Escape the Corporate Machine: Finding Freedom in Franchising
If you said to Keith Moore one year ago, “You’ll own a successful moving business by 2017,” he would have laughed. He’d been selling office equipment for 15 years, wheeling and dealing photocopiers and printers. Although he often felt anonymous, toiling inside a huge corporate machine, making the leap to entrepreneurship was not on the horizon.
Then last March, his entrepreneurial urge started to burn brighter. His company went through what seemed like its millionth merger and, instead of trying to fit into another corporate mold, Keith plotted his escape.
One night, the 46-year-old saw a moving company featured on CNBC’s Blue Collar Millionaire. You Move Me offered a solution to the fragmented moving industry through exceptional customer service and systems. He’d spent years cultivating relationships with clients in Indianapolis and knew his skills would translate.
Now, he’s celebrating the one-year anniversary of You Move Me Indianapolis and expanding into a new office space. Below, he shares some insight into his life as an entrepreneur.
YMM: Why did you decide to go with You Move Me to start your first business?
KM: I was familiar with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and had seen the trucks around. I found that You Move Me had a great culture; I was impressed by the openness between franchise partners and their willingness to share information.
YMM: But to go from copier sales to moving … that’s quite a change!
KM: At the end of the day, photocopiers and moving services are both commodities — success is about creating relationships and providing people with exceptional service that makes a difference.
The customer service bar was really low and the time was right for someone to stand out. I started looking online for reviews of other moving companies in Indianapolis and they were full of criticisms: movers who broke things, didn’t show up, ran late, lied about estimates. I realized the formula for success would be through customer service and the right processes.
YMM: What’s startup life like?
KM: To be honest, there were no big surprises — I anticipated putting the time in and this is the busiest I’ve ever been. The difference is that now I’m involved in every decision, and I can see the immediate impact of everything I’m doing. Revenue is a direct result of our activities.
We’re bringing people on board who share our long-term vision and who want to develop with the company. I think as we grow, I’ll be able to bring more people on board and delegate some of the administrative activities.
One thing I’ve really enjoyed — and didn’t anticipate — was how rewarding it is to be part of the small business community here. They have a profound willingness to share ideas and give suggestions. We’re not just a business here, we live here, and creating those relationships is really important.
YMM: What does the future look like for you?
KM: This last year we validated our business plan. Now we want to be the go-to moving company in Indianapolis — and we have a plan to do this.