Training Top 125 Best Practice: Getting into First Gear at Two Men and a Truck/International
Local moving franchise company Two Men and a Truck/International created its 12-week training program, First Gear, to help take new franchisees from signing their franchise agreement to opening their doors. This is done through a variety of methods, from phone calls and Skype conversations to role-playing and instructor-led events.
Throughout the process, new franchisees are paired with a Field Training specialist to work with them through the First Gear timeline. This includes finding a location, purchasing trucks, and getting the proper authorizations.
Prior to the new location opening for business, franchisees are asked to attend two instructor-led courses: “Gearing Up” and “Franchise Essentials.” Each course runs anywhere between three and five days and goes more in-depth with each department to give franchisees as much information and tools as needed to successfully run the franchise. During these courses, they have time to sit down with the executive team and discuss the business as a whole, as well as ask questions.
When new franchises are ready to open, the corporate office sends two Field Training specialists to focus on all aspects of the business:
- Training movers, drivers, and customer service representatives
- Human Resources
- Day-to-day operation of the business
This week-long visit helps franchisees build a culture based on Two Men and a Truck’s core values and mission statement. Trainees are empowered to create an experience for the customer that produces word-of-mouth referrals, and, in turn, helps the business grow quickly. The skills taught range from how to pack a truck properly or address a customer to answering phones and staying safe on the job.
During this visit, the executive team—including the president, chief executive officer, chief talent officer, and chief financial officer—holds a Skype session where they welcome the new employees, give advice to the staff, and answer any questions the front-line staff might have.
The Operations manager and Sales manager of the new location work together during training to understand each other’s roles and build their relationship as a team. For operations, they are trained on how to establish and follow processes. These more efficient processes lead to higher profitability.
On the sales side, field trainers work with the team to develop their listening skills. They create a culture where they understand the customer’s stress and, as moving experts, are trained to address the customer’s concerns. The team also works to customize a document for the sales staff that summarizes the operational processes movers and drivers must follow on every move. Likewise, the movers and drivers spend time with the sales staff to gain an understanding of their role. This leads to improved communication between both teams, a reduction in work-related injuries, and increased customer satisfaction.
The First Gear process works to build up franchisees and their employees to the standard Two Men and a Truck sets system-wide, and also aims to aquaint those who are new to the system with the company’s software, policies, and values.
After the visit, the field trainers continue to mentor and coach franchisees by analyzing sales numbers, helping minimize costs and maximize profit, all while supporting them through their first few months of business. This is completed by a series of calls over the following six months. Calls involve each of the departments at the corporate office, and the topics are arranged in an order specific to the challenges franchises typically encounter. However, the support calls are dynamic and are tailored to each franchise.
Since its beginning, the First Gear program has seen 28 locations successfully complete the training. Of those 28 locations, 100 percent have reached their five-year renewal agreement. In addition, the referral rate for a start-up franchise before the implementation of First Gear was 94.05 percent, but has since increased to 94.5 percent.