Trucks, Talent & Tech: Growing the Brand

Written by Dawn KroegerGrowth blog 1

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc. growth is not expected and certainly not taken for granted. Growth is thoughtfully planned, purposefully funded, and aggressively executed. 2013 was an outstanding year for franchise revenue growth among established locations; it was also a notable period for franchise development, specifically related to the record number of franchises added to the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® footprint.

The company ended 2013 with 18.8 percent growth over 2012, with revenues exceeding $310,000,000. This significant progress follows the upward trend of 31 consecutive months of double-digit growth, 33 being historical records. Additionally, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® expanded into three states – Oregon, Maryland, Virginia – and into the District of Columbia.

Top 2013 milestones include:

• Market growth: A result of heavy investment, the brand leveraged a new market opportunity and opened locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

• Job growth: The successful launch of the inaugural TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Career Move Month focused on securing 10,000 new applicants into the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system while showcasing the organization offers much more than a job – a lifelong career. This effort added more than 600 employees in April alone.

• Corporate office growth: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® announced the receipt of a $355,000 grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to support its $7,000,000 investment in corporate office expansion by 20,000 square feet.

• Brand growth: Career Move Month garnered national attention for creating jobs in a challenging economic climate. New recruits were featured on Fox & Friends.

• Charitable giving growth: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s Movers for Moms® program, which provides gifts for moms living in shelters on Mother’s day, collected more than 210,000 items. The brand’s signature cause marketing effort increased 2012’s donation total by nearly 90,000 items.

• Capacity growth: To keep up with increased demand, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations added more than 400 trucks to fleets across the country.

growth blog 2This year promises to be another period of multi-facted growth. Fourteen new franchise locations are slated to open in the first quarter alone, and important investments in technology and talent will be keystones in its 2014 story, along with a grand opening of the corporate office’s new expansion taking place mid-year. And lastly, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® looks forward to completing the 5 millionth move the spring of 2014!

 

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.

Vote for your favorite talent from the truck!

Participate by voting for your favorite video and win $250!

TFT_FBCoverphoto

Our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® frontline staff is a talented group of individuals! By submitting videos of their special talents, now you can see for yourself! Not only can they magically move your giant couch through a small doorway, but they can juggle, sing, play guitar, and do an aerial performance, just to name a few.

We’ve received a number of outstanding entries for the contest, and now it’s time for you to choose a winner!

Between Monday, January 27 and Monday, February 17, all voters can vote once per day and will automatically be entered into a random drawing to receive $250. The more times you vote, the better your chances are for winning!

Vote for your favorite talent on our Facebook app.

Abundant management opportunities showcased during Managers Moving Forward week

Written by Hannah Conlin

Move forward with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®!

MMFW FB cover photoAs TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® continues its impressive growth, the company is continuously searching for qualified management staff to lead our frontline employees. Mangers Moving Forward week will educate job-seekers about the kind of managerial-level positions which are available, will celebrate the individuals who are currently in leadership roles, and will highlight the open management opportunities at many of our franchise locations across the country. Let’s take a look at two of our managers and their professional journeys at the company.

Ashley Skaggs

Throughout her career at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, Ashley Skaggs has held a whopping nine titles. In 2005, Ashley learned of an open receptionist position at the Lansing, Mich. office and decided to apply. Soon after, Ashley transitioned to the role of customer service representative and then eventually after hours team lead. In 2010, Ashley became the sales support manager for Home Office.

Stepping higher into another managerial role in December 2013, Ashley is now the general manager of the Lansing franchise where she oversees 42 movers and 11 office team members. Ashley leads the daily operations of the franchise, manages the sales, marketing, finance, and operations departments, and ultimately drives the franchise’s revenue growth and overall success.

During the course of her journey, Ashley knew she never wanted to stop seeking new opportunities for professional growth; she also wanted to continue propelling TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® toward even more success.

