Back-to-school shopping: Getting ready to bite the apple and not your wallet

back-to-school1“But EVERYONE has them!” If you have a child in school you’ve most likely heard these words uttered multiple times during the traditional back-to-school shopping season. The desire to fit in can cause tremendous stress on children which in turn creates an unhappy fall shopping experience. It doesn’t necessarily mean this needs to be a time of friction. We’ve compiled a few simple tips to make back-to-school shopping a fun way to end your summer while not breaking the bank.

Before setting out on the shopping excursion, set a budget for each kid, and have them list their top 10 items. This will help them to stay focused on the items they truly want instead of buying things at random. Start with the essentials, such as a backpack and school supplies, and then focus on the desired items. Recommend they buy a few items now then some a few weeks after school starts to cover everything on their list. This way you have a chance to break up the high costs and increase the chances of snagging some items on sale or clearance.

The big key to back-to-school shopping success is to stay disciplined. Stick to the budgets you agreed upon without wavering, especially if you have more than one child; otherwise, this has the potential to back fire. Also, only use cash and leave the credit cards and check books at home. This eliminates the chance of spending more money than allocated.

With juggling the costs of sporting goods, clothing, shoes, school supplies, field trips, and much more, finding those fall sales are crucial. Keep an eye on the deals at your child’s favorite stores. Some items could be 50 percent off! There are also a lot of great coupon apps out there which allow you to select your favorite stores to receive coupons and discounts on a regular basis. You can also enter which shopping center you are in to get a list of all the discounts near you.

For an opportunity to prepare an apprehensive child, get them involved in a great opportunity to give back to their community. Each year TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Lansing participates in a program called Operation Backpack with additional area businesses and organizations. This program donates school items to local children in need. This year they are aiming to pass out 1,000 back packs stuffed with school supplies.

Motivate your kids and get them excited to start their new school year by letting them shop for children whose families cannot buy them school supplies. This makes it easier for a child to understand how fortunate they are before shopping, plus the virtue of helping others.

Are your kids starting a new school? Check out our blog for tips to help with the transition!

Eight interns and a truck – Part 2

Written by Cheyenne Yost

Michael Harbert – Human Resources intern

Mike HarbertMeet Michael Harbert, a human resources intern at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc., who started his internship in early June. I met Michael during my second week here and couldn’t help but notice how professional he is. After interviewing Michael, this is what he told me about his experience after just a few weeks into the job.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?
Michael: I am a recent graduate from Hope College where I played college football. I graduated with a business management degree and went to Williamston High School.

Q: What made you apply to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?
Michael:  I was really looking for a reputable company to work for during the summer and one close to home so I could make extra money to pay off student debt and gain valuable, hands-on experience.

Q: What are your usual day-to-day tasks here at the office?
Michael: So far, my day-to-day tasks have always been varied, but a few things I’ve done so far are posting and refreshing online jobs, coordinating sales orders, and creating links and users for franchise teams. I have also done research on manual labor jobs comparing what we pay our movers and drivers to similar jobs and have researched additional information on wage deduction laws.

Q: What is your favorite TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Core Value and why?
Michael: The Grandma Rule® is my favorite Core Value. I choose The Grandma Rule® because I like the idea of treating everyone as if they were your grandmother. Always treating people with kindness and respect should come naturally for people of integrity.

Q: Who has been the best mentor or teacher for you?
Michael: Here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, I would say the entire human resources department as a whole has been involved in mentoring me, especially Staffing Support Specialist Johanna Morrisett. However, each person makes a point to teach me new things and answer any questions I have.

Q: Has the internship taught you anything about your field of study?
Michael: This internship has taught me a ton about the business world and what it takes to be a continuously growing company, that nothing is as black and white as it may seem from the outside looking in, and there are always changes that need to be made and things to be improved.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
Michael: I graduated this spring. So after the internship I will be job hunting.

Q: One goal you hope to accomplish while working here and what you hope to take away from this internship experience.
Michael: I hope through this internship I will gain more confidence in myself as a young business professional. I’m eager to gain the experience and continue growing for the future, wherever I end up.

Q: Okay, final question. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 items, what would you choose and why?

Michael:

  1. Knife – so that I can hunt and build things
  2. Sleeping Bag – so I can sleep
  3. Radio – mostly for music but also to signal for help

If you are interested in working at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® visit our careers website.

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® & Earth to Echo summer contest

Written by Claire Schneider

Submit your moving tip and enter to win Earth to Echo swag, movie package and a $100 VISA gift card!

