You Move Me: Moving More Than Just Boxes

Launching this past April, moving company You Move Me, is one of the fasting growing businesses in franchise history, and they’re just getting started.

Generating five million dollars in revenue through a team of 22 operating franchise partners, Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO, is proud of the growth his third home service business is achieving. “With my first brand 1-800-GOT JUNK? it took a dozen years to get to five million in revenue, and with You Move Me we did it in less than eight months,” he says. Recognized for his appearance on CTV’s Undercover Boss for businesses 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and WOW-1-DAY Painting, Scudamore is dedicated to connecting with the front lines to grow his brands.

The idea to launch the moving business came to Scudamore after encountering his own moving nightmare. When he hired a reputable moving company, the movers were extremely late, disorganized, messy, and disrespectful. “Moving day is stressful as it is, and I expected everything to go well but I had guys in my house who weren’t polite and wouldn’t even take off their muddy boots,” he recalls. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 14 percent of Americans move every year; that’s 47 million people on the move at any given time. Seeing the opportunity to take this sub par industry and make it exceptional, Scudamore stepped up to the challenge.

Meeting with four of his top 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise partners, Scudamore introduced his idea of challenging the status quo of the moving industry. Unanimously loving the idea, the team’s next step was rallying the support of other franchise partners. Pitching them his idea at a conference in Chicago, Scudamore explained how they were going to revolutionize the moving industry, then asked: Who’s in? The response was immense with 46 franchise partners interested in operating a You Move Me franchise. Of these, the top 26 performers with the required capital, energy and track record were awarded a franchise.

Despite going against his own advice that franchisors should spend time learning their business’ operations before franchising, Brian set up You Move Me as a franchise from the start. The reason for this is that 1-800-GOT-JUNK? provided Scudamore with partners he knew, trusted, and who were able to provide rapid feedback on how to improve the business. “We were able to accelerate and get so much done in a short period of time, its been a successful model for us,” Scudamore says. “We cannot find a franchise that’s had a quicker launch than us. It’s the biggest in franchise history.” You Move Me’s goal is have 50 franchisees by the end of next year and triple their revenue, targeting 14 million dollars.

Offering customers a full service, including packing, moving, and all the supplies required, You Move Me has serviced 7150 customers in eight short months. The key to their success is keeping things simple by delivering on their promises- a feature most moving companies fail to do. Setting clear expectations and meeting the customer’s needs whether they be timely or financial, moving crews practice an “inspect what we expect” procedure, which involves checking in with the customer throughout the process to ensure they are satisfied.

Their next secret is to practice exceptional customer service through pleasant surprises and doing the unexpected. On moving day the designated team calls the customer to confirm the details, and in knowing they have packed their coffee makers, take their beverage order to pick up and bring along. At the end of each job, the team gives the customer their first housewarming gift; a potted plant with a “Thank You” card signed by the team. Before leaving the site, the crew ensures everything has been done to You Move Me standards. “The goal is to ‘Wow’ customers. Often times one team member will be raking leaves in the front yard while another finalizes the paperwork,” Scudamore says. “We know we can change this industry by keeping our promises and doing what we say we’ll do, adding those little touches show that our movers really care.”

You Move Me is seeking franchise partners who fit the company’s energy, enthusiasm and excitement in order to change the existing state of the moving industry. “We believe building a business is hard work and consumes a lot of your livelihood; we want to have fun with the people we work with,” Scudamore explains. “We also want to build a successful business locally, nationally and globally. We need the right people who know how to set goals, achieve them, and aggressively drive sales.”

Those interested in becoming a franchise partner are encouraged to contact You Move Me’s Franchise Development team to learn about franchise opportunities, the process, and ask questions. Candidates who feel the opportunity is right for them can submit a formal application and participate in a phone interview. Those the company is interested in then undergo a second interview and are invited to You Move Me’s head office in Vancouver. Here they spend a full day learning about the business, watching presentations, and participating in several interviews with the leadership team. The day ends with a leadership team Q&A session, followed by a dinner out. If the company feels the candidate is a good fit for the team they then make an offer to award a franchise.

The franchise training process takes eight weeks and is broken down into four sections. First franchisees spend three to four weeks learning through correspondence and reading the operations manual. Next they spend one week training at head office, learning all aspects of running their business (operations, finances, sales, marketing, etc). Following this, franchisees spend one week training at an existing franchise before finally training in their own territory, where they set up their business and put into practice everything they have learned. Ongoing support is available from You Move Me’s Business Launch Manager, Mike “Butter” Makwich, and a help desk is also accessible to assist with the technical side of the business.

Scudamore believes the practice of providing such comprehensive training and heavily investing in franchisees will pay dividends down the road. “We screen hard and put a lot of effort into finding the right franchise partners and it works well so that we can support them, and have fun with them while the business grows and thrives,” he explains.

Currently operating throughout major Canadian cities and spanning the United States, You Move Me is looking to expand into new markets. With plenty of territories available for interested candidates, the franchise fee for a You Move Me territory (250,000 people) is $11,250 with an eight percent royalty fee. The full start-up cost ranges between $100,000 to $200,000, which includes trucks, graphics, marketing, office set-up and equipment, insurance, professional fees, and training.

The biggest benefit of being a You Move Me franchisee is the opportunity to build a national brand where the systems, processes, and reputation are already in place. “We make it so someone can start a business and springboard into early success rather than having to figure the business out,” Scudamore says. “We’re building something much bigger together than any one of us could successfully build alone.”

Devoted to their mission statement, “We move you, not just your boxes,” the core of the company is focused on delivering the type of service that eliminates stress and moves the customer, both physically and emotionally. “Moving is not fun, but if we can make that day a little less stressful and help put a smile on someone’s face by doing something unexpected, that’s what You Move Me is all about,” Scudamore says adding, “Not only are we having fun, but we are doing an exceptional job in the moving space.”

-Jessica Spoto

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