“Three guiding principles by which I live have proven to be key to reaching my goals: Never think something is out of your reach. Keep pushing what you believe in. Put yourself out there by taking calculated risks.” - Ashley Skaggs

Bert Kolz

Bert Kolz is the president of the entrepreneurial company Black Wolf Group, where he currently oversees eight TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise operations in Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota. Black Wolf Group is an organization which puts customer service at its forefront, making TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and the group a perfect marriage. Bert came into the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family in 2012 with extensive management experience as the director of e-commerce at the clothing company, Lands-End, and as the director of e-marketing at W.W. Grainger. With his higher-level expertise, he has aided in the expansion of the brand and its record-setting productivity.

Throughout the eight locations, there are six general managers who began their TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® careers as movers and drivers. Bert prefers to hire from within the company.

“The training which TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® provides — the systems, the support, and the way in which employees believe in and live the core values — are attractive.” Bert Kolz

 Whether you come into the company as a mover or driver and make your way up or enter as manager, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a place for you. We believe in hiring both from within our system and from without. We are a growing company not just in our trucks and increased customer satisfaction, but in our employees who help to make this happen. Apply today to become a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® manager!

Pack and Protect Christmas Decorations

Written by Cait Quinn

The holidays are over just as fast as they arrive, and we can all agree cleaning up and tearing down after the festivities, food, and family gatherings is one of the last things you want to tackle. Make the packing process a breeze this year with these decoration packing and organizing tips. You can return to relaxing in no time.

1.    Get everyone involved – Packing up Christmas goes by much quicker with some helping hands! Choose a time when your family can get involved, and incentivize the crew with dinner or a movie afterwards. Post-packing plans will also give everyone something fun to look forward to!

2.    Organize – Start by separating your decorations. This can be by category, such as outside and inside decorations, by room (living room, kitchen, and childrens’ rooms), or by the order in which you bring out the decorations. For instance, if your family usually strings lights right after Thanksgiving with the tree the following week, you can sort the decorations in that order and number each box for maximum time-saving. Choose the order that makes the most sense for your holiday habits.

Christmas lights organization3.    Storage – Once your holiday décor and related materials are sorted, boxing them up should be quick. We recommend using the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dishpack box to store gift-wrapping supplies. The full instructions to utilize the box are here.

When packing lights and garlands, take extra care since they tend to tangle easily. Try using an old paper towel roll or a piece of cardboard and wrap the lights around it, then label the shelf where the lights are placed. And speaking of reusing wrapping scraps …

Christmas ornment organization4.    Recycle! – There are many ways to use all the leftover wrapping paper and boxes from the year. One simple way to pack Christmas tree ornaments is to wrap them in used wrapping paper or bubble wrap and nestle them in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dishpack box. The paper will protect ornaments and the special dividers keep them separated. Did anyone in your household get new shoes for Christmas? Use the silica gel packets that come inside shoe boxes to place inside your Christmas decoration boxes. They keep the humidity out and allow your decorations to last even longer.

5.    Label, label, label – Nothing is more frustrating than searching through box after box looking for one specific item. Make this process less stressful and save yourself some time next holiday season labeling items found in each box!

Do you have any great decoration packing tips to share? Leave a comment below and let us know. Have more to pack? TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is here to move you forward with tips and answers to your packing challenges.

We hope you enjoyed this holiday season with your family. Blessings to you in the New Year!

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® wapping station: Wrap presents like a pro

Written by Claire Schneider

You’ve conquered the holiday shopping deals and rocked your way through your shopping list. Now it’s time for the handsome task of wrapping all the presents. But first you have to go through the tedious process of gathering and digging through totes to access your trove of holiday wrapping supplies. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an inexpensive way to keep all of your wrapping supplies easily accessible when needed but also properly stored during the rest of the year?

Creating a wrapping station is an excellent way to both be ultra-organized and recycle old TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® moving boxes. You’ll be happy you kept all supplies in one place when you find yourself rushing to wrap all the presents before your family finds them!

Our dish pack is the perfect size to house all your materials, including wrapping paper. When wrapping presents, the wrapping station provides designated areas for all of your items including tape, scissors, wrapping paper, ribbons, tissue paper, etc. Once you’ve added the final touches onto that last gift, you can move the station to storage until next year.