Moving Tips ContestMoving can be difficult for anyone especially if it’s not your decision. This is the case in Relativity’s PG summer family adventure movie, Earth to Echo. Tuck, Munch and Alex, an inseparable trio, and their families are being forced to move from their homes because of highway construction project.

To help the families with their upcoming move, we at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® are hosting a summer moving tip contest! People can submit a photo and caption of their favorite moving tip for a chance to win Earth to Echo swag, 4 movie tickets, $30 concession gift card, and a $100 VISA gift card; second place Earth to Echo swag, 4 movie tickets, and a $50 VISA gift card. The moving tips can be fun and outside the box! Once you enter, be sure to promote your moving tip to increase your chances of winning. One lucky voter will win Earth to Echo swag and 4 movie tickets.

Submit your moving tip photo and caption between Monday, June 23 and Wednesday, July 9. Be sure to vote for your favorites between Thursday, July 10 and July 16.

Here’s how you can win:

Step 1: Create your moving tip

Step 2: Act out the moving tip and snap a photo

Step 3: Submit the photo and caption on TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.’s Facebook contest app

Step 4: Promote your photo entry on Facebook to gain votes! If you aren’t submitting a photo, be sure to vote for your favorite. One random voter will also receive a prize.

Step 5: Win! The photo with the most votes on July 16 will win Earth to Echo swag, 4 movie tickets, $30 concession gift card, and a $100 VISA gift card; second place Earth to Echo swag, 4 movie tickets, and a $50 VISA gift card.

Contest rules:

Photos must be of a moving tip and include a caption.

Participants must be 18 or older to enter and a U.S. resident.

All photos are to be submitted through TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.’s Facebook contest.

Employees of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® or its franchisees and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.

Click here to read the official rules.

May the best moving tip win!

Don’t miss Earth to Echo, in theaters July 2!

 

FACEBOOK, INC. DOES NOT SPONSOR OR ENDORSE, AND IS NOT IN ANY WAY AFFILIATED WITH, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK OR THE PROMOTION.

AS REQUIRED BY IRS REGULATIONS A W-9 FORM WILL BE REQUIRED FROM ALL WINNERS AND A 1099-MISC WILL BE ISSUED FOR THE 2013 TAX PERIOD.

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.

Boston Marathon and the Lone Duck

Written by Claire Schneider

As many of you may know, the Boston Marathon is Monday, April 21. We’re excited to announce Brig Sorber, our CEO and one of the original Stickmen, will be running the marathon for the first time. We are so proud Brig will be taking part in such a momentous event, especially after the devastating events of last year. Brig is very proud to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing event and be surrounded by such a remarkable community that is Boston Strong.

BrigSorberSo how does one end up running in such a prestigious race? This may be the first time Brig will be partaking in the Boston Marathon, however it’s his third marathon overall. Brig’s running career launched when he started to run 20-30 minutes, three times a week to stay in shape until his watchful doctor told him to pick it up a notch and gave him the book called “Younger at 50”. He was 46 at the time. After reading the book Brig agreed and started to push his body on the runs and realized it didn’t take much more to run farther.

“Like a rocket that takes 90% of its fuel to lift off and get to space, it only uses 10% of fuel to stay out in space. Running long distance is the same thing. Try a little harder and go to the next level.” – Brig Sorber

Brig’s good friend introduced him to New Form running. It’s a running technique where you take smaller steps and lean forward instead of back while running. He’s now run more than 1,200 miles with this new form of running and is injury free!

Brig’s love for running also turned into a stress reliever. As other CEOs will know, there’s a lot of stress that comes with running a business, especially with the pressures of managing employees and keeping a company profitable. Keeping off weight, burning stress, providing place and time to work through the challenges in his life, and meeting cool people were all good reasons for Brig to continue running.

To run in the Boston Marathon you have to qualify in another race. Qualifying for Boston is a daunting task to do and was always a stretch goal that Brig didn’t talk about for fear of failure. When Brig ran a race in Charlevoix, Mich., to qualify for Boston, he ran a 3:21:41. He needed a 3:30:00 to qualify.

“I mostly run by myself. When I do run with someone at all, it is with Jamie Adams, a co-worker. It’s wild to go from running mostly by yourself (I call myself lone duck!) to running with thousands of people. I’m really looking forward to running Boston and supporting the race after the tragedy of last year’s bombings.” – Brig Sorber

You can follow Brig during the Boston Marathon by going here and following bib number 12269.

