Leading moving services franchise keeps core values in mind in face of exploding growth.
With month-over-month growth for five-and-a-half years, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has established itself as the franchise to watch in not just the moving industry, but in the overall service industry.
Celebrating 30 years in business, the leaders of the company have continued to evolve the system to remain cutting-edge – this includes adding a call center at the home office, investing in a technology team to create its own proprietary software and investing in its people with ongoing training and support.
“We really feel that every year, we have to get better and better,” said Brig Sorber, CEO and one of the original “two men.” “We want our customer satisfaction and referral rate to continue going up, we want to keep growing steadily, we want to make sure our franchises are more profitable than the year before, we want our vendors working with us to continue to be more profitable, and we want to make sure that we are giving back more and more each year to local communities across the U.S. If we do that more and more each year, then the brand will take care of itself.”
Sorber has been through it all since he began working the trucks with his brother Jon. As his mother, Mary Ellen Sheets, continued to grow the business, she suggested her daughter start the first franchised location in Atlanta. Melanie Bergeron didn’t quite know what she was doing as the first franchisee, but she figured out how to be successful through trial and error. Bergeron is currently the chair of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, as well as the chair of the International Franchise Association.
In her current role helping emerging franchisors begin franchising, she taps into her 30 years of knowledge from success with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. She ultimately credits the company’s success to something they haven’t changed in 30 years – living out their core values.
“When management came in from outside our family, my biggest concern was that our core values and mission statement would be lost, but the company’s leadership has embraced it even more and helped to build a healthy culture,” Bergeron said.
The core purpose is to move people forward, and the core values include Integrity, giving back to the community, care, being your best and having fun, inclusion and THE GRANDMA RULE® - to treat everyone the way you would want your grandma to be treated.
Perhaps that down-to-earth mentality plays into the brand’s success. President Randy Shacka refers to the company as a relatively small player in the grand scheme of things, yet its willingness to improve is helping it grow larger each and every year.
“I think the constant need to change and reinvent the brand – whether in economic good times or bad – and to focus on our people and provide careers for our people has helped us to continue to do well,” Shacka said. “Our philosophy to move people forward is all about opportunity, more growth, a stronger brand. We aren’t trying to be powerful, we are simply focusing on our people and our customers. By doing this, we have exploded over the last couple of years.”
Thirty-six percent of brand franchisees came from frontline staff (customer service representatives and managers) and 75 percent of the managers came off the trucks as movers and drivers. As the trend continues and the brand grows, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s home office staff and franchisees are inspired to grow their employees to make a career in the moving industry, not just have a job at a location. Many franchisees and managers have been groomed through the system, transferring to different locations or becoming partners with former bosses to grow their careers and experience the company’s success as location owners.
What’s most impressive is how the same themes are spotlighted no matter who on the executive team you speak to – an aligned front going after the same goals is a powerful message.
“Every time we are thrown a curve ball, we have conquered it,” said Jeff Wesley, CFO of the company. “We have diversified the model and invested in ways to do that, staying focused on our core, and looking for ways to serve customers differently. We have developed strategies to help our system and help our customers. By creating the new call center, we are leveraging home office to help the entire system.”
Wesley, Shacka, Sorber and Bergeron each truly come off as humble, blessed and working for the overall betterment of the system and for their customers. A value-driven team, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is a hard company to compare to because it’s the only company that has those exact people both up top in the board room and down on the trucks.