Two Men and a Truck Franchise Truck
Published May 27, 2021

Two Men and a Truck Succeeds Where Other Franchise Companies Fail

How they deliver on satisfaction, trust, and values by being intentional

Randy Shacka, president of Two Men and a Truck, talked with FBR’s founder and CEO, Eric Stites about what it is they do to keep their franchise partners so satisfied, starting with setting expectations with candidates as the foundation for strong relationships and asking for feedback in order to continue to change and grow. Clearly, it works. Two Men and a Truck has been a Top Franchise for franchisee satisfaction since 2006.

Watch the Interview: 

 

Eric Stites: You guys have an amazing story. Two Men and a Truck has been on our awards list for 15+ years. Obviously, you guys have great franchisee satisfaction. I have two questions in there: What do you guys do differently that keeps your franchise partners so satisfied?

Randy Shacka: It’s hard to believe it’s 15 years, consistently being mentioned or ranked. One of our most impactful ways to get feedback is through the Franchise Business Review survey that’s done. It’s independent. It’s completely up to franchisees to complete. To continue to get the feedback we do helps us continue to change and grow.

As we look back, some of the things that we focus on or try to make sure we’re continually talking about with our teams internally is that it starts with trust. When you’re working in franchising, it’s about that relationship you build each and every day with everyone involved in the brand.

You have to be genuinely intentional with building a relationship with folks and being that trusted adviser when there’s a question.

You have to be genuinely intentional with building a relationship with folks and being that trusted adviser when there’s a question. Or when there’s a situation that we haven’t run into before, that they think of our teams first to pick up the phone and call. That’s why we’re there, to help consult and help continue to grow Two Men and a Truck.

Trust is important. It’s one of the things we have to talk about. You’ve also got to do what you say you’re going to do. That’s something that we pride ourselves on when we’re working with franchisees – responding back quickly.

Second to trust is value. There’s a reason people buy into a brand or buy into franchising as a model itself – is to grow something. We want to reaffirm that decision every day for somebody that’s going to invest their livelihood or put their faith in the brand like Two Men and a Truck.

We’re continuing to develop our skill sets, develop our programs, our projects, new services that are going to bring value back to somebody that’s going to come in and invest into our system.

Lastly, it’s appreciation. It goes a long way. If anything, 2020 taught us the value of time. Second, you’ve got to stay positive. We sent out so many correspondences recognizing great things that are happening in the operation.

We sent over a thousand letters or emails this past year. You never know what one message or one simple email may do to somebody’s trajectory for that day.

When you look at what we try to strive for, it’s being that trusted adviser. It’s focusing on value and what we’re bringing every day and, at the end of the day, showing appreciation and empathy for what goes on in a small business each and every day from the sheer hard work it takes to run one of the franchises.

 

Putting Promises into Action

Eric: The second part of that question is: You guys have been in the franchise world a while and very active in the International Franchise Association.

When we look back at what Franchise Business Review does and the elite group of companies that show up on our awards list year after year after year, a lot of franchise leaders talk about satisfaction and trust and values and all this stuff. Very few are successful in delivering on that.

When you think about what you guys are doing, is there anything unique about how you’re delivering on that? Where do you think other companies fail, or don’t make it?

Randy: I don’t know how we’ve learned this, but it’s been through a lot of the storms we faced in business over the years. You have to be intentional, waking up each day wanting to work on it, wanting to be aware of what our franchisees are going through.

You have to be intentional with your communication. Gosh, 2020 taught us the value of not just being consistent with communication but being able to connect even in a virtual environment. You can’t always be reactive to try and get things done.

You have to do your best, try to overcome. Yeah, there’s going to be fires you have to go put out each day and respond to, but you also have to be proactive with the strategy and your convictions and your principles of what you’re going to do, whether it be for that day, that week, or that month.

That’s something we’re very proud of as a team – we’re very intentional with clearly defining what those priorities are going to be, but also making sure every day we’re busy working on projects. At our corporate team, we’ve got 190‑plus folks working every day, but you can get really busy caught up in projects and forget, “Hey, oh my gosh, we just did several thousand moves today. How did we do on those? What did we run into? What issues did franchisees need to overcome?” 

The lesson we’ve learned is, yeah, talk is out there, but most importantly, it’s your behaviors and making sure you’re doing what you say you’re going to do.

The thing I love about the survey and everything we get from Franchise Business Review is the feedback…. We take that and we learn from it and we listen and we respond to it.

The thing I love about the survey and everything we get from Franchise Business Review is the feedback. It’s unintentional. It’s nothing on us. It’s a third‑party survey that goes out. We take that and we learn from it and we listen and we respond to it.

It’s probably the simple but not easy message to say, “Yeah, we’re going to do this. We’re going to put this project out there. We’re going to listen, and we’re going to communicate.”

