Moving can be an incredibly stressful time in a person’s life, but one North American moving franchise aims to change that with relentless innovation in the pursuit of customer satisfaction.
In addition to keeping customers satisfied, Vancouver, BC-based You Move Me also aims to provide the best possible service to its franchisees.
Josh Herron, who owns the You Move Me franchise in Kansas City, MO, has an interesting perspective on the business because not only is he a franchise owner, he actually became part-owner of the entire franchise system.
Herron and his business partner started out with a local moving company and joined You Move Me in 2013 to fast track their growth.
“We were originally a local moving company and we used the You Move Me platform to get better branding and more support, plus it helped us scale our local business,” he said during a recent interview with Franchising USA. He estimates that this year will see his franchise do $8 million in business.
Something that struck him right away when he joined the network was how You Move Me employs business coaches as opposed to field advisors, like many other franchises do. You Move Me prefers to have business coaches, he explained, so they can develop the franchisee and help them become better leaders and scale their businesses.
Before franchisees get their business coaching, though, they go through comprehensive training, learning how to run a moving company, not just from an operational standpoint, but also from a leadership standpoint.
Franchisees learn how to estimate a moving job, how to efficiently perform a move, how to run the back office administration and how to hire and train good moving staff.
“They teach you everything,” Herron noted.
You Move Me also has all its training in digital format so franchisees can take the training anywhere, Herron pointed out.
You Move Me also helps franchisees find a location and get set up. Once franchisees are established, You Move Me provides the aforementioned business coaching, help with public relations and advertising, and sales support like call center services for when franchisees are unable to answer calls. You Move Me also uses its purchasing power to source lower cost supplies, uniforms and truck rentals.
The franchise partner group provides a lot of support and has access to a franchisee advisory council that allows franchise partners to have an impact on franchisor decisions. Herron noted there is a lot of opportunity to provide feedback to the franchisor to make sure all voices are heard.
To motivate franchisees, You Move Me has end-of-the-year awards and incentives for growth. For example, if a franchisee is generating growth year over year, they get a reduced royalty fee for that additional revenue generated.
“It really speaks to the growth mindset and the willingness to expand and increase our footprint at You Move Me,” Herron stated.
The franchise also has a 50/50 deal where the franchise loans half of the franchise fee up front to candidates to give them a lower cost of entry.
Ripe for disruption
Herron’s franchise runs about 30 trucks in peak season and employs around 120 people.
While the early days were a grind to get the business off the ground, things have since picked up and owning the business gives him and his wife the opportunity to pursue interests like traveling. He has key people in place so the franchise can operate at a high level even when they are away.
While the moving industry has been around for a long time, Herron noted, it hasn’t been very open to innovation, making it ripe for disruption.
“We’re effectively doing it in a way that creates customer satisfaction in an industry that’s notorious for having not great customer service. You Move Me has found a way to exceed expectations at every step of the way,” he said.
Some of the innovative approaches You Move Me takes are technological in nature. For example, the company can use its technology to provide prices to their customers on the day of estimation instead of making them wait for a quote.
Using scheduling technology, You Move Me can make more appointments on any given day than their competition.
The franchise has also created an internal customer portal so customers can use software called My Move Day that allows them to manage their move from the time they book it until the time of the move and lets them do things like buy boxes to get delivered the same day.
Other innovations are more human in nature, like providing free coffee to each customer on the morning of the move and giving every customer a housewarming gift like a plant or a package of locally roasted coffee.
Looking for leaders
You Move Me is looking for candidates who have a customer focus, are growth minded and who are able to lead large teams.
“We really love leaders, people who like to help other people realize their full potential,” Herron said. “It’s not just moving, it’s running a business and you have to be able to learn different job duties.”
Currently, You Move Me has 19 locations in the United States spread out across the country, along with a handful of locations in Canada. The goal is to have over 100 franchise locations across North America over the next five years and then start expanding internationally after that.
By putting a focus on taking the stress out of people’s moving day with innovation, technology and superior customer service, You Move Me has created an ideal business opportunity for natural leaders