Congratulations to our winners of the Talent from the Truck contest!

TFT_FBphotoOur Talent from the Truck contest has come to an end and we could not be happier with the results! Out of our 9 talent video entries we received more than 3,650 votes.

A big congratulations are in order for Jackie Kelly from the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Macomb who received more than 1,500 votes for her rendition of the national anthem. Jackie is going home with the grand prize of $500. Jackie has been with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for 5 years and is a marketing coordinator and CSR. Along with her volunteering her voice for University of Detroit sports, she sings with a band and is an avid karaoke lover!

We also want to congratulate Tasha from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Huntsville is our second place winner of $250 with more than 1,300 votes for her acoustic performance. Tasha has been a part of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® team for 9 years and is the Office/Sales Manager. She received her first guitar when she was 13 and has been playing at local venues for 10 years now. Tasha is joined by the other members of her band “Redheaded Stepchild” in this video.

The randomly chosen voter  is Judy Wolf winning $250!

Congratulations to all of our winners!

 

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!

The upside to college internships: Part 7

Hayley Kosloski – Customer Care

Hayley is the second intern I met prior to being hired at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Hayley and I grew up dancing together when we were young.  She is the Customer Care intern and is, and has been since our dancer days, a people person.  Her noticeable ability to communicate effectively and connect with anyone through a conversation is an asset to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®‘s customer service department.  Here is what Hayley had to say about her internship.

HayleyQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?

A:  I grew up in the Haslett/East Lansing area. I now am attending Michigan State University and will be starting my junior year there in the fall. I currently have two other jobs in addition to my internship; I’m a waitress and a dance teacher.

Q: What made you apply for an internship with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

A: I have been looking to gain experience in a more business focused position, and so when my aunt told me that TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® was looking for interns, I decided to give it a try.

Q: Can you please briefly describe your usual day-to-day tasks at the office?

A:  When I get to work the first thing I do is listen to the How’s My Driving voicemails and read through all of the Customer Care emails – that takes a while. After that I set aside time to audit job sheets. Lastly I go to the front desk to answer the phones and assist with other reception tasks.

Q: What has been the most valuable thing you have learned here so far?

A:  The most valuable thing I have learned so far is how to manage my time and get everything accomplished.  I work with Customer Care, the FBCs, Training and Development, and Human Resources, so sometimes it is a challenge to make time for everyone and everything.

Q:  Who would you say has been your best teacher or mentor here and why?

A: I have learned a lot of things from a lot of people here, but I would say that my best mentor/teacher has been Denise Drosha (Quality Control Manager).  She always goes out of her way to make sure I know exactly what to do and is always coming up with new projects and tasks for me.

Q: How do you think you will be able to apply what you learn this summer to school, future interviews/jobs or life in general?

A:  The things that I have learned so far will apply to all aspects of my life. I have learned so much about customer service and interacting with people. Being able to communicate and understand peoples’ needs is one of the most important skills to have and will help me a lot in the future.  I have also learned better time management which will help me with school, and lastly I’ve learned a lot about the way all departments work together in a successful business. This knowledge will help me with pretty much any job I get in the future.

Q:  Has your internship taught you anything about your field of study that surprised you?

A: I was surprised to find out that there are so many different departments, people, and aspects to running a successful company. The complex organization was something I was not previously familiar with.

Q: What do you believe is the best aspect of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® as a large international company?

A:  I believe the best aspect of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is that it started as a family company.  TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is now a large company, but it has strong core values, and considers them when making any and all decisions, and I think that is due to the family-feel that is still apparent throughout the company.

Q: What is one goal you hope to accomplish this summer/what do you hope to take away from your internship?

A:  I hope to walk away from this internship with a basic knowledge of what it takes to run a successful company since I hope to open one of my own someday.

If you are interested in working at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® visit our careers website.

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.

The upside to college internships: Part 6

Orlando Gillespie – Franchising Development

Coincidentally, Orlando and I attended the same high school and college, and we are now working in the same internship program. But until witnessing Orlando in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® environment, I had not seen the impressive confidence and professionalism which he displays at the office.  When I sat down with Orlando for this interview, I noticed he had a well-spoken manner  about him which will prove to be a valuable asset to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® this summer. Here is what Orlando had to say about his internship:

OrlandoQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?

