The business partners now have more than 160 employees working across five territories.
This month marks the three-year anniversary of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchisees Matt Rose and Nathan Berns teaming up to expand the brand in the state of Maryland. However, the duo’s relationship began long before 2014. While earning their law degrees from the University of Iowa, Rose and Berns bonded over the love of a competitive card game: poker.
Berns was a successful professional poker player while he studied law and was planning to pursue a full-time career following graduation. Rose was intrigued by Berns’ success in poker, and soon began playing professionally as well. By their second year in law school, Rose and Berns became roommates and were working side-by-side pursuing their academics, poker, and potential investment opportunities.
Given their overwhelming success with the card game, the two decided to forgo careers in law and pursued poker full-time. However, the thrill of poker quickly faded as Rose and Berns strived for more stability in their careers for the sake of their families. That’s when Berns found TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, the nation’s largest moving franchise.
Berns was immediately drawn to the fact that the brand was recession-proof because people will always need help moving, so he signed on to become a franchisee in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Rose, on the other hand, established a career with Alliance iCommunications, eventually becoming its Vice President of U.S. Operations. But, he wanted more. Rose desired to own his own business, and, after seeing the success of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK brand, it soon became clear that he would team up with his former college roommate.
“After seeing how well Nathan was doing, I realized that becoming a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchisee was a great opportunity for both me and my family,” Rose said. “I was already familiar with the brand because of its strong reputation and Nathan’s experience as an owner, so I looked into ways to explore the concept further.”
The newly reunited business duo began researching available territories and soon found the ideal location in Maryland. They purchased a location in Gambrills, Md., in November of 2014 that would service three territories in the Baltimore area. To operate the location, Rose moved to Maryland with his wife and their young son while Berns and his family stayed in Iowa to continue growing their Cedar Rapids location.
From day one, Rose and Berns’ chemistry quickly led to success with the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK brand. In 2015, the business duo achieved $1.7 million in revenue. In March of 2016, Rose and Berns purchased two more offices in Windsor Mill and Rockville, two thriving cities in the Maryland market. They now own three physical offices and service five territories in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. The business partners earned $3.36 million in revenue in 2016, and they are projected to hit $4.4 million by the end of 2017.
“We were really able to find success with the brand right away,” Rose said. “TWO MEN AND A TRUCK’s support system allowed us to pick up traction quickly and sustain a high level of success up until this point. We are very excited about the future.”
Tackling a new market was not an issue for Rose and Berns, either.
“While the market was new to us in 2014, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK’s reputation and mission statement helped us find rapid success,” Rose said. “A lot of people who moved to the area had used the service in other states, but we also didn’t have trouble gaining first-time customers through networking and referrals.”
Rose and Berns were never faced with a struggle to find customers—instead, they found themselves almost growing too fast due to their overwhelming success.
“Growing quickly can be challenging, but we made sure to hire the right people so that we could handle it,” Berns said. “We not only looked to grow the brand, but we aimed to help our employees grow and unlock their potential.”
Today, Rose and Berns have nearly 160 employees and their locations collectively hold 23 trucks. Additionally, the franchise owners are committed to advancing the careers of their dedicated team members. In fact, almost all of their managers began their TWO MEN AND A TRUCK careers on the trucks.
“Matt and Nathan’s desire to promote from within is exactly the mindset the brand wants its franchisees to have,” said Noelle Burak, franchise development manager at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc. “This model helps our franchisees grow their businesses and scale their locations with the right teams, aiding in the overall success of the franchisees and the brand as a whole.”
While Rose and Berns’ work ethic has been key to their success, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK’s strong brand identity in an essential market has helped make the transition easy for the two franchisees with no previous franchise experience.
“I saw it as recession-proof,” Berns said about initially considering becoming a franchise owner with the brand. “The transition to becoming a franchisee with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK was simple, and people will always have a need for moving. The brand has received top-notch customer service scores stemming from its high referral rates, so the groundwork for success is already laid when you become a franchisee. Of course, it takes hard work, but the brand’s reputation goes a long way.”
With TWO MEN AND A TRUCK giving them so much, Rose and Berns have worked hard to make sure they give back to their local communities by providing their time and resources to campaigns like Donations from the Heart Thanksgiving Food Drive and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Baltimore Chapter – Man & Woman Gala. Using their trucks and movers to aid these charitable campaigns, Rose and Berns have shown a strong desire to help others and grow the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK brand.
“We see even more room for growth in the state of Maryland,” Rose said. “We want our employees to unlock their potential, and we also want the same out of us. If we stay on this current path and look for ways to improve things like our training process, we will eventually be able to take on even more territories.”