Wrapping stationMaterials
• TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dish pack
• Dish cells
• Wrapping supplies

Creating your wrapping station
1) Tape the bottom of the dish pack.
2) Remove the top flaps, then adhere festive duct tape to those rough edges.
3) Assemble the dish cells. Consider the size of your items. I suggest creating smaller sections on the outside and choose a wider middle section.
4) Add your items!

Safety bonus alert: Creating a deluxe wrapping station will help streamline the wrapping process and prevent the loss of scissors in a pile of ribbons.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® gives thanks

Written by Claire Schneider

Thanksgiving is almost here, and the holiday season is a perfect time to pause from our busy lives to give thanks. All of us here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® have so much to be thankful for. We experienced an amazing year, and we couldn’t have done it without our family, friends, and the wonderful support and teamwork of our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® community. We created a video thanking everyone for all the opportunities and love we have received this year. Enjoy the video and have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Preparing home for the holidays

Written by Claire Schneider

I love this time of year! Everyone is cheerfully awaiting the holidays, sitting by a fire, drinking hot cocoa, and making plans to spend cherished time with loved ones.  Unfortunately, with all the excitement enters stress, especially if you’re playing host or hostess. Don’t fret; I’ve come up with some inspiration ideas for getting your home holiday ready.

Exuberant entry

Fall WreathThe front entry really sets the festive tone of your home. Adding a few potted evergreen plants beside a door truly makes an entry more inviting. The added benefit of potted evergreens are their ability to transcend more than a single holiday. Display the plants for Thanksgiving, then add a strand of lights and ornaments for a whole new look for Christmas. A wreath is also a nice and simple decoration to add. There are myriad styles and themes of wreaths out there, too! This year I decided to tap into my creative side and make my own. If you love crafts like me, it is simple to make customize your wreath. I visited my local arts and crafts store, selected a medium-sized, plain wreath, and selected little items I could apply with my hot glue gun. It was a wonderful feeling seeing it take shape, and I placed it on our door for the neighborhood to behold.  I also plan to make another for Christmas.

HolidayFrontEntryIt’s important to recreate the warmness of the entry in your foyer. If you live in a colder climate, clear a space in the coat closet for guests. Designate an area where visitors can place their wet shoes, and provide a basket for mittens and hats. This will help you maintain a tidy and organized entry while you entertain. Music is also an essential component of the holiday atmosphere, engaging one of your guests’ key senses. Power up your iPod and select a favorite holiday playlist as  guests enter the party, grab a glass of cheer, and mingle with each other.

Genuinely gifted

HolidayEntryTreeAs we all know the holidays are a time for giving in every sense of the word. A unique way to welcome guests is to set out a decorative bowl filled with small gifts. You can incorporate the gifts into your décor by wrapping them in festive wrapping or patterned paper from a stationary store. Gifts could be tiny boxes of candy, cards, mini games, small gift cards, and puzzles. If you have adequate space, place a small tree on a table and surround it with the gifts. This will be a pleasant surprise your visitors weren’t expecting.

Delightful de-clutter

Now that your guests have been awed by the grand entrance and are working their way to the main living space, ensure they are comfortable. De-cluttering your home may seem overwhelming, but by setting aside an hour to go through the main rooms of your home, your guests will feel the serenity of the space.  Rid the gathering rooms of unnecessary items and be sure there is enough sitting room and walkways for guests to chat and relax. Since the holidays are a time of giving, it is the perfect time to donate any unwanted items.

Festive feast

HolidayCenterPieceWhen setting the holiday table, be mindful of the details.  I love including candles to my centerpieces since they provide a warm and intimate ambience.  One of my favorite centerpiece ideas is to place candles in vases, lining the edges with acorns. I did this for Thanksgiving one year, and it was a simple project which produced rave reviews from my guests.  As the Christmas season commences, spruce up the centerpiece ornaments around the base of the vases. If you are arranging a formal place setting, spruce it up adding holly or greens. You can also transform an pine cone or ornament into name card holders. Taking a few extra minuets will show your visitors you care and are glad they’re celebrating with you.

