employees share a vision and aren’t afraid to work hard. There is a lot to celebrate as Q3 came to a close!

“The enthusiasm and momentum we built from a successful first half of the year continued into the third quarter, and has set us up to close out 2015 on a strong note,” said Randy Shacka, president of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. “We have repeatedly surpassed our growth goals with continued investment in our infrastructure and striving for exceptional customer service ratings. These focuses will continue driving our momentum to accomplish our goals for the next few years.”

Record growth

The last 18 months boast double-digit increases with July being the second highest revenue month ever! In addition, we are pleased to have an average referral rate of 95% across the system.

“Our dedicated partners and teams are the reason we’re able to accomplish our growth goals,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® CFO Jeff Wesley.

Franchisee of the Year12036494_920926614646896_2082089902708020995_n

Multi-Unit Franchisee Joey Hale was recognized as Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association (IFA), a top honor among franchisees across the country. Hale, who has been with the system since 1998, began as a mover and driver in Knoxville, Tenn., and is now continuing to expand the brand on the West Coast in multiple cities in California.

“We are extremely proud of Joey and all he has done to continually represent greatness as a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee,” Shacka said. “He is a true testament to the caliber of franchisees in our system and he exemplifies all of the qualities we look for in potential TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisees.”

Expanding the brand

Our newest franchisee, Fred Schaard, signed to open three TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® offices in Portland, Ore., one of our top development markets. Schaard is an experienced financial planner and is a great asset to the system.

“We know our company wouldn’t be great without the concentrated efforts from our franchisees and their teams to provide top-notch customer service, diligently working on the trucks and in our customers’ homes,” Wesley shared.

First ever recipient of Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward® scholarship program honoredIMG_20150929_122731327

To say the first-ever Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward® scholarship program was a success would be an understatement.

Tampa, Fla., Franchise Manager Randi Bloodworth was announced as the first ever Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward® scholarship winner and received the surprise of a lifetime when Mary Ellen presented her the $50,000 check. By March 2016, she will be expanding the brand into Pearland, Texas.

Two of the seven managers who were initially a part of the program IMG_20150929_125856078are now current franchisees, and the remaining participants were awarded $10,000 that will go toward opening their own franchise, as all of the managers plan to open their own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location in the future.

We’re exceedingly proud of the entire TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system for the continued dedication and constant hard work put in by each team member. We are excited for the accomplishments that will be made in Q4!

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!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® first quarter success

As first quarter ended, we had many incredible and inspiring stories from our franchises across the country. As numerous milestones were made, records broken, and charity hours donated, there were two stories that stuck out.

Welcome to South Dakota

Hard work and dedication across the system allows us to grow and expand our brand. This story is no exception. Franchisees Jeff Lodike and Steve West expanded the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® footprint once again, opening their first franchise in a new state, South Dakota!39th state graphic 1-01

Business partners Jeff Lodike, Steve West, Joel Trost, John Judson, and Jason Judson are all part of a powerhouse franchisee team. All franchisees have been instrumental in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system and have created many career opportunities for their employees.

“It is very exciting to have the exposure and continue the growth of our brand,” said Franchisee Jeff Lodike. “Opening in a new state is an added bonus, we are just glad to be a part of it!”

Jeff, Steve, and their busiSD first moveness partners have had plans to expand for some time.

“We reached out to Home Office and asked for advice on available territories in the Midwest, and Sioux Falls was at the top of the list,” said Jeff. “After we initially researched and visited a few other areas, we were sold on Sioux Falls immediately. The area has a rapid growth rate, great people, and is just gorgeous.”

Not only is TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Sioux Falls a milestone for Jeff, Steve, and their entire team, but it is a huge milestone for our brand.

Our footprint is growing and we are officially serving customers in 39 states!

Congratulations, guys!

Living our giving back core value

Giving back to the community is a core value we see displayed daily throughout the system. Whether you are in California, Connecticut, or anywhere in between, generous charitable efforts are evident at each TWO MEN AND A TRUCKLV customer® location.

This particular story took place on March 16, 2015. Franchisees Bill Bass and Don Hughes opened their second Las Vegas location in early March. On this day, they conducted their first move at absolutely no cost to the customer.