Then the hard work comes when you actually have to do it, especially during times of distress. That’s something we’re very proud of – we focus there first. We welcome the challenge. That’s what makes us better. We don’t run from it. I think our franchisees appreciate that.

 

Setting Expectations with Candidates

Eric: That leads really well into my next question about hard work. Obviously, what you guys do at corporate is amazing to help support your franchisees. As small business owners, franchisees, it’s hard work to operate a small business.

A lot of people, I think, are attracted to small business ownership. They know business owners in their life that have been very successful. They see the lifestyle that they have. It’s easy to be like, “Yeah, I want to own a business, too.” They don’t necessarily realize how hard that is to pull off.

When you’re talking to candidates, and especially when you’re talking about a Two Men and a Truck franchise, moving is a complicated thing. It’s an emotional thing. I’m sure there’s a lot that can go wrong in a move.

How do you set expectations with candidates to be like, “Yes, this is a great business model and a great business to own, but it does require a lot of hard work.”?

Randy: Like you mentioned, it starts right up front during the candidate experience with Two Men and a Truck and going through that discovery process of folks discovering all about Two Men and a Truck and us, at the same time, discovering who this individual is.

We’re very, I’ll use that word again, intentional with being up front and making sure they understand what they’re getting into, what franchising is. There’s pros and cons of franchising, just like there’re pros and cons of a lot of different business models out there.

It starts with that clear communication to talk through that and say, “Yep, there’s going to come a time or there’s going to be a situation where you might not be happy with corporate or a decision that’s coming down.”

It’s on us to be able to explain why. At the end of the day, can we continue to move forward and continue to work on the brand? “How would you respond to a situation if this happened?” We talk through that.

It’s important to have those conversations early to help clarify some potential scenarios that may come up based on our experience. Over time, to say, “How would you handle this?” It’s going to be challenging. There’s going to be tough days. Like you mentioned, sometimes people see somebody in a business and they think they’ve always been there.

They forget they started with the initial first year of operation that’s been challenging, and they had to go through so much. They still have to manage so much responsibility and risk and working with people every day. We try to educate them on the challenges.

Secondly, we encourage them to talk to as many franchisees in our system as we possibly can. There’s an important reason for that, from building camaraderie with a network of franchisees but also asking them what they love about working within the system. As being a business owner, what are they challenged with the most on a daily basis?

We always say, “Hey, all things said and done, would you do it again?” That’s a validating question to ask somebody that’s been in our system 10, 15, 20 years to say, “Yeah, all things considered, the ups and downs of business, are you feeling that fulfillment? Also, would you do it again?”

From that, we work with our experience. We’re very data‑driven at Two Men and a Truck, too, sharing objective information as we’re going along, as they’re opening their office to look at objectable goals that are out there.

To challenge them in the same way but also use our history to our advantage to say, “Yeah, here’s some standards that we see first 6 months, first 12 months based on your market. Based on what you’re projecting, your experience, what do you think you could do?” It’s that conversation. That leads to us putting those goals on paper and working our tails off to go achieve it.

We don’t sell anything at Two Men and a Truck. It’s all about transparency. It’s sharing the genuine challenges. It’s letting others be the voice, too, for Two Men and a Truck International, which is the franchisees and what they’re doing.

We don’t sell anything at Two Men and a Truck. It’s all about transparency. It’s sharing the genuine challenges. It’s letting others be the voice, too, for Two Men and a Truck International, which is the franchisees and what they’re doing.

Hopefully that individual can take all that information and say, “Yep, this is what I’m looking for. I understand it. I also know here’s what we want to set out for the year or six months, whatever that time frame’s going to be for the goals we’re going to set. Now let’s go after it.

Eric: You guys do some great work. Congrats on that and look forward to watching you accomplish what you’re going to accomplish in the next 10 or 15 years.

Randy: We appreciate all your support and everything you’ve done to create the mechanisms to get better. Ultimately, I look at that: It’s building relationships, but it’s also taking feedback with what you help provide.

That’s so important to us because it’s truly great feedback we can take and learn from, especially from our franchisees that are, as you said, working so hard every day. If they take the time to fill out a survey or give feedback or through the recognition of what you help share with franchise brands, we’re all better for it. We appreciate your help, too.

Eric:  Thank you. That was great, Randy. I appreciate it. 

Read these case studies to learn more about the creative approaches Two Men and a Truck have implemented: 

Making Moves that Delight Customers and Franchisees: How Two Men and a Truck uses a data-driven approach to providing top-notch franchisee support and, in turn, attracting high quality leads.

Thinking Outside the [Moving] Box: What the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK development team did to differentiate the brand, attract quality candidates, and accelerate the sales process.


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About the Author: Ali Forman

As the Marketing Director, Ali’s role is to educate franchise companies about and inspire them to participate in FBR’s research in order to grow and improve their brands. Ali lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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