This is a guest blog post by Randy Shacka, president of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.
This time of year provides a moment to reflect on our blessings and to plan for an impactful year ahead in 2013. This past year, we were fortunate to have hired, trained, and retained some of the best talent available in the moving service industry and in November, achieved our 36th straight month of growth, with 20 of these being record months for our system.
As president of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, it’s my responsibility to put into motion our plan for 2013, and one of the elements which is constant from year-to-year is the importance of cause marketing.
This passion stems from our founder, Mary Ellen Sheets, who has spent much of her life volunteering and giving both monetary donations and time to help better other people’s lives. In fact, in Mary Ellen’s first year of business, she profited only $1,000. She certainly could have used the money for new office equipment or truck improvements, but instead, she decided to give $100 each to 10 different local charities as a way of thanking the community that supported her new business. Her strong commitment to giving back is truly part of the DNA of our company.
Today, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® donates 10 cents of every move to the American Cancer Society, and over the years, we’ve donated more than $400,000 to that cause.
Five years ago, we began a collection of Mother’s Day gifts for women living in domestic abuse shelters, and today, the Movers for Moms® program has been adopted by more than 100 of our franchisees. Last year, we collected more than 116,000 items for women in 27 states!
This year, we began a program called Movers for Military® to collect items for our armed forces veterans in need, and we proudly delivered more than 15,000 items to veterans homes this past Veteran’s Day.
These examples are not shared to be boastful. Rather, we share them to show how a dedicated effort can take the smallest, simplest idea and turn it into a real difference-maker for your local communities.
Here are some reasons why you might consider cause marketing as part of your 2013 plans:
- Champion a cause. Whether it is helping to reduce poverty or providing valuable resources like mentoring a child, there is often a greater demand than communities are able to deliver. As a business owner, it is important to support causes and organizations that are near and dear to you. You want to be involved in something that you believe in and can get behind. For example, The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates that in the United States, more than 105,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, while 1.5 million more are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty or lack of support. In Florida alone, as many as 19,000 veterans are homeless annually. This was the catalyst for our Movers for Military program and in just its first year, we are making a real difference statewide.
- Humanize your company. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we are known for being the “Movers Who Care®.” We don’t approach that as simply a marketing slogan, we live out our core values every day. We believe this attitude is what drives us and allows us the opportunity to succeed. In this active role, we represent the human faces behind our stick-figure logo, which reveals a wide array of wonderful employees that make our company what it is today. We are much, much more than a moving company and we show that by our involvement within our communities at-large.
- Establishing a sub-brand can set you apart. In an effort to focus on our consumer-centric approach and differentiate ourselves further from our competition, we began using the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® slogan – “Movers Who Care” – as a guide for everything we do in the community. Our programs took on brands of their own — Movers for Moms, Movers for Military, Moved to Care, etc. These sub-brands provide the community with an easy-to-understand concept of our mission with each, and as a result, we have more success in our collections and efforts.
- New relationships are built. Whether it is a franchise-driven day of service or group outing to build a Habitat for Humanity home, we grow and learn from each other by sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone and doing what it takes to make a lasting impact. Last December, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® helped students at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, IL load and deliver a truck full of “Angel Tree” gifts for 250 families in need before Christmas. This resulted in a wonderful partnership with the school and a chance for our team to work with our future community leaders and workers.
- Together, we make a difference. The adage, “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’,” remains as true as it ever was. Mary Ellen has always said, “All of us are smarter than one of us” and we believe that if we continue to stay true to our community service that is the foundation of our business, then we can accomplish great things in partnership.
- It’s the right thing to do. Your local community supports your business and this is not a one-way street. Provide support back in equal measure and your business success, employee morale, and community relationships will grow.
It’s your move.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the largest franchised moving company in North America. It includes 230 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.