“The first move was great,” said Kirk Phillips, marketing coordinator at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas. “Honestly, we could not have grown without the residents of Las Vegas. I feel grateful we were in a position to give away a free move. It was really the least we could do to give back to the great community that has truly embraced us as their moving companLV grand openingy.”

The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® team waited until the end of the move to bring Truckie on site with a goodie bag filled with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® gear and surprised the customer with the good news. Needless to say, the customer was thrilled to be saving more than $1,000after his day-long move. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas South invited the customer to be a part of the upcoming Grand Opening celebration as well.

Way to go, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas!

 

System Highlights

In addition to the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Sioux Falls location opening and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas South’s free first move, many other incredible things have happened so far this year.

As a whole, our system saw a successful first quarter. More than 3,900 charity hours were donated totaling more than $460,000. More than two-thirds of our franchises performed at least one charity move during the first quarter. Giving back to the community is not just a cliché we talk about, it is a way of life our employees embody daily.

Franchising is extremely rewarding. If you’re interested in franchising with us, please visit twomenandatruckfranchising.com! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchise moving company in the United States. Join the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® team to be part of something bigger.

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!

Chair Melanie Bergeron takes seat on IFA board

History was made February 18 as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® International, Inc. Chair Melanie Bergeron became just the third woman to take over as chair of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) executive board. IFA’s mission is to promote, enhance, and protect franchising through government relations, public relations, and educational programs.

“It’s an absolute honor to be chair of the IFA,” said Melanie. “I know the first two chairs very well. Because of their faith in me, I have become the chair this year. Everyone’s journey to leadership is different. I was actively involved in the IFA for 16 years and served many roles in the IFA. I’ve been groomed for it for years, and I’m very excited.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of my sister, Melanie, on being appointed chair of the International Franchise Association last week in Las Vegas. Our family was there to celebrate with her,” said Brig Sorber, CEO of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc. “She has worked so hard and I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more than her. I know she will be doing amazing things for the IFA and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® this year.”

As chair, Melanie’s main role is to serve as an ambassador for the IFA. She will support the IFA’s advocacy efforts by aligning the membership and IFA board’s efforts.

“Throughout my time as chair of the IFA, I will be working to ensure there is clear communication with the board of directors to grow membership,” she said. “A goal of Photographic image created by Steve Deanmine in the efforts of the educational foundation is to help them build a positive perspective of franchising.”

Melanie has always been very passionate about franchising. She believes job creation is the healing this world needs, and franchising does just that. While serving as chairwomen, Melanie has plans to show the world how important franchising is and the vast opportunities it provides.

Melanie has been pushing franchisees to get involved with the FAN — Franchise Action Network. Joining the FAN unifies franchises across the globe to come together and show the world the many benefits of franchising. She hopes her role as chairwoman of the IFA will bring more attention to the FAN throughout the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system, encouraging more franchisees to get involved.

“My role with the IFA allows me to learn so much from the outside,” said Melanie. “You hear about threats other franchises are facing, so we will know what to watch out for. You also learn about other franchise brands’ best practices which we can apply to make TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® a better system. When TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® first started getting involved with the IFA, we were so shy. We were a tiny company and didn’t know anyone, the board of directors were from huge companies. If you would have told me back then that I would serve as the chair, I would have never believed it.”

The International Franchise Association has big plans to continue protecting and promoting franchising. There are one billion people joining the workforce who cannot find jobs. Many of which are not aware of the jobs franchising can provide. The IFA seeks to teach all of these people about the unlimited opportunities franchising has. Melanie would like to see more franchisees get involved with the IFA and FAN and challenges them to do so.

To learn more about the Franchise Action Network visit their website.

Franchise with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise system is the largest, fastest growing franchise brand with an integrated way to run a moving franchise. We are constantly investing millions annually to improve our operating system. With a proven track record of growth and the highest customer service referral rate in the industry, we are posed for even more success in the coming years. We are setting records at all levels. Whether you are an accountant, insurance agent, doctor, or CEO, we have the system and results for those looking to invest and own their own business.

