Midwest natives John Flynn and Chris Willems befriended each other through their sons’ soccer team in Arizona in 2012. After four years of friendship, they decided to become business partners and open a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK location together in Tempe in 2016. Now, as the location approaches its second anniversary, the business partners have added a third franchisee, Steve Bruner, to the agreement as the team focuses on growing their operations, making a difference in the community, and caring for both their staff and customers.
As a franchisee, it’s not surprising to hear that every day tends to be a little different, but even though the process to build the business isn’t always easy, Flynn says it has been extremely fulfilling. He explains the territory they purchased had been dormant for nearly four years, so the team essentially had to build the location from scratch. He credits following the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK marketing playbook as the main driver in helping build momentum.
“My initial area of focus was operations centric,” Flynn said. “But with Steve coming on as an equity partner, and with the skill sets of the individuals we’ve brought in and developed, my focus is now more on the sales and marketing side. I’m out there developing cause marketing partners, working with Chambers, and building relationships with grass roots marketing in the area.”
As a man wearing many hats and capable of multiple roles during his two-year tenure, Flynn also handles more complex moves and deals with damage claims. However, he isn’t afraid to get out in the field and help the move manager certify drivers when needed.
“I’ll just jump on a truck with these guys and make sure training is consistent and that we are putting safe teams on the road,” Flynn said.
Although Flynn is certainly capable to help with operations needs, once Bruner joined the team, he took over operations while also focusing attention on the location’s budget and bottom line.
“Once I came in, I put time against understanding our budget and how we are spending according to the budget so that we are tightening and controlling costs to be in line with sales revenue on a monthly basis. I’ve been putting more strategy into place to drive profits and follow procedures,” Bruner said.
Bruner begins his day with a tactical operations role, ensuring they’re getting trucks out, and have staff to properly execute moves while providing the highest level of customer service.
“Once the trucks are on the road, I deal more with marketing and sales, examine the budget, and review how we are doing with our customer service ratings,” Bruner said. “I look at how we’re taking care of the customer if there is damage or an incident. I want to make sure that we recover and exceed their expectations. I look at our customer service metrics and sales metrics, and I’m laying out our long-term plan for what we need to do for the next quarter.”
In addition to having solid operations, strong revenue and providing outstanding customer service, finding and training the right employees is another key to long-term success. Therefore, Flynn has also been working on transitioning time working on HR, interviewing people and finalizing candidates.
“What’s important to us is the character of the movers and drivers we hire; you can’t train character,” Bruner said. “So we have been looking at how do we recruit based on our culture.”
And building the team culture has been an important element that keeps TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Tempe employees excited to come to work. They offer incentive programs and bonus structures, make sure they’re training the movers, drivers, and customer service representatives on an ongoing basis, hold monthly meetings and keep communication flowing to the entire staff.
“We’re actually building a business that drives incredible employment, changes people’s lives, and we are part of a company that was founded with charitable giving in mind,” Flynn said.
The Tempe team knows that if they take care of their employees and their community, then that will transfer into the customers being treated with respect and quality service.
“At the end of the day, you’re providing a service that people really need, and it’s during a stressful time in their lives,” Flynn said. “You hear horror stories about moving companies, and for me, providing the good experiences that people have with you, and building loyalty with your community makes it all worth it.”