HolidayPlaceSettingHolidayplacesetting2

Blissful bathroom

The guest bath and powder room are perfect places to infuse a little merriment.  The addition of seasonally scented candles, a small poinsettia plant, and other little touches will drastically transform the room. Remember to replace old towels with festive, new ones and clear the counter of unnecessary items. I also love having a small basket of toiletries on the counter in the event your guests forget to pack important items.

By taking a little initiative to focus on key areas of your home, your holiday event will indeed be one to remember. For even more holiday inspiration, follow us on Pinterest.

Planning a move with kids? 5 ideas to turn packing into a game

Guest blog written by Marlena Stoddard

Moving with KidsMoving is a grueling process, especially when little ones are involved. Abrupt changes might make them feel unsettled, so it’s important to create a seamless transition. To accomplish a smooth shift, simply transform packing into a series of engaging games. You and your kids will remember moving as a fun and special time spent together by infusing fun into the process. The five ideas below can rapidly streamline a family relocation.

“I Spy”

This verbal identification game is an effective method for taking stock of possessions. It is also an opportunity to hone communicative descriptions, and it allows kids to keep tabs on the evolving situation. Furthermore, it can be used to keep track of what has been packed and what hasn’t, which is particularly useful for the next activity.

Scavenger hunt

Distracted children can become diligent assistants in no time. Kids will benefit when their parents orchestrate a treasure hunt, and everything they collect strikes an item off the packing list. If played directly after I Spy, the child will have a memory of each item’s location. Just remember to hide all hazardous objects before letting them roam around.

Hide and Seek

Turn excess clutter into a game. The entertainment aspect of hide and seek can provide much-needed quiet time to assess each stage of moving. Make sure only safe compartments are accessible, and then let the kids show off their ability to remain invisible. Remember to keep the game fun and exciting by not having them hide for long periods of time.

Basketball

Non-perishable items can be quickly rounded up with a make-shift game of basketball. For example, a laundry basket can collect any clothing that might be lingering. In the same fashion, stuffed animals can also be swiftly thrown into a suitcase. This game can rapidly clear out a home, and it is a perfect way to prepare boxes to be put in an extra storage space unit.

2 minute race

Avoid a traumatic upheaval by packing a separate overnight bag with all of the kid’s sentimentally essential belongings. A child knows best what he or she needs, so devise a fast-paced game to encourage a quick collection of the child’s favorite toys. Observing the selections can provide invaluable insight into the interests of your kids, and the task can efficiently maintain basic comforts while adjusting to the new home.

With the previously mentioned games, any wise parent can reduce the struggles of moving. These five games will calm any child and impart lasting security to usher them through the busy change in location.

About the Author: Marlena Stoddard writes on organization and decor. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and 2 children. When she isn’t spending time with her family or writing, Marlena enjoys running, cooking, and reading.  For more on Marlena, you can follow her on Google+.

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.

Halloween safety tips

Halloween week is finally here! Now that you have the perfect Halloween costume  it’s time to make sure your family has a safe and happy Halloween night. We gathered some valuable safety tips with the help of Mayo Clinic and safekids.org. By following these tips you and your family will have a Halloween to remember.

halloween-safety-tipsWalk Safely

• Cross the street at corners, obeying traffic signals and using crosswalks.

• Look left, right, and left again when crossing and stay aware as you cross.

• Put electronic devices away and keep your head up as you walk across the street. Do not run.

• Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.

• Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to

the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

• Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treating

• Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision.

• Stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

• Encourage older kids to trick-or-treat with a group of friends, parents, or older siblings.

• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. If your child will be trick-or-treating without you, establish a route and set a curfew.

• Teach your kids to approach only clearly lit homes and advise them to never go inside a home.

• You may want to give your child a cell phone for the evening should he or she need to contact you.

Keep Costumes both Creative and Safe

• Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, use light colors.

• Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

• When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive with Extra Caution on Halloween

• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

• Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs.

• Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

• Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

• Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Candy Galore

• Inspect treats carefully and don’t let your child snack while he or she is trick-or-treating. Discard anything that isn’t sealed, has torn packaging, or looks questionable.

• Ration the loot. Instead of letting kids eat all the candy at once, dole out a few pieces at a time.

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.