A:  I am from East Lansing, Michigan, (woo woo!) and am graduating in December from Michigan State with a supply chain management degree and a minor in philosophy and law. I love sports, hockey and playing some roller hockey, watching sports, spending time on the computer, and reading.

Q: What made you apply for an internship with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

A: I have known the company since I was a kid but recently I met CEO Brig Sorber through a mutual connection, and really liked what he had to say about the company.  He told me a lot about the core values and how they like to treat everyone and it made me really want to pursue the internship.

Q: Can you please briefly describe your usual day-to-day tasks at the office?

A:  I sit in a lot of meetings with both franchisees and the corporate franchising team.  We often discuss whether or not a potential franchisee would be a good match and make decisions. I also often do research on other companies’ franchising strategies and write up a report to share with the team.

Q: What has been the most valuable thing you have learned here so far?

A:  Probably how I have been able to learn many various aspects of business, not just franchising.

Q:  Who would you say has been your best teacher or mentor here and why?

A: I would probably have to say Tom Parks, (Business Developer) because he is always providing real life examples when explaining things to me.  I like how he doesn’t glorify everything, he just tells me straight and to the point.

Q: How do you think you will be able to apply what you learn this summer to school, future interviews/jobs or life in general?

A:   I would have to just say the business skills and general knowledge I’m getting here will help me in the future, no matter what path I take.

Q:  Has your internship taught you anything about your field of study that surprised you?

A: It has taught me how important logistics and the backhaul to a system is and how much money it can save in real life situations if done right.

Q: What do you believe is the best aspect of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® as a large international company?

A:  The core values are really important; they have a great set of values that I relate to personally.  Also the value the company puts into customer service and how much all of the employees really value their work.

Q: What is one goal you hope to accomplish this summer/what do you hope to take away from your internship?

A:  A goal I have is to bring an idea to the table that will update a systematic process and that the company will continue to use my idea for years to come.

If you are interested in working at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® visit our careers website.

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.

The upside to college internships: Part 5

Emily Wesley – Accounting

Emily is one of two accounting interns here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.  My interview with her for this blog was my first opportunity to really sit down and chat with her, but with family in the company, Emily has TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in her blood. She is truly a representation of the company she grew up around.  I sat down with Emily to chat about herself and her experience here.

EmilyQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?

A:  I’m from Okemos, Michigan, and went to Okemos High School. I am now going into my junior year at Michigan State University studying accounting in the Eli Broad College. In my free time I enjoy running, shopping, spending time with friends, and playing golf.

Q: What made you apply for an internship with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

A: I got connected to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® through my dad’s position and worked here for a few previous summers.  I was told about the internship program through those connections and decided it would be a great opportunity to get experience in the accounting field.

Q: Can you please briefly describe your usual day to day tasks at the office?

A: I have spent most of my time preparing for ause tax audit, which means going through old payables searching for any possible times where we didn’t pay taxes which we should have, so that we can get them taken care of.

Q: What has been the most valuable thing you have learned here so far?

A:  Seeing how modern companies use computer software to perform their accounting is a valuable skill I didn’t learn in school books.  Having learned how to use this software will be a major plus for my resume, in class, and on future jobs.

Q:  Who would you say has been your best teacher or mentor here and why?

A: As far as a mentor, I would say my dad has been a great influence. He knows a lot about finance and has always been a great help to me.  The most helpful teacher I have had though would probably be Dena Omer, (Quality Control Manager).  She always helps guide me through things and is great about answering any questions I have.

Q: How do you think you will be able to apply what you learn this summer to school, future interviews/jobs or life in general?

A:   I’m yet to have a tax class at Michigan State, so learning hands on about real life tax problems will be a great help to me with future tax classes, as well as future jobs I might get, and talking about what I have learned to interviewers might help me land one.

Q:  Has your internship taught you anything about Accounting that surprised you?

A:  Before my internship I didn’t realize how much of a business’s accounting is done on computers. It was surprising to see how automated a lot of it is, when in school they often teach manual accounting.

Q: What do you believe is the best aspect of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® as a large international company?

A:  I love the people. Everyone is so friendly and collaborative. It is nice how there is an atmosphere that welcomes collaboration not only between team members but between departments as well.

Q: What is one goal you hope to accomplish this summer/what do you hope to take away from your internship?

A:  One goal I have is to have some of my suggestions on ways to better the accounting systems taken into account. Often times I notice little things that could be changed and I’d like to get them altered by the time I leave. Also I just want to take away a better understanding of all the different aspects and all that goes into the accounting process.

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.