It’s important to understand TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® views their franchisees as long-term partners. The partnership is between the franchisee and Home Office to strengthen the brand and its success. The partnership between franchisees and Home Office requires a large amount of communication and engagement. We work daily to move our franchisees, customers, and communities forward.

New Year New You: Meet Kathleen White

Kathleen White is a successful franchisee in Virginia Beach. Her story is incredibly inspiring for those who are considering entering the franchise industry, especially when it comes down to leaving a career of familiarity. Kathleen’s life completely changed when she made the decision to quit her long-time job in Michigan to become a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee in Virginia.

Q: What peaked your interest about opening a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise? When did your franchise officially open?

Kathleen: At my previous position with the State of Michigan, I worked with the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® headquarters when they were looking to expand their corporate offices. The more I got to know them, the more I liked what they stood for – I was attracted to their high level of integrity, their commitment to the community, and we shared similar values. When I learned about the franchise opportunity, I felt like it was a great fit. We opened our Virginia Beach franchise on September 9, 2013.

Q: What was the deciding factor to open a
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise?
Kathleen and truck
Kathleen: I was ready for a career challenge and I saw this as an exciting new adventure! I did my homework and our research revealed Virginia Beach to be a very strong market. I was raised in the south and was looking forward to moving back to that part of the country someday. When I learned about the new territories opening up in Virginia, I jumped at the opportunity! 
Q
: What was your previous career, prior to becoming a franchisee? How do you think your background will positively affect your role as a franchise and lead your franchise toward success?

Kathleen: I did economic development for the State of Michigan for 19 years prior to joining TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. In my role as a business development manager, I worked with many different types of companies of all sizes. I learned a lot just from watching them grow and also from observing their missteps and how/if they recovered from those mistakes. I have a strong sales and administrative background. I recognized this was a chance for me to bring the proven, trusted system that TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® offers, to the moving industry in this region. I was very excited about bringing the brand to Virginia Beach!


Q: Describe your franchise’s success in its first year and a half. What major milestones have you achieved?

Kathleen: We are so proud of the work we have done in our first year! In this industry, some key highlights are worth noting. We surpassed our projected sales by more than twice what we predicted! We doubled our trucks from 3 to 6 and increased our staff to 20 people. We have the best moving crews in town and a very low turnover rate with our movers, even during our busy season. We are proud of our safety record and we have had no notable injuries or worker’s compKathleen claims. We have had no Department of Transportation (DOT) violations and passed our first DOT audit with flying colors!


Q
: What was the hardest part for you when you completely reinvented your life and became a franchisee?

Kathleen: It was difficult to leave a very satisfying job with great pay, benefits, and retirement and head into the unknown, especially into an industry I had absolutely no experience in! I left my family, friends, church, and my life in Michigan to launch a new career with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. At my stage of life, most people are focusing on retirement and winding down their work career. I took a risk and invested my retirement into this franchise, but I’ve never looked back! I believed in the brand and my ability to successfully bring the brand to the Virginia Beach area, so I was willing to take a leap of faith. That’s how strongly I believed in this opportunity and my purpose within it!


Q: What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about leaving a career (one they are comfortable with and are used to for so many years!) to go franchising?

Kathleen: Well, it’s not for the faint of heart! But, there really is less risk than it might seem at first. The brand is known and trusted and the support system is already in place. There is assistance to help get you started and other franchisees are absolutely invaluable in their willingness to share their experiences and expertise. Franchisees are a tremendous resource; however, you should do your homework and be sure you have weighed all the various factors and life changes this may entail. If you are ready for something new, exciting, and very rewarding, I highly recommend you take the plunge!


Q: What are your plans or goals (for your franchise or franchising in general) for 2015? What about your five-year goals?

Kathleen: Obviously, our goal is to grow sales in our Virginia Beach location and continue to develop brand recognition. There is great potential in this market and our intention is to continue grabbing market share. Our five-year goal is to purchase another franchise either in this area or in another East Coast state.

 

The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise system is the largest, fastest-growing moving franchise in the country. Did Kathleen’s story intrigue you? Be sure and check out twomenandatruckfranchising.com for additional information on how franchise opportunities can advance your career.