Owner of seven TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® territories sheds light on making the leap to franchise owner.
Mike Lally has been with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for more than 12 years since purchasing his first franchise in 2004. Lally now boasts a large ownership portfolio, with seven territories and more than 250 employees. He attributes the success he has seen with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to the talent he employs, who are trained to always put the customers first so their experience with his movers is top-notch.
What was your perspective about franchising prior to joining?
Before TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® I was very ignorant about the process of franchising and what it really meant to be a business owner through franchising. I always thought franchising was based on a McDonald’s concept, which means you have a model that you replicate and can essentially be effective anywhere. I thought the success was based on location, consistency, and how the product is delivered to people. I’ve since learned that effort from the franchisee is a key component. The franchisee has to believe they have a meaningful product or service, based on the conditions in the economy and the market and within the population they are serving.
What is the top thing you think people don't understand about franchising?
Most people don’t understand that franchises are locally owned. The franchisee lives in the area and is supporting the local economy. The franchise is a small business, they’re local, and the employees are local. The franchisee, in turn, spends locally to support their business with supplies from other local business owners who impact the local economy.
How has being a franchisee changed your life?
Becoming a franchisee has changed my life dramatically. I’ve been in the system for 12 years and owning a business for that long has really shown me the amount of effort that goes into starting and successfully running a business. I have learned a lot about responsibility and holding myself accountable to those that rely on me.
I am the world’s greatest grunt – I will outwork and put in more effort than anyone. I have tremendous respect for the physical work TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® does in the field, which is critical to the success of our company. I felt that opening TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® would be best because in my life the technology is not going to change. That means folks aren’t going to be able to beam furniture from one place to another. I believe that moving is always going to involve people physically picking up furniture and people’s prized-possessions. I knew that by opening TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and hiring the right people, we could work to be the best moving company and deliver on the promises we make to our clients. By following those guidelines, we were always going to have a place in the market.
What types of other brands did you look at?
I did not look at any other brands. I looked at individual businesses but they were completely different.
Why should someone buy TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?
Folks looking to buy a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise should do so because the company’s core values are different from any other company in our industry. The values are very clear and we promote them throughout our system – we are expected to live them and we do. That really is what has inspired me more than anything else during the 12 years; we are trying to make a difference in what we do. The industry in general did not take care of the public; there was very little focus on the customer service and experience. With TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® it is about the experience for the customers and that’s what sets us apart.
What advice would you have for someone looking to become a franchisee?
Make sure the franchise you’re looking at aligns with your personal values and that you’re able to do the work over a long period of time and enjoy it. If a potential franchisee is just focusing on the bottom line, it will be their biggest downfall. If they focus on what they’re actually doing, the day-to-day, the end result will take care of itself.