This is a guest blog post by Jon Sorber, Executive Vice President of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.
I am one of the original two men along with my older brother, Brig Sorber. We started the business in the early 1980s in Okemos, Michigan, to earn spending money, and we’ve been there ever since. With 10 years experience as a mover and driver, and 18 years experience as a successful franchisee, I often get asked how I work with both Home Office staff and franchisees to help make TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® a powerhouse in the moving industry.
Here are some key tips I recommend for those of you contemplating a move to the franchisee world. Whether you’re seeking a career shift, a change of scenery, or to better your financial standing, please do your homework before you jump in with both feet:
1. Start with a franchise concept that interests you. It sounds simple, but some people head into franchising looking at the earning potential only. That’s an important part of the equation, but there really are no get‐rich‐quick concepts in the franchising world. Look for something you are genuinely interested in as you’ll be working hard in this field every day for years to come.
2. How well is the franchisor equipped to help? Franchisors have a lot of staff, including operations, HR, administrative, marketing, PR, franchise development, personnel, etc. But what percentage of staff is dedicated towards YOUR success versus the sale of additional franchise locations? Make sure the franchise is putting ample resources to support its existing franchisees. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, a full two thirds of our staff is dedicated to franchise support, including a team of business consultants equipped to help our franchisees excel at even the smallest daily detail of their business.
3. Ask the franchisor for a list of franchisees. Successful franchisors will be open and willing to share contacts with you across the board versus a select few, hand‐picked talking heads. Whether a large market or a smaller one, you will want to talk with a variety of franchisees — including new and established multi‐unit owners — to get a sense of their experience as a franchisee. Our entire franchise system, referred to as the Movers Who Care Network, is available to you, so that you can connect with owners throughout the United States. And while we can’t control that conversation directly, we have a fantastic rate of endorsement among existing franchisees. If the franchise you are looking at isn’t willing to share a full list, make Google Maps your friend and find operators willing to talk with you before diving in.
4. Reconcile your baseline financial goals to franchise potential. Franchise companies are limited by law to the degree in which earning potential can be marketed to potential franchisees. They are allowed to provide average annual sales for the top 25% franchise performers, which should provide a good idea of what earning potential within that system looks like. For example, the top 25% of franchises in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system average gross sales of $1.5 million per year. More details can be found here: www.twomenandatruckfranchising.com.
5. Look for a location where you want to live. After I graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1988, I accepted a loss prevention job with General Motors in Lansing, Michigan. A year later, I accepted a job at UPS in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I moved with my newlywed wife, Gabrielle. I always loved West Michigan and once I started working at UPS, I knew this would be our home. When it came time to open my own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise, Grand Rapids was where I wanted to be. As with many franchisees with either a single location or multiple locations all over the country (and world), the sky is the limit to finding the right fit for your home base.
It’s your move.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the largest franchised moving company in North America. It includes 224 locations and more than 1,400 trucks on the road. Each location is independently owned and operated and sells boxes and packing supplies. For more information, visit www.twomenandatruck.com.